DURHAM For the second consecutive year, Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. recorded a financial surplus, according to audited financial statements.
The the nonprofit that runs the historic downtown theater under a city contract recorded a surplus of $40,838 in fscal year 2014, which ended June 30.
“The financial performance of this organization is just one measure of the incredible work we’re doing as one of the Triangle’s leading arts organizations,” Bob Nocek, President/CEO of the Carolina Theatre, said in a news release. “We’re doing more than ever to bring great concerts, comedy, cinema and educational programming to downtown Durham, and in a way that continues to improve the financial performance of our nonprofit.”
The last time the Carolina Theatre’s audited financials showed two consecutive profitable years were fiscal years 2007 and 2008. The organization had lost money from 2009 through 2012, before finishing 2013 with a $68,730 surplus.
Overall revenue increased 17 percent in 2014, breaking the $4 million mark for the first time since the organization was founded in 1992, according to the release
The theater earned $4,123,729 in revenue against expenses of $4,082,892. By comparison, the Carolina Theatre brought in just $2.4 million in 2010 when Nocek became president/CEO of the nonprofit.
Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. operates the city-owned Carolina Theatre complex under a management agreement that runs through at least 2024. The city pays the Carolina a fixed annual fee to support operations of the facility. In 2014, that fee was $614,250.
The Carolina’s balance sheet still showed an overall deficit of $224,909 at the end of the fiscal year, but two consecutive years of profits have improved the theatre’s financial picture significantly and reduced the deficit by a third.
“The continued improvement at the Carolina Theatre is a direct result of the expert and prudent stewardship by Bob and his staff, as well as a lot of hard work by my predecessors on the Board of Trustees,” Scott Harmon, the theater’s first-year board chairman, said in the release. “By any objective measure, it’s clear that we’re on a much different trajectory than we’ve been on in prior years.”
Among the theater’s 2013-14 highlights were:
• Fundraising reached a record high of $390,000 in cash contributions.
• The Star Series – concerts and comedy presented by the nonprofit – included 69 performances in 2013-14, and exceeded 40,000 sold tickets for the first time in the organization’s history.
• The Carolina Theatre’s film program had its most profitable year in the 20-year history of the organization, generating $94,000 in net profits.
• Gross concessions revenue has increased 62 percent in three years, achieving a record $383,000 in fiscal year 2014.
• Overall ticket sales for live events and films produced a record $2.2 million in revenue, up from $1.8 million in the prior year.
• The venue was ranked among Pollstar’s top 100 theaters worldwide in attendance for the third consecutive year.
• Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. extended its management agreement with the city of Durham for 10 years, through 2024, with two successive five-year renewal terms.