The National Theatre in Iganmu is a national monument and like all national monuments in Nigeria is not being utilized and left to rot. The National Theatre is a massive money spinner left to rot
Surely some stage performances are held there, however its potential is yet to be truly achieved and it is quite sad. For those who are not aware, the National theatre has 6 halls.
One is the main hall with the capacity to sit 5,000 individuals comfortably and can host musical operas, dance performances and even table tennis tournaments.
It also has 2 cinema halls fully equipped with a capacity for sitting 700 people comfortably and also host live events.
Other halls are the Conference hall with capacity for 1500 people, and state of the art equipment that can interpret 8 languages simultaneously. Two exhibition halls with capacity for 1500 people each and state of the art equipment that can interpret 8 languages simultaneously. It also has the press bar and VIP lounge
Impressive right? So why is it more of a liability than money generating?
In context, I would like to juxtapose Silverbird cinema to the National theatre which generates hundreds of millions in revenue.
Since the resurgence of cinemas in Nigeria, the likes of Silverbird Cinemas, Ozone Cinemas, and Genesis Cinemas just to mention a few have been smiling to the banks with proceeds from cinema goers. The National theatre should have leveraged on the facilities available to make themselves the mainstay of cinemas in Nigeria.
When you look at figures from movies such as The Wedding Party 2 (2017) 500 million naira, The Wedding Party 1 (2016) 453 million naira, A Trip to Jamaica 178 million naira, you might get angry. These cinemas actually cannot seat 5000 people at once as the National Theatre can.
You also have to understand that the combined seating at the National Theatre if some of the halls are converted for cinema purposes would see its capacity soar up to 10,900 per showing. That is a huge crowd and revenue generator.
This is aside the numerous shows, events, stage performances, conferences that could be hosted there as well. The National Theatre is literally a goldmine but is being left to waste.
So what is the problem? Why is the management of the National Assembly not looking towards utilizing the National Theatre to generate funds? Are we to assume they are bereft of ideas? I really doubt that.
It is sad that like all things government related, the National Theatre represents failure. Maybe its best it is privatized.