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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 19:24 GMT
Broadway suffers ticket slump
The Producers is one of the few shows pulling in sell-out crowds
The Producers is one of the few shows pulling in sell-out crowds
New York's Broadway shows are counting the cost of the 11 September attacks after a big drop in demand for tickets last year.

Box-office sales in 2001 were down 5.6% on the previous year, while the number of tickets sold fell from almost seven million to just under 6.5 million.

This comes despite a big increase in cinema ticket sales, up 8.5%.

Several shows including Kiss Me Kate and The Rocky Horror Picture Show were forced to close early.

Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers, told the New York Daily News that Broadway faces a tough challenge.

He said: "Last year, on the average, one-half of the audiences had bought tickets at least four weeks in advance.

"For January and February of this year, the advance number as of right now is 15%. That's quite a drop, from 50% to 15%."

Broadway hopes ticket promotion will bring back crowds
Broadway hopes ticket promotion will bring back crowds
Broadway bosses have been forced to launch a massive promotion campaign to get people back into the stalls.

Until 16 January, tourists spending more than $500 (350) at a group of shops, restaurants, museums and attractions will be given a free pair of tickets to shows.

The promotion cost New York City $2.5m (1.75m) and saw 50,000 tickets bought, with 16,000 given to charities and World Trade Centre rescue workers.

The promotion is not pleasing everyone though.

Charities who work with New York's poor say they are facing huge budget cuts too and that keeping the lights on Broadway should not be getting such a high priority.

Mr Bernstein said: "The next month will be very crucial for all the tourism industries in New York."

See also:

18 Dec 01 | Americas
New York's Broadway ticket giveaway
03 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Broadway shows recovery signs
02 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Beauty threatened with closure
27 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway box office receipts rise
24 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Reprieve for Kiss Me Kate
25 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Broadway begins fight back
21 Sep 01 | Americas
Tourism shaken to the core
18 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Cash aid for struggling Broadway
18 Sep 01 | Arts
Broadway shows signal closure
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