Twentynine Palms, Ca.,- Now that the tax filings have been posted for your review, let’s look a little closer at Theatre 29′s ticket sales as reported on the documents to see if Gary Daigneault’s claim of “the theatre has out grown this facility,” holds any water
2009 TAX RETURNS>LINK
There was $46,765 reported in ticket gross revenue, including the Halloween Haunt. There were 7 plays each with 12 performances, for a total of 84 performances, not counting the Halloween Haunt held during the month of October.
Using the figure of 91 seats means 7,644 seats were offered for that year. Assuming that ALL the revenue came from the theatre performances and removing any Halloween Haunt sales, that would mean the theatre reported a gross revenue of $6.11 per seat offered.
So it is mathematically impossible they are anywhere close to selling out!
Looking at it another way, assume that all their ticket sales are spread evenly across children, military, and adults at an average price of $10. General admission is $12, military & senior is $10, and children/students are $8. That would mean the percentage of seats sold was only 61 percent.
It is more likely they sell more $12 seats than $8 seats, but this analysis creates the highest % of seats that could be sold.
Okay, now let’s say all the seats sold at only $8 each, and the gross sales were from seated performances, then the percentage rises to only 76%.
So why does Gary Daigneault announce they were “completely sold out” on the radio and make statements to the 29 Palms City Council that the theatre has outgrown its facility? >LINK
Perhaps something else has outgrown the facility, but it’s not the attendance. Since ticket prices did not decrease, purchased seats must be falling as indicated in Theatre 29′s tax filings made public by this forum.
Does Theatre 29 hood-wink local charities with “Opening Night” special fund raising opportunities?
Theatre 29 pitches different charities to pre-purchase all 91 seats at a bargain price of $8 for a total of $728. The charities can then sell them at their own price as a fundraiser keeping the difference over and above their bargain price of $8. Daigneault has stated this form of generosity allows the theatre to recoup all their up front production costs of the “Opening Night” performance giving the charities reduced ticket prices to raise money for their own organization while claiming the proceeds of “Opening Night” sales go to charity.
The devil is in the details…
If the average GROSS ticket sales revenue is only $556, then Daigneault makes more money by “giving to charity” when the organizations purchase all the tickets for a cost of $728.
One more thing, if you add the extra “Opening Night” sales revenue to this analysis, the average attendance calculation would drop.
Another sales tool in Theatre 29′s marketing tool box is to pitch the pre-purchase of Season Tickets and “Support the Arts” with recurring donations promoting these as tax deductions because they are a non-profit 501(c)3 in good standing..or, are they?