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Attendance Increases in Cerritos Center's Second Season : Venues: Manager attributes slight rise to programming and to audiences' increased familiarity with the facility.

July 08, 1994|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CERRITOS — Paid attendance during the first full season at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts averaged 81% of capacity, up two points from last year's inaugural, abbreviated season, center officials announced Thursday. The center's 1993-94 season ended in May.

Center general manager Victor Gotesman said he was pleased with the new numbers, given that paid-attendance rates for new performing-arts facilities typically decline as the venue's newness wears off.

"I think they're great," Gotesman said, attributing the slight rise largely to second-year programming as well as to audiences' increased familiarity with the center. The percentage of sold-out shows during the latest season jumped to 61%, seven points better than the center's five-month debut season, he added. "It's hard to beat that."

Cerritos tallied 103 performances during the season that opened last August. Among the most popular attractions were Whitney Houston, George Benson, Paul Anka and the Vienna Choir Boys.

Ticket revenue for the season totaled roughly $4 million, Gotesman said. For the 1994-95 fiscal year, the city of Cerritos, which owns and operates the center, has approved a budget of $8.4 million, up $600,000 from the previous year. And, as it has annually, the City Council allotted $2 million in programming subsidies and another $2 million for operations.

Center officials also reported that about 30% of 159,946 available tickets have been sold for the coming season, which starts Sept. 16. That exceeds the number of advance tickets sold by the same time last year, said center marketing director Walter Morlock. It brings current ticket revenues to $2.1 million toward this year's goal of $5 million in advance sales.

"We're very pleased," Morlock said. "We're shooting to be at 50% of our total ticket revenue goal by the end of this month."

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