Buro Happold authors small theater study for New York Mayor’s Office

What is the economic and cultural impact of small theaters? Even in a city as large as New York, this segment represents a huge impact, according to Buro Happold, which has just completed a 60-page, comprehensive study of the small theater scene and its economic importance.

NYC Small Theater Study

Underwritten by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the Small Theater Industry Cultural and Economic Impact Study,” released today, “examines the fundamental aspects of the small-venue theater industry, including the size and makeup of theaters; their location throughout the five boroughs; as well as the cultural importance, economic impact, and challenges the industry is facing.”

Overseen by Carla Hoke-Miller, director of Theatre Programs and Partnerships for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the Small Theater Industry Cultural and Economic Impact Study is available to the public at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/mome/pdf/mome-small-theater-study-2019.pdf.

Small Theaters Study Diagram

BuroHappold’s study shows that — in addition to being a cultural driver — the small-venue theater industry “is also an economic driver, generating approximately $1.3 billion in total economic output, over 8,400 full-time equivalent jobs and $512 million in wages in 2017,” says Alice Shay of Buro Happold. “The total economic output of the small-venue theater industry grew about 5% annually between 2014 and 2017, outpacing citywide economic output growth rates of just under 4%.”

New York City Small Theaters Study

Jobs and wages also each grew within the small-venue theater industry to 4,195 jobs, as Shay points out, and indirect economic impact exceeds $500 million annually. For the theater-going audiences, Buro Happold tallied 51,779 seats available across all the small theaters, adds Shay.

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