Do tourists like matinees perfs? Do city residents like Tuesday eves? Results of study revealed.

Our friends at Telecharge, led by the Swami himself, recently completed a very detailed study of our audience and their favorite performance times.  In the words of TCharge, the objective of the study was as follows:

“We decided to see if there were significant differences in the geographical breakdown of customers by performance, using sales data from Broadway shows for performances between August 31, 2009 and January 3, 2010.”

In other words, does a Manhattanite want to go to a show on a weekday or a weekend?  What about your Aunt Sally who comes in from the Shore?  And what about the family of four from New Mexico who comes in for Christmas?

Here is what Telecharge found out, and there are a few surprises:



are less likely to buy matinees than evenings.

theatergoers prefer matinees over evenings. 

who live in Manhattan prefer Tuesday over Friday or Saturday night.  

·        People who live in Manhattan prefer Thursday performances over ANY other night.

tourists attend the theatre on Thursday evening than on Wednesday.


(customers from outside the tri-state area) are less likely to buy matinees
than evening performances. 

o    The matinees all have
a below average percentage of sales from tourists

§  The overall average
for all performances was 51%, with the lowest percentage at 41% and the highest
at 66%. 

o    The percentage of
tourists buying for Wednesday matinees was 44%. 

o    Sunday matinee was
the performance with the lowest percentage of tourists at 41%, followed by
Wednesday matinee, then Saturday matinee at 48%. 

o    There are more orders
from tourists for Friday night than Saturday night; the performance with the
next largest number of orders from tourists is Saturday matinee followed by a
big drop to Tuesday, then Thursday evening, Sunday matinee, and then Wednesday

o    The performance with
the highest percentage of tourists is Sunday evening at 66% followed by Monday
evening at 65%; however, there are more tourists seeing a show on Monday night
than Sunday night.  Friday evening is next at 57% while Saturday night is

buyers prefer matinees.  There are more people from the suburbs seeing
theatre on a Saturday or Sunday matinee than there are seeing a show on Friday
or Saturday night. 

o    There are more people
from the suburbs seeing a show on Wednesday afternoon than there are for any
evening performance, including Friday and Saturday night.

o    The performance with
the most orders from the suburbs is Saturday matinee followed by Sunday
matinee, then Wednesday matinee, Saturday evening, and Friday evening.

at 7

o    There are more orders
from tourists for Tuesday night than for Thursday evenings or Sunday matinees.

o    There are more orders
from people living in Manhattan for Tuesday night than for Friday or Saturday

buyers.  Tuesday is the second most popular performance of the week for
people from Manhattan, after Thursday.  Friday night is third, then
Saturday, and Wednesday night.  The weekend matinees are a distant sixth
and seventh in order.


Customers in the Boroughs gravitate
towards weekends:  Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee,
Friday night, then Tuesday night.  


Pretty cool stuff, right?  The above data allows you to target your initiatives accordingly.  Trying to appeal to city dwellers in January?  You now know when they are most likely to want to come to the theater.  Conversely, you now know when they don’t, and when you may have to dig into your marketing/discounting bag o’ tricks to get them out of their hobbit holes.

The other big question that the Telecharge report poses is about that matinee performance time.  Sure, suburbanites love them, but if our tourists are the bread and butter of our audience, maybe during peak tourist season, that matinee time should be later, giving them more time to dance around the city before they sit down to watch dancing chorus boys and girls.

Telecharge is promising some more research on this subject, and when it’s released, I’ll release it to you.

Tremendous thanks to them for doing the work, and for sharing it with us.

Because sharing information makes us all stronger.



Click here to play!

  • wendywriter says:

    Do you suppose that we locals like Tuesdays per se or like the 7:00 curtain? I certainly appreciate the ability to get home in time to get some stuff done.
    Re: Thursday. I’ve also noted that restaurants tend to be surprisingly (to me) crowded on Thursdays.
    I wonder if more Manhattanites go to shows on Thursday because they THINK that more people are going to shows on weekends and don’t want to compete for tix? Or are they all going out of town for the weekend? Or are they avoiding suburbanites and tourists?

  • Colemanphoto says:

    Wow! Thanks Ken… confirms some suspicions. 🙂

  • It would be interesting to see similar research at the regional level. For example, take productions of the Center Theatre Group here in Los Angeles. How would the makeup of a Saturday or Sunday matinee crowd differ from an evening crowd? Does the nature and timing of transit in different cities make a difference? I know that, for me, we tend to see Sunday matinees or Saturday evenings simply because our daughter is busy with tech crew at her high school on Saturdays, and I get up early Monday through Friday, eliminating most evening slots from consideration.

  • Suz says:

    Well, I buck that trend. I live outside the tri-state area and I purposely come down to the City on a Wed so that I can see two shows in one day (if I’m gonna make the trip . . . ). Granted I can take a Wed off from work which makes me unique but I’ve been doing this for years because I can’t afford to stay in the City on a weekend anymore.

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