Princess Theatre, Burnham-On-Sea

Burnham-On-Sea’s Princess Theatre hopes to start screening daytime films in its main hall when it re-opens later in the year – but it does not intend to compete with the town’s Ritz Cinema, councillors have been told this week.

During a virtual meeting of the Town Council’s Princess Management Committee this week, the theatre’s Business Development Officer, Beccy Armory, gave an update on the work that is underway to make The Princess Theatre ready to re-open when the Government lifts Covid restrictions.

The theatre in Princess Street has been shut since last March due to the pandemic and is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, funded by the EDF Community Impact Mitigation fund, which Beccy said is “making great progress”.

Cllr Phil Harvey noted that the refurbishment has enabled the theatre “to update its PA sound system and get a new projector to do live streaming” and asked whether film showings are being planned.

Princess Theatre seating in Burnham-On-Sea

Beccy Armory responded: “We are still very much in contact with The Ritz and I want to congratulate them on receiving Cultural Recovery Funding, which is good to know.”

“We are are future-proofing ourselves to be able to show National Theatre, but we do not want to go into direct competition with The Ritz. They do their very own streaming service showing the Royal Opera House and other very high quality brands.”

“But we do plan on having a film programme. What that looks like at the moment I’m unsure. I do know it’s not going be blockbusters as we can’t afford that with the funding we received.”

“But in terms of daily programming, I’m really keen to make sure we are servicing a demographic that wants to be entertained throughout the daytime.”

Town councillors have previously discussed targeting older residents with classic films that are not shown elsewhere.

Plans to screen films at The Princess Theatre were first considered in June 2019, as we reported here.

In normal times The Princess is a vibrant theatre and arts centre offering culture and entertainment in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge welcoming more than 7,000 audience members a year and many more in terms of daytime visitors.

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