Why does Marlborough’s theatre cost so much?


The Marlborough Express may be covering up the threatening late-night emails from the Mayor to Corey Hebberd, but they are not covering up the massively expensive theatre running costs.

Invercargill’s theatre is nearly one-and-a-half times the size of Blenheim’s new theatre, but its yearly operating costs are about a third of the theatre’s estimated annual expenditure.

A report prepared by the Marlborough District Council last month said the expenditure for the ASB Theatre this financial year was forecast to be almost $1.4 million. 

Figures released from Invercargill Events and Venue Management, an organisation run by the Invercargill City Council, revealed the Invercargill Civic Theatre’s operating costs came to $494,297 last financial year.

The Invercargill theatre seats 1015 people, while the main auditorium of the Marlborough ASB Theatre, which opened in March, seats about 700 people.

It looks like someone is taking the piss out of the Marlborough ratepayers, and it is probably the people who promoted the theatre to begin with.

Who thought that a district of approximately 45,000 people could sustain a theatre with revenue of $1.4m? And will they ever be held to account?



– Stuff

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