Jimmy Cricket led the tributes to the late Mike Berry, described as the driving force behind Blackburn Empire Theatre.
Mike, the theatre chairman, died last week aged 80.
Comedian Jimmy said on social media: “So sad to hear of the passing of my wonderful friend (to so many artists), Mike Berry, who was the heart @EmpireTheatreBB and was also director/performer.
“He will be missed by his lovely wife Linda and family members alongside his many friends and everyone who loves live theatre.”
An article on the Lancashire Telegraph website reported that Mike was the “driving force behind the theatre”.
It said he had raised more than £1million in a 25-year association with the venue as it became East Lancashire’s busiest community theatre.
Mike Berry had built up his own company, Top Team Manufacturing, into a very successful business.
The theatre’s website said: “It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of our Theatre Chairman, Michael Berry.
“Michael passed away peacefully on Sunday 5 February 2023 after bravely battling illness for the last few weeks.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Linda, two daughters, Justine and Joanna, and six grandchildren and so many close family members at this very difficult time.
“For his whole family, that he loved so deeply, it is such a great loss and words cannot express how much he will be missed.
“Michael was the heart and soul of Blackburn Empire Theatre, having been one of the primary forces behind raising funds to reopen the theatre for the people of Blackburn.
“The Theatre was a dream 20 years in the making and this year we will reach our 21st anniversary since we reopened to the public.
“An amazing achievement.
“His enthusiasm for the theatre was addictive and everyone who was lucky enough to know him, knew the deep passion he had for our theatre.
“He was a people person and welcomed everyone to the theatre with open arms.”