Popularity Of Slide Shows Declining

Dave Pender

The newest St Mary’s slide show has ended with the host claiming there’s no longer much interest in the traditional St Mary’s evening attraction.

Dave Pender started his Virtual Tour presentation this season and he’s switched from Saturday to Friday evenings but he says numbers have dwindled with often only 9 or 10 people turning up. Dave says this only just covers the cost of hiring the hall.

He says slide shows were very popular when he was a teenager in the 70’s, with people often queuing up to get into the venues.

Dave blames the abundance of images of Scilly on the net, on sites like Facebook and Flickr, as one reason why the number of people attending shows has declined.

He also says the decrease in visitor numbers is hitting businesses hard. He’s heard of some losing up to half of their income over the past few years.

And he’s worried that, unless you have a niche or specialism, the days of the slide show are numbered.

Dave McBride has presented slide shows since 1992.

He says TV has reduced attendance and that can be demoralizing. When he joined Roy Graham in 1992 they turned away people because they were full and he says that hasn’t happened in a long time.

But Dave thinks it takes time to build a following.

He has people who have said they’ve come along 5, 6 or 7 times. He’s not seeing as many young families and more attendees now ask for concessionary rates because of their age.

Younger people don’t seem to come until July he says.


One Response to Popularity Of Slide Shows Declining

  1. John June 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    To be brutally honest I think we should accept that traditional picture-show presentations are an anachronism. The visitor *to* the islands or resident *on* the islands needs to get something more from a show than a potted, well-trodden history or exploration of the flora & fauna. The shows need to provide something unique, something characterful that simply couldn’t be obtained in front of a glowing screen. Whether that’s personality, compelling anecdotes, artefacts or – let’s face it – a little *theatre* then so be it. I wonder whether the sheer longevity (20 years!) of some of these shows and their presenters means that the creative energy and spark has gone. Word would quickly spread if a novel and interesting presentation (c.f. ‘slideshow’) took off, it behoves everyone involved in tourist entertainment on the islands to prove that Scilly’s got talent.