Carolina ranks among top 100 worldwide theatres for first time in its history

Aaron Bare
July 16, 2012

CAROLINA RANKS AMONG TOP 100 WORLDWIDE THEATRES FOR FIRST TIME IN ITS HISTORY - Theatre ranks No. 88 worldwide for the first half of 2012

DURHAM, NC - For the first time in its history, The Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC has ranked among the Top 100 theaters worldwide for attendance based on rankings released by concert industry magazine Pollstar on Friday.  The Carolina ranked 88th in the world for live event ticket sales from January 1 through June 30, 2012.

“This is an incredible achievement for us, and a testament to all of our hard work over the past two years to bring the Carolina Theatre to life in a new and exciting way,” said Bob Nocek, President/CEO.  “I’m proud to see our efforts recognized, and gratified that the transformative changes we’ve made to this Durham landmark are paying off.”
The rankings include all theaters, regardless of capacity, that have reported attendance for live events including concerts, comedy, and theatrical presentations. The totals do not include film and film festivals, which accounts for more than half of the Carolina Theatre’s annual attendance.

“If they’d allow us to include film ticket sales, we’d easily be in the Top 50 worldwide,” Nocek said.
The Carolina Theatre, at 1,044 seats, is the second-smallest venue in the Top 100. Only the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, ranked at No. 94 with 850 seats, is smaller.

The Top 100 includes three North Carolina venues – the Durham Performing Arts Center, at No. 2, the Belk Theatre in Charlotte at No. 26, and the Carolina Theatre. By placing DPAC and the Carolina on the list, Durham is one of only a handful of cities with multiple venues in the Top 100.

This recognition is the latest in a series of achievements since President/CEO Bob Nocek took over in July of 2010, and since the Carolina reopened in October following a nearly $2 million renovation by the City of Durham, which owns the facility.
The past 10 months have been a period of significant growth for the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., the non-profit which operates the Carolina complex under a management agreement with the City of Durham. Among the achievements have been:
•    Ticket sales for live events in 2011-12 exceeded $1.14 million, a stunning increase of 120% over the prior year and 88% over the theatre’s previous record year.
•    Grew attendance for the Star Series, events presented by the Carolina, by 92% over the prior year and attracted over 60% new customers.
•    Sold out Fletcher Hall 11 times in 2011-12, including 9 Star Series events.
•    After reopening in October following renovations, film revenue increased by 36% for the same period a year earlier.
•    Grew the Arts Discovery series, which offers educational programs for children in 12 counties, by 25% over the prior year.

“My vision for the Carolina Theatre has always been about increasing the level of activity and the quality and variety of what we offer,” Nocek said. “I could see that the community wanted something more from the Carolina, and we’re encouraged by the response thus far. And we’re just getting started.”

Info on Bob Nocek:
Pollstar Top 100 List:


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