More events for the Open Air Theatre

Open Air Theatre
Open Air Theatre
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n Mr Archer told members of the Cabinet that the large screen was an ex-demonstration model and would cost £108,872 plus VAT. “A very substantial discount if we were to purchase it,” he said.

MORE top acts are being lined up to perform at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre – with an announcement expected to be made in the near future, it has been revealed.

The news follows better than expected ticket sales for three big-name acts – Olly Murs, JLS and Dionne Warwick – which were lined up by Scarborough Council after operators, Apollo Leisure, failed to announce a summer programme.

A Scarborough Council spokeswoman said an announcement for the new acts was expected “very shortly” and that Olly Murs had almost sold out.

She added: “There are still tickets available for JLS through Ticketmaster and tickets are also still available for Dionne Warwick through Ticketmaster and the Sands – but from later this week these will also be available through the Tourism bureau, the borough’s Tourist Information Centres and also from Scarborough Spa.”

On Tuesday members of the Cabinet approved a move to spend more than £250,000 on a big screen and sound system for the venue – the final decision is expected to be taken at tomorrow’s meeting of the full council.

David Archer, the council’s strategic director, said that as well as big name concerts the council was looking to use the venue for “community celebrations” including a youth ‘Culture Shock’ event in June as well as an event to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the area.

He added: “There is a real opportunity to use the theatre this time. I feel the Open Air Theatre is our equivalent of a town square. The venue can’t operate without a sound system and big screens.”

It is expected that the council would recoup the investment on the equipment over the course of 20 shows – based on the equivalent hire charges. Cllr David Jeffels, the council’s tourism portfolio holder, said: “It does make good economic sense and it’s going to make the Open Air Theatre a much more attractive venue.”

Cllr Bill Chatt agreed that the original vision for the redeveloped venue was that it would be used by community groups. He added: “I’d like to see it used more by local groups when it’s not being used for professional shows.

And Cllr Tom Fox said that part of the conditions of the current agreement with Apollo was that the venue would be used for community events. He said: “We have aspirations that this place is used every day of the week through the summer.”