Sputtering economy not enought to put Neptune in the red - Metro US

Sputtering economy not enought to put Neptune in the red

Neptune Theatre’s box office suffered from the slumping economy last year, but still turned a $73,000 surplus, the theatre’s general manager told those in attendance at Thursday’s annual general meeting.

That’s the ninth straight year the organization has run in the black.

“We changed from an organization that was experiencing very strong growth to one in which our expectations became more modest,” said Neptune general manager Doreen Malone.

“In 2009, growth stalled. For the first time in several years, our subscriber base declined, we didn’t have a summer extension (for The Producers) and we had a couple of fairly large shortfalls at the box office,” she explained. “In October, when the stock market plummeted, our customers seemed to go into hibernation for about two months.”

Slow sales in the fall were partially offset by the blockbuster performance of High School Musical, which set a one-day record for sales. Skin Flick and Ubuntu also performed strongly. Government and sponsors kicked in cash, too.

Malone called it a “transitional year,” noting that artistic director Ron Ulrich left Neptune last year to be replaced by George Pothitos.

Pothitos is currently directing Neptune’s 47th season opener, The Game of Love and Chance.

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