Theaters concerned by rising electricity bills

The Estonia Theater, home of the National Opera and Ballet in Tallinn.
The Estonia Theater, home of the National Opera and Ballet in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Concerns are rising among Estonia's theaters as they must bear the costs of rising electricity prices this winter.

"Of course it hurts [us] a lot," Ott Maaten, the head of the Estonian National Opera, said. He added the increase could cost the theater between €50,000 and €100,000. This will need to be paid from their own budget.

Maaten said it is not yet known how the extra money will be found as additional government funding has only been given to the theater for salaries, not running costs.

Roland Leesment, director of the Endla Theater in Pärnu, said his theater will be significantly affected by rising prices.

He said paying bills could be a problem in the near future as the entertainment sector has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and new restrictions have reduced ticket sales.

"Part of the audience has been turned off because [negative] testing is no longer accepted as evidence," Leesment said.

However, Kristiina Alliksaar, director of Tartu's Vanemuine Theater, said it is not certain how electricity costs will impact the theater yet.

"When the bills come, we will start comparing [them] by month," she said. Alliksaar said it is possible to draw conclusions in the coming months.

ERR also spoke to managers of Tartu City Museum, Kumu and the Estonian National Museum. They said they were not yet concerned as the city council or government pays the bills.

However, it was said this may impact their budgets for next year.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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