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Weymouth Pavilion selling tickets to shows scheduled for months after possible closure
WEYMOUTH Pavilion bosses have been slammed for selling tickets to shows scheduled to take place after it may have closed its doors.
Council leaders warn that the theatre could face closure on March 31 unless someone comes forward to save it.
But the Pavilion is currently selling tickets for shows due to be staged in May.
When the Echo called enquiring about tickets we were told that there were plenty available to a burlesque show on May 4 and 'That'll be the Day' on May 25.
Under council cost-cutting measures the financially-crippled theatre would be demolished and replaced by a car park.
An action group has been set up to try and save Weymouth's only major arts venue.
One community group leader said she feels 'disgusted' that the Pavilion, which is owned and run by the borough council, should be selling tickets to shows when it faces possible closure.
Margo Kirk is project leader for Bus2Go that organises trips for people to go from the Winterbourne Valley, Milborne St Andrew and Blandford areas to places not served by traditional bus routes.
Last summer the groups made numerous trips to Weymouth and have just booked to go and see That'll Be the Day, which is due to take to the Pavilion stage on May 25.
Mrs Kirk said she some initial reservations as she had heard the Pavilion could be facing an uncertain future but she said that after being contacted to see if she wanted the already reserved tickets, she said: “I thought ok, they won't be doing it if there's any threat of the Pavilion closing before May.”
Under cost-cutting plans from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council the Pavilion could close its doors at some point after March 31.
Councillors say they are looking into all options for the Pavilion's future, including proposals from the community for taking it over, and a decision will be made at the full council meeting on February 21.
Mrs Kirk paid for the tickets and later saw that the Pavilion could be closing on March 31. She said she contacted the council to see what was happening, but added that she felt 'upset and anxious' about the tickets and whether they would be able to get a refund if the Pavilion closed.
Mrs Kirk said: “It's sharp practice in my view. I feel duped.”
She added: “I just feel let totally let down. I'm upset and anxious now.”
WOW Youth Musical Theatre is hoping to use the Pavilion for their production of Miss Saigon and are pencilled in to perform from April 3-6.
Janet Stockley from WOW said they didn't yet have a contract and so couldn't open the box office until they had one.
She said it was 'weird' if the Pavilion was booking a show that was after their performance.
She said: “It's strange.”
She added: “What will they do if they close the theatre? They will have to get in touch with all these people and give them their money back.”
“We are looking into a series of options regarding its future which will be discussed at Full Council on 21 February.”