A Letter to the Editor from Annie POTTER of Scarborough, bemoaning the opportunities lost to Scarborough by the loss of The Futurist Theatre – in the light of ongoing losses at the Open Air Theatre.
On the eve of its total destruction many people, myself included, still cannot believe our leaders are allowing The Futurist Theatre to disappear forever.
The number of townspeople who support its restoration has always been high, but numbers are steadily growing. With the recent disclosure that the OAT is in debt more people than ever are questioning the decision to spend £4 million pounds demolishing a perfectly usable theatre.
The OAT will never be profitable as it can only open for four or five months of the year. The latest crop of stars wanting to come and perform in our lovely town increases on a weekly basis proving we are able to appeal to current performers, bands and artists.
When I wrote to all councillors a year or more ago this was an issue. Many were in support of a restored theatre but the general consensus was that people would not make the journey to Scarborough to see their favourite artist. Obviously this is not the case as Scarborough is attracting visitors from all over the globe.
I recently visited the O2 Apollo theatre in Manchester to see The Pretenders. The Apollo is almost identical in size and appearance to our Futurist. It was packed to the gunnels with fans. I found out that shows similar to The Pretenders are there almost every night of the week throughout the whole year. Now more than ever before performers and musicians are out touring the country for twelve months of the year.
We in Scarborough are missing a massive opportunity to do the same. The OAT which has limited opening times cannot be an all year round venue, but THE FUTURIST can and should. The boost to tourism would be huge! Look how many hoteliers are already booked up for the night(s) Britney is here!
Many folk are depressed at the look of our seafront. What is more heartbreaking is all that will eventually be left of that marvellous Super Cinema, The Futurist Theatre, will be a slab of concrete, this is almost too much to bear.
I’m appealing to you to see if now at the eleventh hour there is any way we can somehow reverse the decision.
Finally I have a feeling that as townspeople, we are looking but not seeing something that is hiding in plain sight. Are we all being supremely conned by the slight of hand tricks performed by a cabinet of illusionists?
With kind regards
Annie POTTER, Scarborough. 1st March, 2018.
WILMOTT DIXON – Newsletter #2 – 18th February 2018
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