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How This Theater Fills Its Empty Seats Every Night The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles took a chance on Goldstar, a primary ticket seller, and watched its annual revenue increase by a cool million dollars.

By Grant Davis

Every seat that goes unsold at the three-venue Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles is lost revenue.

And every night Jim Royce, director of marketing, communications and sales for the nonprofit company, faces a delicate balancing act between pricing those extra seats to move and protecting their value--while not angering core subscribers who paid full price in advance.

Royce has spent years trying to figure out the best way to move his unsold inventory, dealing with unscrupulous ticket brokers and fly-by-night second-party ticketing sites. A Groupon experiment "was a mess," he recalls. And a flatlined customer base wasn't helping matters. "We have 300,000 households in our database who may see one, maybe two shows a year, but we have enough seats for an annual audience of more than 1 million," he says. "I have to find those additional people somewhere."

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