||View of the spiral staircase in Customs House, South Shields.The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields. Originally a shipping office for the merchant navy. The building was built in 1863-64 with an extension built in 1865. The present building is owned by South Tyneside MBC (1992). It was converted into a theatre during the early 1990s and opened on 25th November 1994.The building comprises a theatre of 441 seats, a 145 seat studio, a gallery, a restaurant, a bar, a box-office, and a community room that holds 100 people. The offices, rehearsal room and Community Room are located in refurbished warehouses running alongside the main building (Daltons Lane).