The Church Basement Ladies Christmas show last week at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts helped push the venue to a high mark of 15,875 tickets sold over a June to December timespan. (Beth Whisman/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - There have been five sellouts this season so far at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.
Director Joel Aalberts said that breaks a record. Earlier this year, Bloomington's City Council was debating what to do with the venue as it was facing a fiscal year $1 million operating loss.
Aalberts said a quarter percent sales tax increase approved about a decade ago funds operations and bond repayment.
"A portion of that goes immediately back to bond repayments for the renovation of the BCPA. So, there are two different bonds that have to be paid off on that," Aalberts said.
Profits from the shows also help fund programs at the BCPA.
"The other statistic that I think is worth throwing out at this point is that in this last calendar year, we had 525 different events and activities at the BCPA out of 365 days," Aalberts said. "So that's rehersals, meetings, pancake breakfasts, public performances, you name it."
The five sell outs so far this season include Who's Live Anyway, the Price is Right live, Fiddler on the Roof, Mike Birbiglia, and Church Basement Ladies. Aalberts said he can't pinpoint just one reason.
"I think people are looking for good entertainment, we happen to have shows that connected with them and resonated with them that were priced the way that they could feel like it was a good value," Aalberts said. "They are spaced out nicely across the season. You see some national trends as well, Broadway did very well this last year."
Aalberts said according to an economic generator, the BCPA brings $5 million into the community annually by people who buy tickets, go out to eat, go shopping, hiring a babysitter and more.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.