Thalia Mara Auditorium generated the most revenue it ever has this year. While the attendance at the Jackson auditorium is substantially lower than in past years, Thalia Mara is making more money as it enjoyed revenue of $248,050 in FY 2015-2016. JJ obtained the attendance and revenue information through a public records request.
The revenue is gross profit. Thalia Mara did not generate even one dollar of revenue per customer for many years. The attendance figures were padded by events that didn't charge admission (such as children's events.) The result was a turnstile count that seemed profitable but in reality brought little money to Jackson. Deputy Director of Human and Cultural Services Michael Raff told JJ in an email:
Before renovations , we had 2362 seats. Now we have 2040 seats. That is 322 seats less than what we used to have.
Various groups bring children's shows but there have been a lot less morning bussed in children's shows than in the past. JPS's money was cut for JPS children's shows. There have been less JPS children's shows in general but the Mississippi Symphony used to bring the majority of them . Last year, the Mississippi Symphony brought no children's shows. They used to bring 4 JPS children's shows at a time and now they are bringing 2 at a time. (KF note: as stated earlier, children didn't pay admission.).
There was one year with no Broadway shows. The previous Broadway lessee brought 2 shows at a time and the current Broadway lessee brings 1 show at a time (except for special shows). The Mississippi Opera was not here for 2 years with any performance s, nor children's shows.
However, the revenue per visitor shows the real trend and gives a more accurate picture despite the closures or number of events. JJ divided the revenue for a fiscal year by that year's visitors and determined the $/visitor. Read it and weep.
Fiscal Year: Dollars of Revenue/visitor
There are more shows that range from hip-hop to Widespread Panic to Robert Plant and to yes, The Nutcracker. Hal and Mal's handles bartending duties. Service is quick and more professional. One no longer has to travel to the basement to get a drink as there are several bartenders at each level. Guess what? Revenue from alcohol sales has skyrocketed. More revenue streams tend to generate.... more revenue. The numbers don't lie. Thalia Mara is generating more revenue than it ever has despite having fewer visitors. However, the number of paying visitors is probably at an all-time high.
Let's hope Thalia Mara stays on the right track.