Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Blue & Gold

E.J. Thomas to cease producing shows

Recommended Posts

I almost posted this under "Scarborough's Next Move" but thought this culturally significant enough that it deserved it's own thread. UA's EJ Thomas Hall is going to cease producing shows. Acts can still rent EJ on their own, but the U is ceasing bringing in shows on their own.

http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/is-it-curtains-for-the-university-of-akron-s-e-j-thomas-hall-arts-programming-1.611083?cache=18961415304345%25252Fnews%25252Fohio%25252Fcss%25252Fresults%252525

Scarborough's had to make a lot of tough decisions. I'm happy neither about this nor about the baseball team. But I definitely respect the guy. He's not afraid to be the man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any sources on hand (on phone), but I was at a football HOF event a while ago and President David Baker said that the HOF gets 200 something thousand visitors every year. I recently read an article that EJ Thomas gets 300k visitors/year. Obviously EJ Thomas doesn't bring in near as much revenue as the HOF, but it's still interesting that EJ Thomas has more visitors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have had season tickets to Broadway in Akron for over 10 years. It would be a huge disappointment if this goes away.

It doesn't seem like anyone at the U can answer if it is or not. I think the format for bringing in shows was switched to a few years ago put the show on the hook to sell tickets rather than Akron agree to pay them call it $250k and if Akron sells enough tickets they make money and if they don't they lose. Not sure if that constitutes a rental or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The base rental rate in the ABJ story seems pretty reasonable for a facility as nice as EJT, though I'm not sure how far "other operational costs" would drive that up.

E.J. Thomas rents vary depending on the day of the week and the type of group — nonprofit vs. commercial — using it. The base rate for the facility ranges from $1,585 to $3,500, not including other operational costs.

It's understandable that when trying to rein in the budget that UA would want to get away from the economic risks associated with being the promoter for events that may or may not at least break even.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally a good move. EJ Thomas was a massive waste of a building as far as serving the students went. The events held there had nothing to do with the university. It's like if UA was running Blossom.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally a good move. EJ Thomas was a massive waste of a building as far as serving the students went. The events held there had nothing to do with the university. It's like if UA was running Blossom.

I disagree completely with you. As a current student, EJ has been THE defining building for my experience as a student. The Ziptix program that gave free tickets to students has afforded me many opportunities to attend a variety of programs that I would have never been able to attend otherwise.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally a good move. EJ Thomas was a massive waste of a building as far as serving the students went. The events held there had nothing to do with the university. It's like if UA was running Blossom.

And the athletics events are serving the students? You've got to be kidding me...the events at EJ Thomas are MUCH closer to coming out even than Athletics ever will, AND they events at EJ Thomas bring more people to your campus than almost all the athletics events combined.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I'm happy to see it or anything, but the only time I ever stepped foot in EJ was for graduation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall shuts down as staff laid off, ticket office closed

AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, shut down Monday as staff was laid off as part of the university's budget cutting measures.

Executive Director Dan Dahl said he and his staff of 15 full- and part-time employees learned around noon their jobs were ending.

Nathan Mortimer, the university's vice president of finance, was accompanied by police when he arrived at the building, Dahl said. ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good find, Zach. The following pretty much tells the story:

... While a 50 percent hike sounds like a lot, it is the first significant increase in a decade, other than a 10 percent increase five years ago, Dahl said.

And even if trustees approve the increased fees, the new rates would generate only about $75,000 more a year, assuming that rental usage stays the same, he said.

Even with the increase, UA will be shouldering 95 percent of the costs of the glass-and-concrete behemoth, which opened in 1973 to great fanfare.

But the hall never became self-sufficient as early planners envisioned. Instead, the university has provided the bulk of the facility’s budget over the years. UA trustees have agreed to provide $2 million for the next two years, and the hall must come up with the rest. ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally a good move. EJ Thomas was a massive waste of a building as far as serving the students went. The events held there had nothing to do with the university. It's like if UA was running Blossom.

Terrible move for the U. I will be sending back the next request for money they send in the mail with a note that when they bring back Broadway in Akron I will reconsider giving them a donation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This article from 2012 really foreshadowed the move: http://www.ohio.com/news/local/e-j-thomas-hall-plans-to-hike-rental-fees-1.307891

The place was a money pit. Probably worse than the Rubber Bowl.

Plus the hall needs capital improvements that come with aging. While UA spent $2.3 million last summer on the most critical structural repairs, another $8 million to $10 million are needed, none of which has been scheduled, Dahl said.

Anyone know if the additional $8-10M repairs were done? If not, I think the bell will be tolling for EJTPAH before long. 45 years is not a bad run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Reading that 2012 story, the question becomes: why did they wait so long to shut it down?

I was a huge fan of Proenza but now I am starting to question his financial responsibility.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughters HS graduation was held there in 2012 and my wife and I were appalled at the conditions. Huge pieces of wall coverings were peeling away, the carpeting is worn out and the bathrooms were pretty grimy. I would bet that most of the mechanical systems need a major overhaul too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terrible move for the U. I will be sending back the next request for money they send in the mail with a note that when they bring back Broadway in Akron I will reconsider giving them a donation.

Agreed. I'm not sending this university another penny, and I'm contemplating my athletics financial support for that matter.

Anyone know if the additional $8-10M repairs were done? If not, I think the bell will be tolling for EJTPAH before long. 45 years is not a bad run.

UA cannot let that happen, frankly the community can't let that happen either. Playhouse square in Cleveland almost became a parking garage if it weren't for a small group of dedicated individuals to change that. We need that group of dedicated individuals more than ever now. I only fear that Akron and the University community doesn't have that. Especially now, with this administration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughters HS graduation was held there in 2012 and my wife and I were appalled at the conditions. Huge pieces of wall coverings were peeling away, the carpeting is worn out and the bathrooms were pretty grimy. I would bet that most of the mechanical systems need a major overhaul too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone listed the University of Akron on Craigslist Of course it got pulled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone listed the University of Akron on Craigslist Of course it got pulled.

Already? That was quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus the hall needs capital improvements that come with aging. While UA spent $2.3 million last summer on the most critical structural repairs, another $8 million to $10 million are needed, none of which has been scheduled, Dahl said.

Anyone know if the additional $8-10M repairs were done? If not, I think the bell will be tolling for EJTPAH before long. 45 years is not a bad run.

Applying the same reasoning to EJT Hall that was applied to Indecision Stadium, U of A should just abandon it and build a new one. ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone listed the University of Akron on Craigslist Of course it got pulled.

I can't decide who's the most childish: the ad writer, Craigslist for getting whooshed, or cleveland.com/ohio.com for considering it newsworthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as EJ is concerned, it's sad, but I didn't realize that it was such a big money loser.

With that news, even though I am embarrassed by all of these cuts, it's hard to argue why it probably had to close. I just wish there were other options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...