Public flock to theatres and cinemas as pandemic eases

The Tuschinski foyer. Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr
The Tuschinski foyer. Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr

The public are returning in their droves to museums, theatres and cinemas, although ticket sales tend to be last minute, a poll by Trouw among venue directors has found.

Audience numbers in 2022 were at pre-pandemic levels, particularly in the second half of 2022. One reason for the surge is that the expected autumn wave of coronvirus cases did not materialise.

Another is the public’s need for entertainment, Patronaat pop venue director Jolanda Beyer told the paper. ‘Clearly people thought they had waited long enough to see a band, or a concert,’ she said.

Museums also saw an increase in visitor numbers although most had fewer than in 2019 when museums had a bumper year. That, museum directors said, is because tourists from outside Europe, and Asia in particular, have not returned yet in any great number.

Although more people are coming, they leave the ticket buying until late. ‘People are biding their time buying tickets, as if they are thinking ‘what are we going to spend out money on’. But in the end they come,’ Tivoli/Vredenburg director Margot Kat told the paper.

One theatre director in Sneek asked visitors for the reason they delay buying tickets. ‘They said they wanted to see what would happen with the virus. When the wave didn’t happen you could see people felt like going to the theatre,’ Wiebren Buma said.

Many people are also hesitant in buying subscriptions. Residentie Orkest director Sven Arne Tepl said that people who had had subscriptions for 30 years had decided to call it a day and that cheaper tickets had become more popular.

Venues have also found that more people than usual visited a theatre for the first time while cinemas said they had done excellent business during the autumn break. Their figures for the whole of 2022 will be made public later on Tuesday.

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