Council eyes up buying screen for theatre

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Council tax payers are set to spend £250,000 on a big screen for Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre to try to attract more big-name stars to the venue.

Scarborough Council’s cabinet members yesterday agreeing it would be more cost-effective to buy the equipment rather than rent it – but the decision still requires full council ratification on Friday.

The second-hand screen will cost £18,872, while an accompanying sound system is expected to cost £150,000 at most. The choice came as the authority battles save almost £2.2m over the coming year.

Cabinet member for tourism and leisure, Councillor David Jeffels, said the cost of the equipment could be recouped by hiring it out to production companies.

He said: “It’s a facility that stars ask for when performing at big venues and it will open up new doors for Scarborough to stage several other types of big performances. It’s much cheaper than hiring the equipment – which can cost over £7,000 per night – and it won’t take many performances to cover the cost of buying the screen.”

This month the council announced that it had lined up three big-name acts, including JLS, after stepping in when operators, Appollo Leisure, failed to announce a summer programme.