Theatre gets seating boost

The Open Air Theatre during its first concert with Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
The Open Air Theatre during its first concert with Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

SCARBOROUGH’S Open Air Theatre has received a major lift after plans were passed to boost its seating capacity.

The North Bay venue is now permitted to host 8,500 people after Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday granted the proposal.

And its opening hours have also been extended after councillors thrashed out a deal with operators Apollo, North Yorkshire Police and its own environmental health department over worries about anti-social behaviour and noise issues.

Under the deal, the theatre now has an extra hour for performances with three added hours for alcohol sales.

Under the new permutations, the theatre can host entertainers between 10am and 11pm between Monday and Sunday.

Alcohol sales will now be limited from 10am and 10.30pm, with the theatre open to the public between 10am and 11pm from Monday to Sunday.

During a protracted meeting in the Spa, the council committee raised potential issues over increased alcohol sales with fears it could lead to greater crime and arrests.

However, a representative from North Yorkshire Police said the force accepted the amended proposals which will limit where drinks can be consumed, adding extra officers would be deployed for larger events.

Graham Middleton, Scarborough Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer, added he was content with the plans to abate unnecessary noise pollution.

It was announced this week the theatre will host pop sensation Ellie Goulding next month with Sir Elton John also set to perform at the venue on June 5.

Sir Elton’s show will see an extra 2,000 temporary seats built on the decking over the theatre’s lake.