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Local Theaters Say Patrons Warming To Earlier Curtain Times

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Area theaters have been tinkering with start times for a while now, and they say the more flexible curtain times are working out well.

While 8 p.m. start times are still the norm, especially for Saturday evening performances, marketing director Amy Lebo of Philadelphia Theatre Company, at Broad and Lombard Streets, says during the work-week, patrons are warming to earlier shows:

"Tuesday has become our new Friday. We're actually seeing a shift of people off of Friday night into Tuesdays and Wednesdays.'

She says the week brings a natural progression to curtain times:

"So, Tuesday's is at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday's is 7 p.m. and the rest of the week is at 8 p.m."

Patrons filing into the musical 'Nerds,' at Philadelphia Theatre Company like the idea of flex start times:

"It's easier for us being parents to come to an earlier show, because we could get a babysitter and then get home in time to put our little one to bed."

"If you need to get up early the next morning for work you can get to a show and support the arts."

Matt Wolf, Director of Broadway Philadelphia Programming, says they keep subscription series at the same start times throughout the season, so folks are certain they won't miss curtain times.

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