COSTA MESA — Officials of the Orange County Performing Arts Center said Thursday that the facility ended 1990 "solidly in the black" after all.
Giving their first public financial report since two months ago when center president Thomas R. Kendrick described 1990 as the hall's "most difficult year," Kendrick and chairman William Lyon said they finished the year with "an excess over 1990 expenses" of $475,663, thanks in large measure to a $460,780 cut in operating expenses.
These cuts, instituted in April when signs of an economic downturn became apparent, included eight staff positions left unfilled by the end of the year.
Citing trouble in the economy and the Middle East, Kendrick in a lengthy, taped interview with The Times in November predicted that ticket sales could be as much as $1 million behind the 5-year-old center's record-setting 1989.
Lyon and Kendrick said Thursday that 1990 revenue, mostly in the form of ticket sales, totaled $12.94 million ($1.39 million less than the $14.33 million in revenue Kendrick said the center took in in '89) and that expenditures were $17.46 million. The remaining $4.52 million--what Kendrick called "the inevitable income gap between expenses and revenues"--came from private contributions. The tax-exempt center receives no direct government funding.
The center raised just under $5 million in private annual operating support in 1990, Kendrick said. While this was $344,000 more than was raised in 1989, it was $747,934 less than originally budgeted. Nearly 12,000 donors contributed to the center, said Lyon.
"Consistently excellent programming, steadily increasing levels of annual contributions and continued high attendance provide further evidence that the center works--beautifully," Lyon said.
Of the $475,663 reported as "excess over 1990 expenses," $260,000 was used to replace programming development funds spent for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," a center co-production with the La Jolla Playhouse.