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2004 Year

ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
New York's Broadway theaters posted a record $748.9 million in revenue this year, 3.2% more than in 2003, the League of American Theaters and Producers reported Tuesday. Paid attendance, or the number of tickets sold for Broadway shows, reached 11.3 million. That's up 2.2% from last year, the trade group said. Midway through the 2004-05 Broadway season, which runs from June to June, revenue and ticket sales are little changed.
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BUSINESS
December 28, 2004 | Leslie Earnest, Times Staff Writer
How are holiday retail sales looking three days after Christmas? It depends on whom you ask. According to one estimate released Monday, credit card purchases through Christmas Eve were a sturdy 8.1% ahead of last year. And that "would indicate that we did in fact have a strong holiday season," said Michael McNamara, director of research for MasterCard Advisors, the unit of MasterCard International that released the report.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2004 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
If you think you had a rough year, imagine what it must've been like to be Michael Eisner's lawyer. Everywhere you looked this year, the longtime Walt Disney Co. chief was embroiled in an ugly dispute, often with one of his own key business partners. It was hard to say which high-profile feud inspired the most malicious gossip. Was it the ongoing shareholder trial over the severance package valued at $140 million that Eisner awarded to his former pal Michael Ovitz?
TRAVEL
December 26, 2004 | Jane Engle, Times Staff Writer
Americans this year took to the skies and highways in numbers not seen since 2000, the boom year before the bust that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Even business fliers came back. So let's celebrate with a list of who was naughty and nice this year to people on the go. For example, we paid more for hotels in New York (naughty) but flew there seemingly for pennies (nice). Here's my scorecard, or Santa's list, if you will, for the travel industry in 2004: * U.S. airlines were .
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Don Shirley
The Ricardo Montalban Nosotros Foundation acquired the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood in 2000 and pledged to turn it into a professional center for Latino performing arts. Four years later, last May 8, the venue was officially renamed the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. But where are the artists? A $125,000 series of play readings briefly occupied the theater in June, after its christening.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Diane Haithman
When it opened its doors in fall 2003, critics hailed Walt Disney Concert Hall as a shining example of contemporary architecture. But months before opening night, neighbors of the undulating stainless steel structure at 1st Street and Grand Avenue were already grumbling that maybe it was a little too shiny.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Robert Hilburn
Ever since PJ Harvey's superb debut album, "Dry," arrived 12 years ago, critics have asked whether the current year will finally be the one when the diminutive British singer-songwriter moves beyond cult status. Impressed by blues-driven music reminiscent at times of Led Zeppelin's power and by her revealing lyrics about sexual politics, U.S. pop critics named "Dry" the fourth-best album of the year in the Village Voice's annual poll.
TRAVEL
December 26, 2004 | Susan Spano, Times Staff Writer
I moved to Paris in March. Some would say my timing couldn't have been worse, with the value of the dollar eroding and French-American relations icy. But I think there was no better time for shaking up the gray matter and seeing things from a different angle, which is one of the great reasons to travel.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Lynn Smith
The sighting of Janet Jackson's right breast during the Super Bowl halftime show this year lasted only seconds, but there appears to be no end to the fallout. The so-called Nipplegate scandal launched a yearlong crackdown on indecency by the Federal Communications Commission, resulting in time delays on live shows, the revival of the V-chip, and record fines.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2004 | Mark Swed
On June 25, the Hollywood Bowl unveiled its ballyhooed new shell at a gala concert. It was a disaster. Sure, the shell was more spacious and better equipped than the old one, but the sound was terrible, so bad that the first Bowl recording, from 1928, had more bloom and honesty than the tubby, tinny lackluster results heard that night. The problem wasn't entirely the fault of newfangled towers of power -- loudspeakers stacked one atop another practically to the clouds.
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