We Want People to Take Advantage of Their Hometown Theatre,” Says David Briggs, Director of the High Point Theatre
by Forward High Point Intern JT Farabow
The High Point Theatre has been bringing people to downtown since 1975 and is one of downtown High Point’s main attractions. The Theatre appeals to patrons and performers of all kinds, bringing them from far and wide. In the basement of downtown’s illustrious IHFC building and just under the beautiful glass awning of the Mendenhall transportation terminal sits High Point’s state-of-the art Theatre.
Patrons from as far west as Tennessee and as far south as Georgia travel to downtown High Point on weeknights and weekends to enjoy the talent that the High Point Theatre puts on display. High Point’s theatre holds an audience of 900 people and the furthest seat is only 53 feet from the edge of the stage.
Downtown’s theatre hosts all types of attractions, from musicals arranged by High Point’s community theatre to solo artists who perform magic, and even hosting HGTV’s famous Property Brothers. The theatre is also responsible for scheduling events at the transportation terminal just across east Commerce avenue, including 98.7 Simon’s Picnic in the Plaza which previously drew a crowd of 2400 people.
The most recent show put on by the High Point Theatre, Georgia On My Mind, featured the likes of Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes, world renown singer and six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon, the group Take 6 and Grammy winning saxophonist-songwriter Kirk Whalum.
The theatre is a very crucial part of our downtown, having generated a revenue of $9 million dollars for the City of High Point in the ‘18-19 fiscal year. Due to the pandemic, the theatre is anticipating a much lower revenue stream for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In the time off forced by COVID-19, the theatre has had the time to make upgrades which they hadn’t had the time to make before. The theatre has a brand-new carpet, updated microphones under the FCC standards, and an improved heat and air conditioning system for the building.
Further updates have been made to put the health and safety of patrons first- that being when patrons are allowed to return.
“We want our patrons to feel safe when they come back,” says David Briggs, the director of the High Point Theatre. “We’ve taken great steps to have sanitation stations available, notices on the floor of where you can stand, and we even have a new touchless scanner system for your tickets so you don't have to hand your tickets to an usher.”
According to Briggs, the theatre is busy about 285 days a year with performances, rehearsals, meetings, or scheduling and planning future events. Due to the pandemic, Briggs has had to schedule, reschedule or cancel over 100 dates since March.
As the director of High Point’s theatre, Briggs sees what all the theatre offers to our downtown. “When we look at our box office demographics, only about 45% of our patrons are from High Point,” says Briggs. “We want people to take advantage of their hometown theatre.”
While there has been a lot of rescheduling and cancellations for this year, Briggs has begun looking forward into the next year. “I usually book about 18 months out,” Briggs said when talking about what’s next for the theatre. “We’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that I believe folks are going to be excited about.”
For more information on the High Point Theatre or upcoming events, please visit https://highpointtheatre.com.