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Giving the Majestic Theater Back to the City


by Jerome Weeks 14 May 2009

Channel 8/WFAA reports that the Dallas Summer Musicals is giving the Majestic back to the city at the end of June, having already lost $1 million in running it.  The DSM’s president Michael Jenkins is quoted as saying, “When we first took over the Majestic Theater it was used 6 percent of the time. I’m […]

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Channel 8/WFAA reports that the Dallas Summer Musicals is giving the Majestic back to the city at the end of June, having already lost $1 million in running it.  The DSM’s president Michael Jenkins is quoted as saying, “When we first took over the Majestic Theater it was used 6 percent of the time. I’m happy to tell you now it’s 69 percent occupied.”

Reporter Jason Whitely: “Still, DSM admits it’s not enough. The Majestic needs to be used 90 percent of the time to break even, Jenkins said….

Finding a new operator in a difficult economy is likely to be a challenge.

“I’m certainly concerned,” said Maria Munoz-Blanco, Dallas’ director of Cultural Affairs. “It’s change, and change always makes you a little bit nervous. If we could have kept DSM we would have done it. They were a wonderful operator. In the current circumstances, we have to look for a plan B.”

Along with installing a new air conditioning system, the city will soon replace the Majestic’s roof. The improvements are designed to reduce operating costs, Munoz-Blanco said.

And then there’s that little problem of the increased competition from the Dallas Performing Arts Center. Looked at one way, Dallas has more performance halls, which is good. Looked at another way, Dallas has made sure its older facilities will be under-utilized.

When Bass Hall was built in Fort Worth, I asked, what will this mean for Casa Manana? Sure enough, more than half of that company’s mainstage shows are now at Bass Hall.

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  • Grace

    I don’t know anything about the various business arrangements or the difference in facilities between venues (seating, accessibility, etc.), but for the theatre-going experience, I personally prefer the Majestic to Music Hall and would rather DSM used the former as home base for their shows.