The Service Lead - Countryside and Leisure introduced the Manor Pavilion Theatre Manager who had attend the meeting to report on the 2018 summer season and plans for the future. He reported that he had found the Exmouth presentation fascinating, with many cross over areas for the theatre.
The 12 days in 12 weeks summer season at the Manor Pavilion Theatre had just finished. Paul Taylor Mills had been operating the summer season for the past 6 years and had produced 72 plays. The Paul Taylor Mills name had given the theatre great credibility. The summer season 2018 had been the best season ever, with ticket sales and audience figures up on previous years. There had been a launch night in May, with an invited audience of 252. The next day ticket sales were open to the public, with people queuing outside the box office from 7:30am waiting to buy tickets. The Theatre Manager reported on the shows that had been particularly popular, as well as those that had not worked so well. Some nights and performances had been sold out. It was thought that the theatre had been hugely successful with the weather as there were more holiday makers around looking for something to do.
It was noted that the summer season ticket prices had remained the same but audience figures had increased. In 2015 the box office had made £157,000, in 2016 it had made £167,000, in 2017 it had made £196,000 and in 2018 the box office had made £203,000.
The Manor Pavilion Theatre Manager circulated the ‘what’s on guide’ for the autumn season. He reported that there was a great programme ahead for next year, with stand up comedy in the autumn season and a new show for Christmas. Bookings were already being taken for 2021.
The Theatre Manager advised that consideration was being given to internet ticket sales. He did not want to rush into anything, but the demand and need was there and online ticket sales would be in place for next year.
Councillor Faithfull asked for the profit figures for the Manor Pavilion car park. The Service Lead – Countryside and Leisure reported that to the end of August (month 5) £10,000 had been collected. He would ask for the car parks team to provide Cllr Faithfull with the net figure. The income was already being used to improve the customer experience as the money was being reinvested into the theatre. The Manor Pavilion Theatre Manager advised that the introduction of the pay and display car park had caused no adverse effects whatsoever for the theatre goers/audience. People understood and supported it and there had been none of the previous problems of people being blocked in and the car park being used by non-users of the theatre. In addition to this, even when there was no event being held in the theatre, the car park was now generating extra revenue for the premises.
On behalf of the Forum the Chairman thanked the Manor Pavilion Theatre Manager for his report and was pleased that online ticket sales would soon be going ahead.