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WARREN Packard Music Hall revenues surpass $100,000 for first time



Published: Thu, September 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The hall recently obtained expanded food service and liquor licenses.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Packard Music Hall's two-person management team broke the $100,000 revenue mark this year.

"It's the first time since 1955," said Christopher Stephenson, hall manager, at a board meeting Thursday. "It's the most money the building has brought in since it opened."

The management team consists of Stephenson and Cherie Celedonia, assistant manager.

Stephenson attributed the bigger revenues to providing concessions and alcohol at events.

The hall expanded its concession offerings through a food service license and obtained a liquor license.

Before the change, refreshments either weren't offered or they were provided by nonprofit groups using them as fund-raisers.

"Our other plans for changes are just getting started," Stephenson said.

What's ahead

The hall is working to establish a foundation which will act as a fund-raising and programming arm.

"We want to have a balance or a facility for people to rent and programming," Stephenson said.

The hall used to be thought of as something that provided a service by being available for rent for various functions. That focus widened because of pressure to increase revenue, he said.

"That's a trend that's occurred pretty much across the country," Stephenson said.

The city has decreased its music hall subsidy in recent years and last year charged Packard officials to come up with a way to be self-sufficient.

A state performance audit released earlier this year began in 2000 before intensive planning began at the hall. It makes suggestions similar to efforts already under way.

A new box office for in-house professional ticketing services also is expected to be completed in about a month, and Stephenson believes that will contribute to the revenue also.




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