Outdoor cinema events cancelled in Carnforth as cost of living crisis hits

Outdoor cinema screenings in the grounds of a historic Carnforth house have been called off due to lack of ticket sales.

By Debbie Butler
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:53 pm

The Outdoor Picture Palace have been forced to make the decision after low ticket sales made the screenings at Leighton Hall financially unviable.

The decision follows the cancellation of the Leighton Live music festival event also planned at the venue over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

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Alex Chesters who founded The Outdoor Picture Palace.

Alex Chesters, who founded the North West outdoor cinema experience venture in 2021, said: “Quite simply, there have not been enough ticket sales for these events to go ahead.

"With increased costs across the events industry as a whole, events are becoming increasingly more expensive to operate and deliver.”

Apologising to ticket purchasers, all of whom have been contacted and offered a full refund, he added: “I delayed the decision as long as possible in the hope we could go ahead, however it would jeopardise the whole business to continue and deliver the event with the ticket sales we currently have.

“I would like to thank the team at Leighton Hall for their continued support since our launch.

Leighton Hall.

"We will focus everything on bringing back screenings in 2023 and will announce this as soon as we can.”

The announcement reflects the current precarious state of the wider events industry with a swathe of national festivals being forced to cancel due to low ticket sales including This Is Tomorrow in Newcastle, Brainchild in East Sussex and Summerfest in Ewood Park, Blackburn.

After initial predictions that summer 2022 would herald a much-needed resurgence for events and businesses battered by the pandemic, a “perfect storm” of higher supply and operating costs, combined with public anxiety in the face of spiralling fuel, food and heating costs, has led to similar cancellations throughout Europe.

Lucy Arthurs, manager of Leighton Hall, said: “We are very sorry for ticketholders who were looking forward to The Outdoor Picture Palace’s excellent screenings but I am sure they will understand that unpredictable circumstances made this sad decision an unavoidable one for Alex.

“While we have seen families enjoy returning to visiting Leighton Hall, many tell us they currently simply can’t afford babysitters and fuel for events that they would usually have booked for.”