NEPA Scene Staff

Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre climbs to 99 in Top 200 worldwide theater list based on 2017 ticket sales

Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre climbs to 99 in Top 200 worldwide theater list based on 2017 ticket sales
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From a press release:

Pollstar, the concert tour industry’s primary trade publication, has released its 2017 mid-year reports, and the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Wilkes-Barre once again ranks No. 99 worldwide, based on ticket sales for the first half of the calendar year.

The mid-year report also reflects the Kirby Center’s highest ranking to date among Pennsylvania-based theaters, trailing only Philadelphia’s Academy of Music (No. 81) and Pittsburgh’s Stage AE (No. 55). The Kirby Center ranks one spot ahead of Hershey’s Hershey Theatre (No. 100).

Other Pennsylvania venues making list include Glenside’s Keswick Theatre (No. 108), the Sands Bethlehem Event Center (No. 109), Reading’s Santander Performing Arts Center (No. 142), Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater (No. 145), Easton’s State Theatre Center for the Arts (No. 155), and Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center (No. 173).

According to the publication, the Kirby Center sold 39,806 tickets through the first half of 2017, the most it has ever sold during any six-month period.

“We made a conscious decision a few years ago to step outside of the box and be more aggressive within the market,” said Will Beekman, executive director of the Kirby Center.

“There are so many great venues doing so many great things in this region. We’re just trying to keep up with them.

“What we find most satisfying is seeing our town and our venue on the same list as all of them.”

This marks the Kirby Center’s second consecutive Top 100 mid-year ranking. The Wilkes-Barre venue also ranked No. 99 halfway through 2016 before finishing the calendar year with its highest year-end ranking of No. 109.

The Kirby Center broke into the Top 200 listing for the first time in 2015, finishing the year at No. 114.

The top three slots on the 2017 mid-year report belong to Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico, London’s Royal Albert Hall, and The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Watch or listen to Episode 10 of the NEPA Scene Podcast with Beekman and Kirby Center Director of Sales & Marketing Anne Rodella to learn more about the venue and its upcoming season: