Paid attendance during the first full season at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts averaged 81% capacity, up two points from the abbreviated 1993 inaugural season, center officials announced last week. The center's 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. Gotesman attributed 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. 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 Boys Choir.
Ticket revenue for the season totaled roughly $4 million, Gotesman said. For the 1994-95 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. The City Council, as it has annually, allotted $2 million in programming subsidies and another $2 million for operations.
Center officials reported that about 30% of 159,946 available tickets have been sold for the coming season, starting Sept. 16. The figure 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."
The lineup for next season includes Bill Cosby, Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Shirley MacLaine and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.