Theatre Board Extends Contract Of President/CEO Bob Nocek
The Board of Trustees of the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. extended the contract of President/CEO Bob Nocek for five years effective July 1, 2014. The extension ensured that Nocek, who has successfully guided a major revitalization of the theatre since taking over the organization in 2010, will remain at the historic downtown venue through June 30, 2019.
“It reflects an absolute mutual feeling that Bob is the right person doing the right thing at the right time, “ Scott Harmon, chairman of the theatre’s board, said of Nocek’s new contract. “It reflects Bob’s desire to be here and our desire to have him here. He really loves the Carolina Theatre, and we love having him here.”
Nocek, 46, joined the Carolina Theatre staff as vice-president/chief operating officer in 2009. He assumed control of the organization, which operates the city-owned complex, the following year. Since taking the helm in July of 2010, Nocek led the Carolina Theatre to exponential revenue growth, a major expansion of live events and film programming, and an increased public profile. In 2013, the theater reported its first profitable year since 2008.
“My time at the Carolina Theatre has been among the most satisfying and exciting of my career, and I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d want to be for the next five years,” Nocek said. “The Carolina Theatre is recognized as a leading venue throughout North Carolina and our national profile continues to grow. We’re just getting started, and I’m grateful to the Board for its confidence in the work we’ve done so far.”
Fueled by extensive expansions in programming, the Carolina Theatre’s total revenue improved from $2.5 million to over $3.7 million from 2010 to 2013, with marked increases in ticket sales for both live events and film. Revenue for the current fiscal year was forecast to exceed $4 million.
Under Nocek’s direction, the Carolina’s broader programming has included more than 60 Star Series concert or comedy performances, and growth in film to include weekday matinee screenings and the expansion of the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival to 10 days. The theatre’s rental activity has also increased. Fletcher Hall, the 88-year-old historic theatre and centerpiece of the city-owned complex, is now used more than 300 days per year.
The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau recently determined the theatre made a $14 million economic impact to Durham during the 2012-13 fiscal year. That’s nearly double the facility's impact prior to Nocek’s arrival.
The Board’s decision to extend Nocek’s contract came two months after Durham approved a new 10-year management agreement with Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. to continue operating the city-owned complex through at least 2024.
Nocek began his career in the entertainment business in 2000, when he was named program manager of the historic 1,800-seat F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He later spent more than five years with facility management company SMG at Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, serving in a variety of positions including assistant general manager.
He is a graduate of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. He and his partner, Matt Tomko, reside in Durham.