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Energy Costs Close Hungary Theaters for the Winter

From the Associated Press - Music Stops: Energy Costs Close Hungary Theaters for Winter

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2022-10-03/music-stops-energy-costs-close-hungary-theaters-for-winter

"A theater in Hungary's capital will sit through a cold and quiet winter after its managers chose to shut it down rather than pay skyrocketing utility prices that are putting a squeeze on businesses and cultural institutions across Europe."

"With inflation in Hungary at nearly 16% and the national currency reaching historic lows against the dollar and euro, households too are struggling with rising prices — something which could lead to a decline in theater attendance and a subsequent spiral of financial troubles in the cultural industry, she said."

Posted by
1453 posts

One would think that there will be similar announcements throughout Europe reflecting the realities of high inflation and higher energy costs - at some point operations become unsustainable - would raising ticket prices even be enough to keep the doors open?
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And will there be a drop in tourism should more and more cultural institutions close shop, as has been announced in Budapest?
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Those types of closings don't really affect my travel because I'm more the bricks and mortar tourist but rising energy costs could affect lodging, dining, and in-Europe flight costs and could alter my plans. The CDN$ isn't anywhere near as favourable in Europe as is the US$.

Posted by
28777 posts

It isn't Hungary, but there are real chances of energy (electricity and natural gas) rationing in the UK this winter.

The UK energy company regulator OFGEM has announced today "a significant risk" of gas shortages this winter which could impact electricity supplies, with the possibility that the UK could enter a "gas supply emergency" which would lead to supplies being cut to power stations which use gas to generate the country's electricity.

source - BBC

If that's the case it won't only be the theatres shutting and cold.

Posted by
1453 posts

Absolutely correct, the cultural stuff is peripheral and will be meaningless to many, if people start freezing in the dark in their own homes.

Posted by
14180 posts

1 The Trafo House was probably marginal so it is reasonable to anticipate overhead costs being the final blow; it might have 500 seats, and it is supported by donations as much as by ticket sales.
2 The Erkel hasn't had much going on since the State Opera re-opened so its not a significant cut in anything; the only thing I could find scheduled in Oct is "Andrea Rost's Birthday Gala Concert"
3 No word (yet?) of any of the mainstream theaters closing; and would be surprised if they did.
4 Since August 1 the Euro has fallen about 7% against the dollar, the Forint about 9%.
5 If anyone outside of Ukraine, is hunkered in the dark freezing remains to be seen; lets hope for the best.
6 I am optimistic about the creativity and resilience of the human race; and culture is that important to civilization so let's pray.

Posted by
1453 posts

"Economists at Wood & Company said Hungary was the most exposed central European country to a potential energy shortage, which could put additional pressure on the forint, central Europe's worst-performing currency." {Reuters]
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Europe will be an interesting watch this winter, for residents and tourists, alike. There'll be one more amenity to inquire about when booking accommodation this winter, the quality of the Duvets.

Posted by
14180 posts

"Hungary was the most exposed central European country to a potential energy shortage, which could
put additional pressure on the forint, central Europe's worst-performing currency." {Reuters]

( https://www.worldatlas.com/r/w960-q80/upload/79/0b/26/european-islands.png )

1 Hungary purchases gas from russia and for the time being, that will lessen the impact
2 The worst performing currency of CE? EUR = DEU/AUT/SVK/SVN – CHF = CHE/LIE – CZK = CZE – PLN = POL (for context)
3 Maybe it has much to due with the EU cutting off funding & being the poorest country in CE.
4 But with electric bills nearly doubling (mine is going from $75 to an anticipated $150) accommodation costs will go up; maybe $10 a night + $20 for inflation.
5 I guess that makes it great for tourism, cheaper than Western EU and warm (for the time being)

Posted by
136 posts

Weird, I remember when I used to go to the theater (both movies and live performances) in college in SE Europe a few years after the fall of the wall when the economy was much worse than now. Theaters were full, everyone was wearing their outdoor winter clothes, it was just the way it was. Maybe Hungarians need to harden up a bit.