Ticket Sales Drive Theatre Restorations???
Date: 5 December 2003
West End ticketing is facing a few upheavals. Impresario Cameron Mackintosh has revealed plans to add a 75p "theatre restoration levy" on tickets sold for shows at his theatres, including next year's big musical Mary Poppins and, from when it transfers to the Prince of Wales in May 2004, the Abba blockbuster Mamma Mia!. Monies raised from the new levy will be deposited into a charitable fund set up specifically for essential repairs and upgrades for theatres. Earlier this year, Mackintosh announced that he would be spending £35 million renovating the seven theatres he currently owns as well as building the new 500-seat Sondheim Theatre in the heart of Shaftesbury Avenue (See News, 25 Jun 2003). More recently, a report from the Theatres Trust concluded that at least £250 million was needed to preserve all of the West End's 40 commercial theatres. In other ticketing developments, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatres has consolidated its three brands - RUT Ticketing, Ticketselect and Way Ahead - into one company called See which, according to the press release, aims to "become the UK's number one ticketing brand within five years". Watch out Ticketmaster!
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