Margate Theatres (Margate Winter Gardens and Theatre Royal Margate) joins Theatre Trust national initiative to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres.
Imagine an iconic seaside town that has been working hard to recapture its glory days without the Theatre Royal and Winter Gardens.
Imagine no highly acclaimed Pantomime for the children to enjoy at Christmas.
Imagine the Original Seaside without laughter, song, and dance. Imagine the cultural heart of the community stopping beating. Imagine a Margate with no soul.
This is the threat COVID has placed upon our theatres and it is not just Margate. Across the country, once great theatres, bustling havens for the arts and entertainment, lay dormant, their doors closed… possibly FOREVER!
Margate Theatres face their greatest threat since the Blitz; Margate Theatres need you.
This is a call to arms - you can be a part of Saving Margate Theatres through a kind donation to our Crowdfunder campaign. By pledging whatever you can spare or selecting one of our rewards, you will be an Arts Champion and help us take a step towards survival.
Why are we crowdfunding?
Our historic theatres (like all theatres across the UK) are at serious risk of permanent closure. Up and down the land theatres, grand and small, are facing the largest threat to their existence in living memory, and, without urgent aid, the UK could become a cultural wasteland as venues close never to reopen. This is not hyperbole. The theatre sector, with the financial constraints of social distancing rules still firmly in place (there’s currently no Government guidance as to when that will end for theatres – on average, theatres need to sell around 75% of the available seats to be financially stable, social distancing lowers our potential capacity to just 25%) and we’re now facing an entire year without hosting events, we need your kind and loving support.
When the COVID pandemic caused the nationwide lockdown from 23 March (theatres being told to close on 20 March), Margate Theatres lost all of our regular ticket and bar income overnight; the pandemic shutdown the theatres and forced the mass cancellation and postponement of all shows and events, including the Margate Soul Festival and other marquee events that we rely on to keep the theatres running and bringing live entertainment to Thanet.
We have applied for the Government funds that are available, however, it is unclear how much support we will receive, and we need more than is on offer to ensure Margate does not lose its iconic theatres.
So far, we have done, and continue to do, everything in our power to fight off the threat of COVID-closure, however, as March became September, and September will become a date that is as yet unknown, the pressure has increased. To Save Our Theatres, we have:
- Protected jobs and minimised our operating cost by using the Government Job Retention Scheme, however, this ends on 31 October.
- Applied for Government Cultural Recovery Fund.
- Entered a period of consultation with our staff.
Your kind and generous donations will enable us to:
- Survive this COVID-crisis and continue to bring live entertainment to Thanet.
- Retain as many of our highly skilled and experienced staff as possible.
- Continue to safeguard the iconic venues in Margate and ensure they continue to be used for what they were meant for, Entertainment.
- Create a new future post COVID.
All of your donations will go to ensuring we can overcome the threat of COVID-19.
We can guarantee that any advance ticket sales money is ring-fenced and secure. You can continue booking tickets safe in the knowledge that your money is safe with us and that a full refund would be offered if we were unable to host the event.
Margate Winter Gardens
Theatre Royal Margate
About Save Out Theatres
In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired, and to be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills.
But we risk losing this forever.
Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when the Government ordered them closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six months later, we still don’t know when theatres will be able to reopen fully without the constraints of social distancing and return to full capacity. A decision won’t be made until November at the earliest – too late for most to put on their annual pantomime, which often provides the income to support the theatre for the rest of the year.
This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.
Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those closures could be permanent.
Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.