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Transfer

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Phantom of London
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Transfer#1
Posted: 1/12/09 at 1:37pm
Alright a show Producer wants to make money and plenty of the lovely stuff.

With so many big theatres now free in New York such an Neil Simon (got it right this time), Hilton, Shubet (I know a play is coming in, but its going be crap), St James, etc.

With Jersey Boys being a sell out at full price every ticket, wouldn't it make sense to transfer this show to a bigger house?
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legallysam
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re: Transfer#2
Posted: 1/12/09 at 1:43pm
tbh it's selling so well where it is, why bother going through the hassle of moving it. i wouldn't if i was a producer, just wouldn't be worth the money!
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exedore
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re: Transfer#2
Posted: 1/12/09 at 1:54pm
"With Jersey Boys being a sell out at full price every ticket, wouldn't it make sense to transfer this show to a bigger house?"

HELL NO!

One of the things which sells out a show is the perception of being sold out - e.g. if it's always full and just on this side of difficult to get good tickets then you create an image of a hot show and that spurs on interest and drives demand. If Phantom had opened at the Dominion or Drury Lane it would have closed ages ago, but because it can still sell out the HM's on a regular basis it keeps interest up.
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Weez
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re: Transfer#3
Posted: 1/12/09 at 2:02pm
Also, the cost!

Think of it as moving house; you have to pay rent up until your last day in your current properly, you have to pay rent right from the first day in your new property, you've got a TON of stress involved in moving all your things across (moving house, divorce, and death are the three most stressful human experiences), and there'll probably be plenty of costs involved in getting your stuff from one property to the next.

It saves a LOT of money to stay put.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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re: Transfer#4
Posted: 1/12/09 at 2:48pm
Cost would certainly be a major problem with transfering it.
The house it has now is perfect at 1222 seats.

Cameron toyed long and hard in 1988 about transfferig 'Phantom' to the London Palladium. After he was shown a number of calculations etc regarding the cost of the move he abandoned the idea pretty fast. He was told along the way that it would certainly make the shows life a lot shorter. Her Majestys- 1200 / London Palladium 2300,thats a big difference in capacity. We all thought he was mad esp as ALW was all for the transfer. To think, if he had gone through with that move 'Phantom' may have closed many years ago!
Updated On: 1/13/09 at 02:48 PM
Winston3
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re: Transfer#5
Posted: 1/13/09 at 4:03am
I highly doubt that Jersey Boys would move anywhere. Keep in mind that moving is VERY expensive and the producers would end up loosing a ton of money in the process. On Broadway it's rare that a show transfers theatres unless they really need to. I mean the last popular show to move theatres was when August moved from the Imperial to The Music Box which was next door. And, that was a risky move because they were very close to recouping in the Imperial. Lucky for them they did recoup within a few weeks of the move but there was a chance that they wouldn't.

With a show like August I could see why it was worth taking the risk. And, in the end the risk did pay off.

Also, with some of the more recent show moves on Broadway the producers had deep pockets and could afford the move. Chicago has played 3 Broadway theatres in its 12 year run. Richard Rodgers, Shubert and the Ambassador. But that is because the Wisslers can afford it and have big pockets. Disney could afford to move Beauty and The Beast from The Palace to The Lunt, because, well they are Disney. The same reason for them being able to move Lion King to The Minskoff.

I am under the impression that 39 Steps did good business at The Cort because the same producers are moving it to the Helen Hayes. Which I think is a great fit for the show. Don't forget that yes, the show has played 3 theatres on Broadway. But, when it started out at The American Airlines theatre it was a roundabout production. The move to the Hayes is going to be its second theatre since it switched from being a non profit production and a commercial one.
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Phantom of London
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re: Transfer#6
Posted: 1/13/09 at 1:00pm
I have enjoyed reading your opposition on this thread.

So if Jersey Boys move to a house say with an extra 300 seats and charge an average of 75.76 (this is the average of what Jersey Boys grossed last week), for 8 shows a week.

Extra Capacity x Average Gross x Shows per week =

300 x 75.76 x 8 = 182k

So say to transfer the show costs a 1m,(be 100k if you deduct legal costs), they would recoup this in 6-7 weeks. Worth doing?
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Mark_E
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re: Transfer#7
Posted: 1/13/09 at 1:31pm
No, because chances are it might not sell out those extra 300 seats.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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re: Transfer#8
Posted: 1/13/09 at 1:56pm
No, not really. Shows just don't transfer these days like they did years ago. Musicals very rarely will move and if it does its mostly to a slightly smaller house. Plays on the other hand transfer quit often. 'The Woman In Black' which is currently at the Fortune has had 4 West End theatres- 5 if you count its original home of The Lyric, Hammersmith. The NT production of 'An Inspector Calls' had 4 West End homes inc the NT run.
Even a money spinner like 'Les Miserables' down graded from the Palace to the Queens.
Updated On: 1/13/09 at 01:56 PM
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Phantom of London
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re: Transfer#9
Posted: 1/13/09 at 2:35pm
The Jersey Boys would sell out, remember they do not do TKTS, this potion can always be exercised if need be!

It was quite commonplace for musicals in New York to move house a few years ago, e.g. Fiddler on the Roof, which opened at The Imperial, then moved to The Majestic before ending up at the Broadway.

South Pacific opened at The Majestic before moving further up the road to The Broadway.

42nd Street opened at The Winter Gardens, then onto The Majestic before crossing the street into St James Theatre.

As you can see these are 3 examples of productions that have moved in New York, even to bigger houses, many shows did this in those days.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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re: Transfer#10
Posted: 1/13/09 at 2:43pm
'In those days' yes.
Updated On: 1/13/09 at 02:43 PM
exedore
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re: Transfer#11
Posted: 1/13/09 at 3:30pm
Phantom: You're also forgetting the additional costs associated with a larger theatre that come out of the weekly income, and with a known hit any owner worth their salt will try to take a higher percent than the original owner taking a risk (which JBoys was - I knew two people on the show when it was going in and everybody was on edge when talking about chances of success.)
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Scripps2
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re: Transfer#12
Posted: 1/13/09 at 4:22pm
"You're also forgetting the additional costs associated with a larger theatre that come out of the weekly income"

That was the bit that I saw missing as well.

An accountant will run various scenarios of the differing possibilities (% of takings at the box office, increased theatre rent, economic circumstances) and come up with a risk profile that will indicate for all the different possibilties what a reasonable expectation of the outcome would be. If that expectation was positive the producer would go for it; if negative stay put.

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re: Transfer#13
Posted: 1/13/09 at 4:51pm
On Broadway, shows have not moved to bigger houses in YEARS. They always move to smaller houses. The thing is, a show moves only if it's making money, but they're not quite selling out anymore, so by downsizing the theatre, they "sell out" again. The Lion King transfer is a little bit out of the ordinary. The Minskoff, its new home, is only a round 100 seats smaller than the New Amsterdam. The only true reason the show moved was so that Mary Poppins could open at the flagship theatre.

Yes, back in the day, shows did move to bigger houses. But that was when costs were much lower, and eventually when demand died down, the show would move to a smaller house again. Nowadays, it's too expensive to go from the August Wilson to the Neil Simon and then the Barrymore years later. With their show already making over $1 million a week, producers of Jersey Boys really have no need to move.
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Winston3
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re: Transfer#14
Posted: 1/13/09 at 5:21pm
The last show to move into a bigger theatre was the revival of Chicago. The Richard Rodgers theatre where the revival started out had 1468 seats. Yes, in total it moved 3 times. It's first move was from the Richard Rodgers to The Shubert. The Shubert has 1380 seats. The Shubert has 106 more seats then its original home. Granted, Chiacgo was forced to move from The Shubert to The Ambadassor which is much smaller the The Shubert.
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