London Theatre Enjoys Record-Breaking Year

News   London Theatre Enjoys Record-Breaking Year
The Society of London Theatre has announced both record attendance and box-office revenues for the year 2008: Total attendance was 13,807,286 (up one percent from the previous record, 13,636,540, which was set in 2007), and gross income was £480,563,674 (up three percent from the previous year's record take of £469,729,135).

London producers and theatre owners do not release weekly box-office figures, but the figures are collected cumulatively by SOLT, the trade body that represent the theatre owners and producers, and relate to the 52 major theatres, both commercial and grant-aided, in Central London. In a press statement, Nica Burns, the president of the Society of London Theatre, said, "It was a quite remarkable year. Behind these figures are many very talented hard-working people putting on and selling world-class shows that people actually want to see. There's a lot of economic doom and gloom out there, but it would seem people still want to be entertained and stimulated in numbers."

Richard Puflord, chief executive of the Society, added, "These figures are good news for the performing arts, and for the UK economy. Theatregoers are out there spending money not just at our box offices but in hotels, restaurants and shops in the capital. 2009 will undoubtedly be tough, but we start the year with the theatre capital of the world in good health."

Musicals ended the year one percent up from last year (total attendance was 9,046,375 with earning revenues of £334,408,647), while plays were one percent down overall, with total attendance of £2,928,094 and earning revenues of £71,930,361. The remaining category of dance, opera and other entertainments rose one percent from last year, with attendance of 1,832,817 and earning revenues of £74,224,666.

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