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Vlaardingen municipal auditorium may well shut down

In the city where Geert Mak was born and Lévi Weemoedt spent thirteen years as a Dutch teacher in front of the classroom, culture has to make way. On 6 November, the city council decided to cut back to such an extent that the BV Stadsgehoorzaal could close. The director put the theatre up for sale on

In archaeology, Vlaardingen culture a familiar concept, but in Vlaardingen itself you will actually see less culture. As much as 12 million must be cut by the municipality. And it's a clue as to who will suffer. Professional programming at the Stadsgehoorzaal will continue until July 2015, but after that it's schluss.

The Stadsgehoorzaal was called the 'living room of Vlaardingen'. That the hall plays an important role in the city of 72,000 inhabitants is shown by the 12,000 signatures. The theatre collected these to persuade the municipality to refrain from cutting back on culture. The only bright spot is that the municipality is studying the consequences of closure and whether exploitation is feasible in another way. The plan now is to fill the auditorium with school and amateur performances.

Just 10 years ago the herring city of the Netherlands still in on a thorough renovation of the de Harmonie, which started in 1817. The theatre then closed for 2 years and festively opened its doors in 2007. Only to see them close again now.

Theatre director Sandra Bruinsma playfully set up the theatre for sale on Looking back at the end of the season, she hopes to raise a glass to a successful period in which performances turned a profit. And quietly, of course, she hopes that more media attention will lead to a reconsideration of the intention to close.

'Doing special things that don't happen anywhere else.' That was the motto in 2011. The City Auditorium would be the proud of the city by building on that formula. That pride now seems to be Vlaardingen's elsewhere to have to fetch.

Update 24 November 14:30:

Response spokesperson Vlaardingen municipality:

'It has never been the intention to close the City Auditorium. However, the BV is closing down. This means that all staff will be laid off. All in all, this saves €750,000 on an annual basis. The municipality is looking at career guidance with management and staff. Also, €218,000 per year remains available to flesh out other programming. Possibly, functions of some employees could be retained within a new form. With other parties such as the Vlaardingse Cultuur Stichting, a way to continue is being looked at, with or without a shared back office. A motion has also been tabled to sell the building but that chance is slim. It is an expensive building.'

Ruben Brugman

writing ex-dancerView Author posts

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