Theater Managers Struggle with Lower Subscriptions

Patrons are skipping subscriptions, and theater managers are hustling.

A dragging economy and competition from a range of cheap entertainment options are reconfiguring the culture business in New York City. Revenue from subscribers fell 18 percent in the five years ending in 2011, according to a survey of 113 nonprofit theater groups by the Theatre Communications Group.

Philip Boroff, reporter for Bloomberg News, said there’s been a psychological shift, particularly since 9/11. “Part of it is just people not wanting to commit way ahead,” he said. But he also explained it's a money issue. “There’s the economy, and that reverberates in so many different ways.”

Roundabout Theater’s been hit particularly hard. “Because it’s the biggest subscription theater in New York City, they’ve fallen the furthest,” Boroff said. “Their subscribers have fallen about 40 percent.”

Listen to Host Amy Eddings’ full interview with Philip Boroff by clicking above.