We've talked a lot in past issues of Market Notes about weeknight curtain times and have presented a veritable mountain of survey data indicating that many customers prefer an earlier curtain. Now that our 2011 data is in, we thought we'd revisit the issue.
We were interested in finding out if our more seasoned theatergoers preferred a 7pm weekday curtain. These consumers are the core of our audience and are, perhaps, the most traditionalist segment of the theatergoing public.
The data is compelling for frequent theatergoers. Telecharge customers with 10 or more purchases in their buying history — which can span many years — preferred 7pm curtains on weekdays to 8pm curtains. When we combine those who prefer 7pm curtains with those whose preference depends on the length of the show, 60% lean towards wanting an earlier curtain on weeknights.
What may be even more compelling was a question we asked the 2011 Telecharge customers: "Should shows advertise if they have 7pm curtains?" The "yes" responses were surprisingly high. 90% said that shows should advertise if they have 7pm curtains. And that's true across the board; city-dwellers (89%), suburbanites (92%), and out-of-towners (91%) all want more information on 7pm curtains.
While early weeknight curtains might not be the right solution for every show, there are plenty of potential ticket buyers out there for those shows that do want to expand their 7pm offerings.