Sunday at the theater: a new alternative to a shopping spree

The city of Poznań in western Poland introduces discounted theater tickets as a measure to fill the free time created by the Sunday ban on shops opening twice or three times per month a month.

Cheaper theater tickets on those Sundays that are designated as “trade-free”are aimed to lure Poznań residents of out of their houses and into the theater.

The pilot edition of the project will be launched in June.

Poznań’s Deputy Mayor outlined that the program will be introduced in a few stages. At first the city’s oldest theater, The Polish Theater established in 1875 will introduce the discount this summer.

“After the summer holidays cheaper tickets will be available in the Animation Theater, Music Theater and the Center for the Children’s Arts”, Mr Solarski explained, and added that he wanted to propose a cheaper alternative for people to spend their free time on Sundays.

Starting in 2019 the world-famous alternative theatre group, Theatre of the Eighth Day also said it will join the scheme.

The trade ban introduced in March this year, prohibits almost all trade on Sundays, meaning the hypermarkets and even grocery stores to be closed on this day. Family-owned shops, bakers, flower shops and petrol stations can remain open.

This year under the new law large shops can only open on the first and last Sundays of the month, while from 2019 they will only be open once. The ban will ultimately extend to all Sundays from 2020. Holidays like Easter or Christmas when trade is normally prohibited do not count towards the ban. So because Easter, for example, fell on the first Sunday in April, that meant there was only one trading month last month. Already some listed shops have reported sales down on last year for April.

With the shops closed, the theaters are hoping consumers will now be looking around for new weekend activities, creating an opportunity for arts culture and leisure.