New proposals have been considered by town councillors this week to extend the facilities at Burnham-On-Sea’s Princess Theatre so it can show films alongside theatrical performances.
Town councillors have discussed a number of potential changes that aim to boost income at the theatre during a meeting of the council’s Princess Management Committee.
One proposal is to team up with Burnham’s Ritz Cinema team and allow the theatre’s main auditorium to be used screen classic films.
Cllr Mike Murphy said: “The theatre has full disabled access, so is ideal to show matinee screenings of classic films. It could create a new revenue stream, but we’d want to do it with the full involvement and support of The Ritz Cinema to avoid hurting them.”
Cllr Louise Parkin welcomed the proposal, calling it a “lovely idea – the theatre is very much here for all the community and silver screen films for those with disability issues would be spectacular.”
Cllr Dawn Carey added: “It’s a wonderful idea that we should embrace fully and I feel we should also be getting local schools more involved with the theatre too.”
Cllr Sue Barber said she would like to see live screenings of events, such as big music concerts and theatrical events, considered in the future.
Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, Ritz Cinema owner Pat Scott welcomed the news. “I am keen to discuss this further,” he said.
The council’s comments came during a meeting of this week’s Princess Management Committee where several revenue-generating plans were floated.
Promotion could be extended to increase awareness of the theatre’s events and activities. There will also be closer working with the Friends of The Princess volunteers.
The opening hours of the theatre’s arts lounge and cafe are to be examined in order to try and maximise its use. The theatre’s charging fees for groups and businesses are also set to be reviewed.
It comes as the Burnham Evolution project, funded mainly by Hinkley Point C cash, is due to enable a number of enhancements to be made to the theatre over the coming year, with upgrades to the auditorium, toilets, overall decor and other facilities planned.
“The theatre needs modernising and needs to be more ‘warmer’ and welcoming,” said Cllr Parkin. She praised the theatre’s helpers, adding: “All the volunteers are wonderful and we couldn’t do it without them.”
Mayor Cllr Andy Brewer added: “The Princess is an absolutely wonderful asset to the town.”