Durham's Carolina Theatre is profitable again

jwise@newsobserver.comDecember 2, 2013 

Bob Nocek is CEO of the Carolina Theatre, which closed its 2012-13 fiscal year with a surplus of $68,700, its first finish in the black since 2008.


Carolina Theatre of Durham Inc. closed its 2012-13 fiscal year with a surplus of $68,700, its first finish in the black since 2008.

The nonprofit corporation announced the figure Monday.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Carolina CEO Bob Nocek said in a prepared statement.

Encouraging monthly reports led Nocek to predict a year-end surplus in June. An audited annual report given to the theater’s board last week confirmed his expectations.

The corporation’s annual reports and Internal Revenue returns showed net asset value falling by almost $300,000 from 2008 to 2011, and an operating deficit of more than $200,000 in fiscal 2010-11. Nocek had maintained, though, that the situation was improving.

“We’ve been saying for three years that a major rebuilding of the organization was happening,” said Nocek, who became the Carolina’s president and CEO in 2010. He expects to eliminate the accumulated deficit, now $266,135, within four years.

“We have made this organization profitable, and we did it while increasing ticket sales, concessions and rental of the building,” Nocek said. “This organization had fallen behind in nearly every area, and we’ve been able to rectify many of those needs.”

For the first half of 2013, the Carolina’s ticket sales ranked in the nation’s top 100, according to the trade journal Pollstar. For 2012-13, its revenue was up 22 percent from the year before, totaling $3.5 million. Since 2009-10, revenue has risen 41 percent, according to the theater.

The theater had 60 live performances in 2012-13, with ticket sales bringing in $1.4 million; the previous high total was around $600,000. Average per-month movie-ticket sales have increased more than 50 percent since the theater reopened after renovations in 2011.

Carolina Theatre of Durham manages the downtown theater under contract with the city, which owns the 1926 building. For the current fiscal year, the city appropriated $614,520 for its operation.

The current management contract expires at the end of June 2014. Terms of a new contract are in progress.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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