Violent crime surges, high costs of production and increasing ticket prices are keeping theater goers away from the Broadway scene, according to reports.
Nearly two million fewer tourists have visited New York City since theaters reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic closed down musicals and stage plays for many months, according to MSN.
The biggest surprise is the impending closure of Phantom of the Opera, a classic production that has been on Broadway consistently since 1988. The plan is to close down the longest-running show in February 2023, shocking many who never expected this. The musical has performed more than 13,925 shows. Producer Cameron Mackintosh says it’s due to falling ticket sales and inflation. The cost of running the show has increased $100,000 from years before COVID-19 hit, according to Breitbart.
In addition to higher ticket prices, the violence in New York City – robberies, shootings, rape and assaults – is keeping visitors away. Breitbart reported that “grand larceny has surged a stunning 48.3 percent, while robbery is up nearly 40 percent.”
Affected by the closure of Phantom are 130 cast members, crew and orchestra. The 6,000-bead replica of the Paris Opera House light will go dark after 35 years, according to The Marcet.
“Rising salaries and other costs cannot be offset by higher labour productivity because each performance requires the same number of people for the same output,” reported The Marcet, saying it is due to high inflation, which also includes increased costs of energy.
Another classic, The Music Man revival, will close its doors in January 2023.
Two months ago, it was announced that the award-winning, popular musicals Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, and Tina would close, as well.
Gross income on ticket sales has been declining steadily since May 2022, from nearly $37,750,000 to a low of just over $20 million in early September. Visitors to the Big Apple account for 63 percent of Broadway show ticket purchases, according to the Broadway League.
Today’s crime is reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s when there was uncontrolled drug dealing, prostitution, and proliferation of pornography in Times Square. After John Portman had built the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in 1985, things turned around for the theater district, according to Spotlight on Broadway.
The New York Theater District has a long history. In 1868, the District was nothing but farmland belonging to the Hopper family. The Winter Garden Theater is located on the farm’s former site, according to Spotlight on Broadway.
In just a few short months, the most classic productions ever to hit Broadway, with all of their splendor and magnificence, will exist no longer.