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Old 10-16-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,408 posts, read 2,221,059 times
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So I attending Beauty and the Beast this Past weekend in Durham at the DPAC and also saw a report recently that the DPAC per tickets sold for venue was I believe the #3 grossing venue of it's type in the country. I also saw Phantom there a few years ago in it's inaugural year. So I'm just trying to figure out what Memorial Auditorium did wrong and what DPAC did right. i'be seen numerous plays and concerts in Memorial Auditorium and its slightly bigger so size really isn't a factor and Memorial is classier with the chandeliers and the renovation a few years back made it a great venue. That being said DPAC still smells new and very well laid out with the exception of the air vents being directly under the seats and those same seats being horridly stiff and unpadded compared to memorial. Does it boil down to simple great marketing? Or is it the fact that restaurants and such are much more accessible in Durham. I am glad to say we have two top notch venues in the area for live productions.

I know others have got to have asked the same question.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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It boils down to who runs the venue and their access to the popular shows. DPAC (Nederlander) has the edge there.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
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Even with the renovations, Memorial still has some issues. (Sound, for example. My son works on some of the shows. It's not the fault of the sound guys!) I have no problems with seeing shows at Memorial. It's closer and more affordable!

DPAC has the luxury of being part of the group that gets the newest Broadway tours. That's got to be a big draw for a lot of people. They're tickets are also more expensive.

I've heard some theater snobs say they'd never go see another "inferior" "local" production from NCT. I just tell them they're missing out! I just saw Cats at Memorial last week, and it was great! NCT and Broadway Series South have paired up, so you're getting some really good shows.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Early on, it was unclear whether the then-new performing arts center would be built in Raleigh or Durham. It was clear that Memorial Auditorium alone couldn't accommodate all the available acts looking for venues seating more than 2000. Memorial simply didn't have enough nights available.

Both governmental and civic leaders in Durham tirelessly promoted their city for the new venue. Eventually they put the pieces together and were able to make the project a go. Give Durham credit. Between DPAC, the American Tobacco campus, the Diamond View campus, parking garages (so much for the notion that downtown development must be driven by mass transit!!), and even the new jail and courthouse, downtown Durham has accomplished a great deal in the last 15 years. The spirit is alive and well, and even though I live in Raleigh I must applaud Durham for the success that they have made DPAC. Memorial, meanwhile, trudges on with its established acts like the NC Symphony.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,693 posts, read 10,065,987 times
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One thing DPAC has figured out that Memorial falls on its face is concessions. Most stands at Memorial don't even take cards. DPAC is also designed better since it has the advantage of decades more experience with halls like that.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:32 PM
 
635 posts, read 1,374,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
It boils down to who runs the venue and their access to the popular shows. DPAC (Nederlander) has the edge there.
This! I love live theater and used to attend a number of NCT and Broadway South shows. While I think the quality of their productions are equal to what you get at DPAC, I live 10 minutes from the DPAC, and that surely beats heading into Raleigh, especially for an evening show where I'd get home past 11pm. It'd take a really special production to get me out to Raleigh again. I've seen 4 different national tours of Cats over the years, whereas DPAC is bringing in new shows straight from Broadway - yes please
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:14 PM
 
Location: My House
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I love DPAC!

That said, I saw a phenomenal traveling perfomance of Phantom at Memorial in 1998. Unbelievable.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:40 AM
 
5,574 posts, read 5,533,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherifftruman View Post
DPAC is also designed better since it has the advantage of decades more experience with halls like that.
I may be in the minority, but I prefer Memorial. DPAC's balcony (particularly the upper balcony) is too high and steep. And you'd better be wearing some comfortable shoes and be prepared to hike a TON of stairs to get up there.

Memorial just feels like it has more breathing room.

And modern design really does nothing for me. I can't get excited about a big glass box.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,693 posts, read 10,065,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexgds View Post
I may be in the minority, but I prefer Memorial. DPAC's balcony (particularly the upper balcony) is too high and steep. And you'd better be wearing some comfortable shoes and be prepared to hike a TON of stairs to get up there.

Memorial just feels like it has more breathing room.

And modern design really does nothing for me. I can't get excited about a big glass box.
I do like the aesthetics of Memorial (I like DPACs too), but I was talking more of the acoustical and other engineering.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:53 AM
 
5,574 posts, read 5,533,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherifftruman View Post
I do like the aesthetics of Memorial (I like DPACs too), but I was talking more of the acoustical and other engineering.
Sorry, I didn't pick up on that from your message. Oh well. There are different aspects of design. I haven't really had any issues with sound/lighting/etc. at either space, so I have no commentary there.
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