February 3, 2009:
"[G]rim-faced Broadway industry leaders pleaded bluntly and plainly with New York legislative budget writers on Tuesday to reject Gov. David A. Paterson’s proposed tax on theater tickets, which would raise prices about 8 percent....The four industry leaders — representing theater owners, producers, actors and union members — argued that the tax would hurt Broadway ticket sales and ultimately lead to layoffs and closings. They warned that the tax would set off a chain reaction that would deplete tourist business for restaurants and hotels and work for scenery carpenters, costume-makers, dry cleaners and others who contribute to theater productions."
May 21, 2009:
"Broadway theater owners and producers fought vigorously and successfully this winter to block a new state tax on theater tickets, saying such a levy would anger theater-goers and damage business during the recession. Yet at the same time, they were quietly imposing a new fee of their own on patrons of Broadway. Since November, the Broadway League — the trade association of owners and producers — has been charging a $1 'league fee' on most tickets bought at the TKTS discount booths in New York.....
"In an interview Thursday, Ms. St. Martin said that the league’s board 'thought long and hard and hesitated before approving this fee.' She said that producers and owners were sensitive to the high price of tickets — and to the incongruity of adding a fee specifically on people who are seeking discounts at TKTS to go to the theater. The league has not imposed the fee on people who pay the full face value of tickets.....'It’s not ideal, I know, but the fee helps pay for things that have added value for theatergoers,' Ms. St. Martin said...'We don’t consider it a hidden fee, and anyone who asks about it, we’re happy to explain it.'"
Among those "added value" benefits for theatergoers, by the way, the League includes "marketing"--which, I take to mean more selfless public service initiatives like this.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
February 3, 2009: