TRIBUTES have been paid tribute the person who led the successful fight for the reopening of a city theatre following its closure as a cinema.

Jack Dixon, founding member of the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust, died in hospital.

Deputy chairman Heather Ging said: "Jack has been a driving force behind the theatre since the 1970s, if it were not for his hard work then it is unlikely that the theatre would still be standing today.

"He was responsible for leading the group that saved and reopened the theatre following its closure as a cinema in the 1970s.

"Following the devastating fire in 1985, Jack helped lead the rebuild to see that the theatre could continue to operate. He was also a founding trustee of our current trust, that saved the theatre from private ownership."

Ms Ging added: "Over the decades, Jack has inspired people of all ages to get involved in theatre having a huge positive impact on many people’s lives.

"He was a skilled director and played a fabulous Tevye and Sweeney Todd. Newcastle and the theatre community have lost a truly magnificent man.

"The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, as we know it, simply would not exist without Jack Dixon. His passion, commitment and character will be greatly missed."