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Heaton leads discussion at national conference

CORNING – The 43rd annual national conference and theatre tour for the League of Historic American Theaters (LHAT) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 14-17. The Corning Opera House Cultural Center is a member of LHAT. The annual conference is the largest gathering of historic theatre professionals, community leaders, service providers and suppliers attracting participants from across the United States and Canada for idea sharing and network building. For four days, participants attend 27 professional development sessions on tools and techniques for restoring, preserving and inspiring theaters plus tour 10 historic theatres, attend the expo of 40 product and service providers, attend banquets and receptions. LHAT identifies best practices, and educational components to strengthen efforts to sustain historic theatres of various sizes, operating structures and programming philosophies. During theatre tours, participants learn how other venues deal with specific challenges of sustaining their operations and serving their communities, now and in the future. The conference takes place in different locations across North America each year. To be a member of LHAT a theater must be at least 50 years old.

The Corning Opera House uses Vendini online ticketing system for all shows and donations. De Heaton, executive director of the Corning Opera House was asked by Vendini to be one of three panelists for their session on “New Ways to Diversify and Expand Your Audience” moderated by Vendini’s John Quick, national director of sales, San Francisco, California. Melissa Geiger, Aloha Performing Arts Company Kealakekua, Hawaii, Sheila Markley, CL Hoover Opera House, Junction City, Kansas, and Heaton from Corning led the discussion on foundational tactics for increasing ticket sales across a more diverse audience with industry examples of successful campaigns. From the Corning Opera House’s first year of business in 2012 to 2019, the average attendance at live entertainment has increased 329%. Recently, the opera house added Vendini’s “view from a seat” so patrons can see what the stage looks like from their seat.

For information about events or historic tours, call Heaton at 641-418-8037, check out the website at www.corningoperahouse.com or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

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