Theatre needs more bookings

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Sir: With the recent announcement that the municipality would once again be taking over the operations of the Capitol Theatre, there was once again people taking to social media to voice their displeasure with the decision.

This chorus of detractors has been present since well before the theatre opened its doors, and the negativity has not ceased as time has passed.

The general argument appears to be based on the idea that the theatre was a waste of money to build, and will never make money for the city. These individuals are certainly entitled to voice their concerns but they are failing to see the overall issue with the theatre and seem to be blaming the actual construction of the theatre versus the operation of the building.

If you take a look at the website, through the first six months of the year for 2017, the theatre is booked for 22 days. So for a period of six months the building will only be operational for a less then one month.

This is the overall problem. No business can succeed if they are only operating for this short of a time frame every six months. As an avid concert attendee, I am disappointed with every concert announcement I see as artists from all genres are booked to play rooms of similar size to our theatre and yet there is very rarely an opportunity to see the artist in this city.

Of course there is always the issue of cost associated with booking talent as well as tour itineraries that may not make it feasible to host artists on every tour, but if the theatre is to be successful, there has to be more of an effort to get artists, productions and speakers into the venue.

If you fail to spend money to get the shows in, you will fail as a theatre.

The Capitol Theatre should be a tourist attraction but if nobody wants to travel to Chatham-Kent to see a show, there will never be money brought into the city. If the operations team is looking purely at what the residents of Chatham-Kent want to see, they are being short sighted and missing an opportunity to bring people into town and thus bring there money with them.

Unless, there is a concerted effort to start booking talent that people actually want to see at least and will travel to see, the theatre will not succeed.

A theatre is meant to be vibrant, exciting and most importantly used. An empty building does nothing but cost money and allow for negativity to breed.

Chatham needs the Capitol Theatre to succeed but it will not happen if it is only open for less then two months a year.

Brian Stewart

Chatham-Kent

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