Broadway Theater in Maryland: The Future of the Mechanic Theatre

October 1991 / Abell Reports / Arts, Community Development

The Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA), Maryland’s largest performing arts organization, has one of this country’s most successful touring Broadway theater houses. BCPA, however, is facing new issues that threaten the future of Broadway in Baltimore. Costs of attracting, staging and managing Broadway shows have increased significantly. BCPA is under pressure to generate higher revenues to meet these increased costs. BCPA, however, is restricted from achieving higher revenues because its primary theater, the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, has limited capacity (only 1,607 seats) and already high ticket prices.  BCPA needs to consider whether a) it needs a larger performing arts center, or b) it needs to reduce its mission and present low-cost Broadway and/or non-Broadway shows.