When will The Flavel Arts Centre in Dartmouth reopen?

PUBLISHED: 14:26 16 July 2020

The Flavel Centre has never before closed for a lengthy period of time. Photo: The Flavel Centre

The Flavel Centre has never before closed for a lengthy period of time. Photo: The Flavel Centre

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Staff at a Devon arts centre have been working hard behind the scenes in the hope of a September opening date

Among the many top entertainers who have appeared at the Flavel in recent years is Jacqui Dankworth. Photo: The Flavel CentreAmong the many top entertainers who have appeared at the Flavel in recent years is Jacqui Dankworth. Photo: The Flavel Centre

Theatres, cinemas and arts venues, large and small, are lying empty up and down the country; the promise of their vibrant posters unfulfilled.

These places are all about people, and without them, they die. Sadly, many are at risk of permanent closure. This is certainly an unprecedented and worrying time for the creative arts sector.

Against this stark backdrop, The Flavel Arts Centre , a much-loved Dartmouth venue, is managing to navigate a course through these considerable obstacles. Staff have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure that this popular venue opens its doors again, safely.

The Flavel’s target opening date is 1 September and government guidance continues to be reviewed. In the meantime, there is a vibrant online programme to enjoy: discover the wide range of items on offer on their website.

The Flavel is a registered charity, is self-supporting, and does not rely on grants to keep afloat. The Flavel Friends’ contributions, as well as generous donations, and volunteers’ time, all combine to underpin ticket sales.

The Flavel Friends’ membership scheme is crucial and there is a drive to increase that membership. Annual contributions are modest, and Flavel Friends receive a monthly newsletter, cinema programme and a live events programme in April, August and December; as well as the feel-good factor that you are supporting the arts centre!

Peter Conisbee, the Flavel’s Chairman, comments on the present situation: “There is nothing like a crisis to bring out the best in people – and that is certainly the case here in Dartmouth. Covid-19 has presented us with numerous challenges, both practical and financial, and I would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone for their support during lockdown.

“If you care about The Flavel and you are not a member already, please consider joining Flavel Friends, or buy extra tickets to help us get through this difficult time. We will be back, of this there is no doubt, and The Flavel that you all love and cherish will re-emerge before long, to provide the varied and entertaining programme of events that you have come to expect.”

It is not until something is no longer available, that we realise how much we value it, and have taken it for granted in the past. Our lives are poorer when we can’t come together with friends and family to watch a film, listen to music, take part in an activity or simply meet for a coffee and a chat.

So, everyone will need to pull together for the Flavel to remain at the heart of Dartmouth. We hope to welcome you back as soon as we are able.

About The Flavel Centre

The Flavel Centre opened in 2005, is open 363 days a year, and has never before closed for a lengthy period of time.

There is currently a membership of around 700 Flavel Friends - mainly locals, but it has supporters from all around the country.

The Flavel relies on over 100 volunteers, who act as stewards, box office and bar staff.

Last year the Flavel showed 113 films, 45 live screenings and staged 44 live events selling over 20,000 tickets

Among the many top entertainers who have appeared at the Flavel in recent years are Georgie Fame, Jacqui Dankworth and Claire Teal.

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