Clacton’s Princes Theatre will be transformed into an ice rink this Christmas to create a festive treat.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the traditional pantomime has been cancelled, and with other festive events around the country also being pulled the theatre team wanted to put something on for the community.
The auditorium will become a synthetic ice rink available for small groups to book for 45 minute sessions – and it is hoped visitors then go on to spend in Clacton town centre on Christmas shopping, a meal or even just a hot chocolate.
Alex Porter, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council (TDC), which runs the Princes Theatre, said he hoped plenty of people would get their skates on.
“We hope that our ice rink will bring some festive sparkle to what has largely been a gloomy year,” Councillor Porter said.
“With the pantomime cancelled and ongoing restrictions to tackle Covid-19, we hope this attraction – which can run in a Covid-secure way – will spread some cheer at Christmas.
“We’re also looking to work with local businesses on sponsorship or offer opportunities, and while we’re encouraging people to start their Christmas shopping early this year we hope visitors to the rink go on to support local businesses while in the town.”
The ice rink is being provided by Glice, a firm which has international clients and has provided rinks for the Olympic Games, among others.
To comply with Covid-19 rules and best practice, a maximum of 17 people can take to the ice at any time – and groups must be of no more than six people, unless exemptions apply under the Rule of Six policy.
Time on the ice is capped at 45 minutes to allow for cleaning to take place between sessions.
The ice rink will be open from 29 November until 9 January 2021, except for Christmas Day, with themed nights planned for Thursday evenings.
Ticket prices start at £6 per person or £22 for a family of four, and can be bought from the Box Office at www.princestheatre.co.uk or on 01255 686633. Tickets must be purchased in advance and cannot be bought on the door.