Just as you can judge a restaurant based on the quality of its chips, you can use the theater to determine the measure of a city – if any.
Unfortunately not many. And they tell a lot about a place. First, their presence shows that the locals are a sociable group. Not for those nights with Netflix.
Even if they do not go to a show, they may come for a coffee or a lesson. For theaters do much more than plays.
In the spotlight: Chester has a storyhouse theater, a cinema and a library
The best offer of theater groups for children, lunchtime recitals and shows for seniors.
They usually have good restaurants and bars – the amenities that allow the new residents to meet and make friends.
"I do not deny that you need an attractive main street, good schools and sports clubs," says James Greenwood of Stacks Property Finders.
"But having a good theater or art center is the last card in the royal range of amenities that make a city so special."
The cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex is a place where a theater attracts homebuyers.
The productions of the heritage-protected Festival Theater, which hosts 230,000 people each year, are regularly brought to London's West End.
"Shoppers love the pretty little cottages on Cavendish Street and Parchment Street near the theater," says Serena Strange of Strutt & Parker.
"The actors often rent or buy there." The cottages quickly sell between £ 300,000 and £ 450,000.
Nearby is also the King George Gardens – a complex of apartments and townhouses on the site of a former hospital. The cost of apartments is about £ 400,000.
The theater that attracts the most buyers is the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
Almost everyone has made a family outing or school trip to the bard's hometown.
Chichester in West Sussex is a city whose cathedral and theater attract homebuyers
Many are fascinated – not only with the pieces, but also with the river, the boating and the swans and the actor's pub The Dirty Duck, whose walls are lined with signed pictures of yesterday's stars.
The Spitfire facility, built in 2016 in Shottery, has two-bedroom terraced houses for £ 335,000; A four-bedroom room at Evesham Place in the coveted Old Town of Stratford costs £ 625,000.
The trophy houses with gardens that lead to the river on Tiddington Road are sold for £ 1.5 million and more.
Art centers have a purpose other than theater. They not only offer shows but also encourage the community to participate in artistic projects by offering theaters, galleries and educational facilities.
The Storyhouse in the City of Chester features a movie theater, shows, music, the Grosvenor Open Air Theater, literary festivals, workshops, comedy, children's storytime, arts and crafts for adults.
The Chester Storyhouse was built around an Odeon from 1936 and houses a library with the longest opening hours in the UK – until 11pm
"We had people asking for lodgings near the Storyhouse so they could easily get to events and theatrical performances," says Bells Lewers of Strutt & Parker. "It's especially popular with retirees who want to be in the theater regularly."
The most sought-after streets near the theater are Dee Banks, Sandy Lane and Dee Hills Park, where homes are sold for more than £ 700,000 and homes for £ 350,000 plus.
Handbridge is also very popular, and you pay more than £ 200,000 for a two-room room, although there is little on the market.
Theaters and art centers can also contribute to the regeneration of the less prosperous areas of the country.
In Pontardawe, near Neath, South Wales, there is a high level of non-working adults, perhaps because they are full-time carers, have been sick longer, or have retired early.
In addition to acts such as the band Fairport Convention and the comedians Rich Hall and Zoe Lyons, the area's arts center also hosts writing classes, poetry evenings and musicians.
"It's great to play in front of an audience that has paid to see you," says local singer / songwriter Dai C. Thomas, who also performs in pubs.
"Art centers encourage songwriters to do their own stuff, while pubs usually only want to cover old hits."
The driving force behind the center is the artistic manager Angie Dickinson. "I've seen Pontardawe improve a lot over the last decade," says Dickinson, who moved from Cheshire to the city.
"New stores, including a greengrocer and a butcher, have opened, and I'm convinced that the arts center is behind the new optimism."
Pontardawe, which sells a newly built three bedroom home for less than £ 200,000, is just half an hour from the coast of Mumbles and 50 minutes from the market town of Brecon.