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'Single Ticket' Year For Center

October 16, 1987|RANDY LEWIS | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County Performing Arts Center will be booked more, probably sold out less and promoting itself more intensively to overcome "the myth that you can't get single tickets here" during its second year.

Those are goals that are reflected in the 1988 budget figures released Thursday.

Center expenses for the 1988 calendar year are projected at $15.4 million, up from $11.5 million during calendar 1987 and largely due to greater advertising and marketing costs, Center President Thomas R. Kendrick said.

The Center is also projecting a $4.8-million 1988 operating deficit, phrased in the budget as an "income gap," a figure that is also up from the 1987 deficit of $4.1 million. Kendrick attributed the higher figure to $600,000 put into a reserve for "repair and replacement" fund for future upkeep costs.

"The more programming we have, the more expensive it will be and the more (operating) subsidies we will require." Although Kendrick and Center Chairman Henry T. Segerstrom said the Center's base of subscribers is "tremendous," they pointed out that efforts during 1988 will be focused on developing its single-ticket market.

"We want to crack the illusion that single tickets aren't available here," Kendrick said. During the first year, however, when most programs were sold out with subscriptions alone, Kendrick said: "It's true that for the single ticket buyer, there was very little entry."

Segerstrom said: "In other words, we want an engineering student from Cal State Fullerton who's got an impulse and maybe he doesn't want to study, if he wants to see what's in the hall he can come down here and take a chance. Or a premed student out at UCI or a retired couple living at Leisure World--we want people to know that there are going to be tickets available like that."

Kendrick said the number of performances is expected to increase about 10% from the 215 shows during the first season.

"It is unrealistic to expect that attendance will continue at that (90% capacity) first-year level," Kendrick said. "We expect attendance to drop to a more normal level of 65 to 70% average for a multi-discipline facility like this."

At a Thursday morning meeting, the Center's board of directors also unanimously elected its first Latino board member, Ignacio E. Lozano Jr. of Newport Beach, a center donor and editor-in-chief of the Spanish language newspaper La Opinion.

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