The celebrations marking the opening of the long-awaited Studio 144 went off with a bang on 16 February, thanks in part to the support given by GO! Southampton, the Business Improvement District (BID).
In the run up to the event, a large screen was positioned in Guildhall Square giving viewers details about the celebrations and showing a 1 minute “snapshot” film about the different elements of Southampton’s exciting Cultural Quarter. The film, commissioned by GO! Southampton and co-funded by Southampton City Council, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and John Hansard Gallery, was created to spark interest in the area, both in the run up to the event and beyond. As well as viewers watching it on the big screen in the Square, the film has already been viewed over 2400 times on Twitter.
In addition to the screen and the film, GO! Southampton was able to support the Studio 144 opening weekend by sponsoring the arrival of a replica spitfire to the Square. The plane, made up entirely of different parts of actual spitfires from crash sites, created a buzz from the moment it arrived, with visitors queueing up for a chance to sit in the cockpit. Children taking part in the Half Term Spitfire Trail (also commissioned by the BID) were delighted to see a real spitfire in addition to the pictures they had spotted in windows around the Cultural Quarter.
Bill Sainsbury, Head of Marketing and Press at Nuffield Southampton Theatres said,
“We were truly delighted to work in partnership with BID on the campaign to launch Southampton’s new theatre, NST City. The addition of the family Spitfire trail, big screen and film as part of the lead up to our big day, and then the Spitfire itself landing in Guildhall Square, really got all ages in the city excited and talking. “
Annaliese Hughes, Chair of the BID’s Marketing Theme Group added:
“I was incredibly proud to see our Cultural Quarter come alive on Friday night. The addition of these world-class venues to what was already a vibrant area gives us even more reason to shout about Southampton at a local, national and international level. By maximising opportunities such as this opening event, the Marketing Theme Group of the BID aims to inspire and excite people, engendering a sense of pride in local people and a sense of wonder among our visitors.”