Chairman’s News and Updates

Well, it’s that time of year when I need to give you a report of what is happening at the Empire Theatre in Blackburn, before you pack your bags and start your summer holidays.

The first five months of the year have once again seen an increase in audience numbers, when compared to the same months of 2016. We have had some notable sell out shows and the audience feedback tells us that the quality and diversity of the shows have been, overall, of excellent quality.

We have, of course, repaired the auditorium ceiling and insulated it. Thank you to ‘High Level Maintenance’ for working around our productions with speed and efficiency.

The exterior of the building has been updated, with the painting of both the Theatre and Performing Arts centre and the capping of the end of the Theatre building. The whole complex has had a great makeover.

We have seen a small increase in the number of volunteers and we are always on the lookout for more. Our full-time staff and volunteers have worked so hard again this year. We continue to give the audiences and everybody visiting the Theatre a truly unique, friendly and professional experience.

The next three months are not normally as busy in the Theatre calendar, but we are blessed and lucky to have so many dance schools, locally and from many parts of Lancashire, showing off the talents of the young people in their annual presentations.

We look forward to these shows, as the young people get a great experience on the stage and are the future of tomorrow. A huge thank you to all the schools and academies that use our theatre.

Talking of young people, in partnership with our friends Pendle Productions we host our annual summer workshops in August, these are very popular and we urge you to book places early.

A further important partner with whom we have built up a great relationship is our marketing company, ‘Square Cactus’. A forward thinking and tremendously successful company, based in Blackburn, who have really increased our social media presence.

I feel after speaking in depth with Ian Holmes and his team, we were missing a great opportunity to communicate to the outside world. We have at least 60/70 people involved directly with the Theatre and performing arts centres consisting of friends, show participants and local group members. Therefore, to make the most of this vital work, it is important for our volunteers, staff and audience to support us by sharing and interacting with all our posts on a Facebook and Twitter. The more we show that we love and support the Theatre, the stronger we become and the more secure this unique community will be in the future.

That said, the second half of the year is almost booked up with a great selection of offerings. We are going to have a great year, especially as the advanced group bookings for the December Pantomime, Cinderella, are doing so well.

That’s it from me, look after yourselves, have a great summer.


With great affection

Michael Berry