Cromer pier enjoys successful summer run
Economic crises and poor weather have not hampered Cromer's Pavilion Theatre from having a successful summer season - after it reported visitor numbers had increased.
The end of the pier venue has enjoyed a 'phenomenal' rise of just under 10pc and its booming audience figures have been put down to well laid plans.
As the theatre wrapped up its final performance of the Seaside Special last night, general manager Ian Hall said preparations had been made to guard against the effect the credit crunch could have had on ticket sales.
'It's a tough economic climate and we were expecting it to be tougher this year but the plans we laid to try and counteract that - by doing two extra weeks of Seaside Special - have proved successful,' he added.
'And a combination of a whole load of other things has actually resulted in figures being just under 10pc up on last year, which is phenomenal when we would have probably been expected to even take a drop in numbers.'
Winning Britain's Best Loved Pier award and the structure marking its 110th birthday had also added to the summer's successful run, but Mr Hall said there was evidence of people bringing less spending money out with them.
A near sell-out crowd packed into the theatre last night to enjoy the Seaside Special's best of show, featuring ventriloquist Steve Hewlett, comedian Paul Adams, singer Scarlet Gabriel and Rob McVeigh - a finalist on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Any Dream Will Do.
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The summer season was also complemented by a range of solo and group performers as part of the theatre's plans to keep customer numbers up.
Mr Hall said: 'We put more concerts on this year than we have ever done before. Our response this year was rather than draw our resources back we have actually committed to having more shows, giving more variety, and it has paid off.'
Plans are already being made for next year's summer programme and staff are also gearing up for the Christmas Seaside Special, starring Norfolk-born comedian and cabaret act Olly Day.
Last year's festive run was hit by harsh weather, which Mr Hall hopes will not dog them again this December.
'We've got another three months or so to go yet and Christmas could depend a lot on the weather. But if it holds off until January there's no reason why we can't be as good at the finish as we have been so far.' he said.
? The Christmas Seaside Special opens on December 3 and tickets are now on sale from the box office on 01263 512495. For more information visit www.cromer-pier.com