The Empire Theatre at Ewood is raising a glass to 2015 with the announcement that from Monday 4 January audiences will be able to enjoy the convenience of taking their bar drinks into the auditorium for the first time since the theatre opened its doors in 2002.
Chairman, Michael Berry announced the move following consultation with volunteer staff and patrons and explained that the change of policy is being trialled in the hope it will increase revenue and bring new audiences. The changes come as the theatre launches a varied programme targeting a younger audience profile over the next 12 months.
Michael said, ‘When the theatre first opened the team were reluctant to allow drinks in the theatre because of the risk of spillage harming the brand new upholstery. Today we recognise that it is common place for entertainment venues to sell drinks in high quality plastic glasses so that patrons can take them into the theatre to enjoy whilst watching a show.’
He continued, ‘We’ve a cracking line up of acts coming up and an increased number of similar aged-groups of friends, music fans or work colleagues coming to the theatre to celebrate a special occasion. In January we’ve a top Abba act, Voulez Vous who played to sell out audiences of 600 at the Guild Hall in Preston. Later in the year, 80s fans can enjoy live entertainment from original members of Bucks Fizz whilst actually enjoying a glass of the sparkly stuff! Our intimate theatre is the perfect venue for friends having a late Christmas party to dress up and dance and our upstairs private bar and exclusive use of the balcony can be made available to groups who want to enjoy a pre-show reception and bring in catering.’
‘For certain types of entertainment such as folk, comedy nights and our Irish festival, it’s natural that our audiences will want to relax with a glass of something cold and refreshing!’
Pictured, Janet Stonham, Office Administrator, Gwen Bird, Theatre Front of House Volunteer and Michael Berry, Chairman of Thwaites Empire Theatre