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London theater sales hold up in Olympic year

The Associated Press, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 8:20am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — London's theaters say they had a strong 2012 despite the Olympics' "dampening effect" on ticket sales.

Figures released Tuesday show that almost 14 million tickets were sold for 52 playhouses in 2012, a 0.56 percent increase on the year before. Ticket revenue rose 0.27 percent to just under 530 million pounds ($835 million).

Attendance fell 3 percent for musicals but rose 9 percent for plays.

The Society of London Theater says sales and attendance dropped during the summer Games, but not as drastically as some had feared. There had been pre-games worries that concerns about transport mayhem and overcrowding would scare audiences away from central London.

Society president Mark Rubenstein said it was encouraging that sales had grown amid a struggling economy and in a year of "exceptional challenges."

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