Open Air Theatre: Expenditure is indefensible

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The time must be about due when those councillors who initially commented on the Open Air Theatre going to be an overwhelming success for years to come stood up and said to the people of the borough of Scarborough,”Sorry folks we got it wrong”.

It has, sad to say, been a mitigating disaster. You cannot defend the enormous expenditure on the reactivating of the theatre on four full houses over three years. The remainder have been from partially full to almost empty. The theatre has been wasting the council tax payers’ money from day one. As the Futurist, it only has an odd act that can fill the theatre.

Possibly the biggest mistake from the start has been that a London promoter/s were not taken on as the booking agent/s. A professional booking agent or agents that have all the solo artistes or groups on their books have the expertise to know who would be good for the theatre. It is fully understood that there will obviously be the odd mistake and that has to be accepted. But, anything is better than what we have at present.

A local promoter has simply not the expertise of the big professionals who have spent their lives promoting and booking acts, a small local promoter may well go through one of the London promoters to get an act.

Secondly, the lack of advertising has been nothing more than abysmal. It seems to have been almost nonexistent.

The theatre is limited to who can play it that is for sure as a 6,000 seater, yet, Dalby Forest can pull in crowds of 6,000 and 7,000 people on a regular basis so there has to be a major problem with the operating of the Open Air Theatre.

The council owns the three major entertainment venues in Scarborough, the Open Air Theatre, the Futurist and the Spa. All haemorrhaging council tax payers’ money like a tap that will not turn off. The sad thing being that the council continue to allow it to happen and seem to be quite blasé about it.

It is time the rot stopped.

PJS Waller

Woodville Avenue