How Theater Can Save The Malls . . . of America.

I spent my teenage years either at the mall, going to the mall, or coming from the mall.  Give me an Orange Julius, a Chess King, and a Spencer Gifts and I might as well have been at Disney World.

Now?  Shoot, my 10-Month-old daughter probably won’t even know what a Mall is unless she watches a future Netflix documentary when she’s 15 called, “What the @#$% happened to the Malls?”

Because they are going out of business.  And fast.

Here’s just one of the tons of articles about the “death of the Mall” and how these giant monstrosities are becoming the drive-in movies of our time.  Just last week, Mall staple Payless shoes announced they were closing all their US stores, another victim to the online retail movement.

All that empty real estate gave me an idea, which honestly I just stole from the successful Storefront Theater movement in Chicago.

That’s right . . . you see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

See, shopping for stuff in stores is out.

Live entertainment is in.

If I were a Mall with a bunch of empty storefronts, I’d invite new emerging organizations in . . . and start a Mall Theater Movement.

Imagine a former Payless that housed a children’s theater company.  Or an ex-Sharper Image store turned into a home for a Shakespeare troupe company.  Or heck, a pop-up haunted house around Halloween, Rudolph at Christmas, or even a “Little Shop of Horrors” in the former pet store.

So many of these Mall storefronts are empty and tons of artists need space for their shows, so why not?

There are probably even some tax savings for the Mall Cos. just for cutting non-profits good deals on rent, never mind all the goodwill these big corps would get.

A Mall Theatre Company is an example of a win-win.  You use what people are excited about these days (LIVE!  EXPERIENCES!) to infuse energy into the areas where they’re not excited (MALLS!).

Like it?

I do.  So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to email/snail mail this blog to all the big Mall companies out there and hope that something takes root.

BUT there’s probably an even better, faster solution for YOU to get a space for YOUR show at a Mall.  Go there yourself.  Cut a deal.  Make something happen.  Be one of our #5000By2025 by taking the Mall into your own hands.

Someone had to be the first theater company in Chicago to move into a storefront. And look at what has happened as a result.  An entire movement!

Here’s to you starting a movement of your own.

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Want to know how to promote your show and yourself in this biz?  Click here for an action plan on how to do get yourself out there, even if you hate the idea of having to!

Broadway Grosses w/e 2/17/2019: More Chill, More Money.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 18, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

Podcast Episode 178 — Broadway Licensing President, Sean Cercone

If you listen to this podcast, in the midst of Sean’s passion for our art form, you’ll hear a lot of data and stats roll off his tongue like he was a baseball nerd talking about the batting averages and RBI stats for the Yankees.

He chats about the # of high schools in the US, the percentage of licensing in the global market, etc., etc.  His approach to licensing is firmly based on market research and data and how he can use that to get more theater into the world.

And it’s working.

Broadway Licensing has only been around a few years, but they are already making their mark and acquiring titles like crazy.  And his data-driven approach is why I gave him the rights to this show, which is already starting to light up the licensing market.

Licensing is such an ENORMOUS part of the Broadway economic model, yet it’s one we don’t think about enough when launching our shows, which is why I wanted Sean on the podcast.

Listen in to hear us chat about . . .

  • The biggest pain points of theaters around the world who want to license properties.
  • Should we release our titles to the subsidiary market earlier than we have been?
  • Can I show make a big splash in licensing that never plays NYC at all?
  • The most important characteristics of a popular show in the high school market.
  • How to market a show for licensing.

And his answer to my Genie question is so unexpected for a numbers guys like him.  Listen in to hear his heartfelt response.

And here’s to your shows getting licensed as often as Oklahoma!

Click here for my podcast with Sean.

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

My Whiteboard Workshop Episode #14: The 3 Keys to a Super Demo

Watch this episode of the White Board Workshop for my “3 Keys to a Super Demo” for your musical!

I hope you enjoy and if you do, share it.  And if you want to see the past thirteen episodes click here.

For more tips like these, check out  The Producer’s Perspective PRO!



Broadway Grosses w/e 2/10/2019: A Slight Uptick in Grosses Sets the Stage for the Spring Season

Grosses this week were up by about 4% and attendance was just slightly higher improving by 5%. Overall, most shows posted increases. The biggest jumps came from Phantom of the Opera, Kinky Bootsand Beautiful.

As the industry preps for several new plays and musicals to open this spring, we received word last week that Anastasia will play its final performance on March 31. It won’t be in time for something to open this season, but I would expect an announcement soon from the next tenant.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name GrossGross  TotalAttn  %Capacity AvgPdAdm
ALADDIN $1,141,386.20 13,483 97.59% $84.65
ANASTASIA $545,061.30 7,888 86.26% $69.10
BEAUTIFUL $682,323.09 7,816 95.22% $87.30
CHICAGO $617,923.65 7,728 89.44% $79.96
CHOIR BOY $379,818.55 4,739 92.99% $80.15
COME FROM AWAY $911,699.90 8,495 101.52% $107.32
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,205,216.25 7,964 101.17% $151.33
FROZEN $1,289,423.60 13,064 96.97% $98.70
HAMILTON $3,108,317.00 10,757 101.79% $288.96
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $1,947,680.50 12,976 100.00% $150.10
KING KONG $724,935.43 10,759 77.38% $67.38
KINKY BOOTS $740,858.20 8,653 75.96% $85.62
MEAN GIRLS $1,010,515.38 9,240 94.29% $109.36
MY FAIR LADY $869,481.50 7,509 87.80% $115.79
NETWORK $1,025,682.98 7,120 100.21% $144.06
PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL $825,294.60 8,099 86.68% $101.90
THE BAND’S VISIT $528,202.00 7,297 87.79% $72.39
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,018,885.00 8,567 102.28% $118.93
THE CHER SHOW $1,004,437.50 10,315 93.43% $97.38
THE FERRYMAN $786,854.71 7,175 88.02% $109.67
THE LION KING $1,742,668.00 13,495 99.46% $129.13
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $813,236.68 10,461 81.47% $77.74
THE PROM $527,155.25 6,802 81.36% $77.50
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $1,539,570.51 11,643 101.42% $132.23
TRUE WEST $528,398.30 5,329 90.02% $99.16
WAITRESS $701,149.30 7,679 91.85% $91.31
WICKED $1,445,082.50 14,667 98.23% $98.53
TOTALS $27,661,257.88 249,720 92.62% $108.36
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON +$5,642,680.73      
Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, General Manager for DTE Management. Find out more here!