Northern Jubilee Is Nation's Busiest Theatre

Edmonton's Jube sold more tickets last year than any other theatre in the country, eclipsing Calgary and Toronto

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

IT seems that every other week Edmontonians have something else to brag about, from recently being named North America's "Most Sociable City" to being frontrunner for the EXPO 2017 bid, and from accommodating the headquarters of Canada's "#1 company to work for" (PCL) to the opening of the world-class Art Gallery of Alberta. Hell, even the Oilers have finally started to win some games!

And now, the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium has just been bestowed as Canada's busiest theatre, with 146,555 tickets sold in 2009 alone, according to concert industry publication Pollstar. Those numbers place the 2,515-seat venue ahead of Calgary's 2,515-seat Jubilee theatre (138,515 tickets) and even Toronto's 2,752-seat Massey Hall (93,742).

But those figures are only based on touring shows (such as musicals and concerts), omitting ticket sales of the Jube's two residents, the Alberta Ballet and the Edmonton Opera. Had Pollstar taken those occupants into account the Jube's '09 ticket sales would amass 370,267.

These numbers weren't enough to place in the worldwide Top 10 though, coming in at No.30 on the global stage. The #1 venue in the world was Mexico City's Auditorio Nacional (1,142,802), followed distantly by New York's Radio City Music Hall (935,153) and Atlanta's Fox Theatre (588,906).

This Tuesday (Feb. 9) Scotland-born, platinum-selling country star Johnny Reid will launch his 2-disc DVD collection Live at the Jubilee, which was filmed in HD at the 55-year-old Edmonton landmark during Reid's sold-out show from last April, as part of his "Dance With Me" Canadian Tour. That concert will air on CMT next Sunday (Feb. 14).

Reid will return to the Jubilee this September for a three-night affair (Sept. 14-16), before heading to Calgary to play three more nights (Sept. 27-29) at the twin Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Some of the other upcoming productions on the Jubilee marquee include Wilco (Feb. 15), Moulin Rouge (Feb. 19-20), Corb Lund (Feb. 25), Chicago (March 23-28), the Barenaked Ladies (April 14), Charley Pride (May 6), and George Thorogood & the Destroyers (May 19).

Here are the Top 10 busiest theatre venues in the world during 2009, according to Pollstar:

1. Auditorio Nacional (Mexico City, Mexico)-1,142,802
2. Radio City Music Hall (New York City, New York)-935,153
3. Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia)-588,906
4. Colosseum at Caesar's Palace (Las Vegas, Nevada)-585,299
5. Benedum Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)-424,635
6. Auditorio Telmex (Guadalajara, Mexico)-382,877
7. Paramount Theatre (Seattle, Washington)-369,405
8. Theater at Madison Square Garden (New York City, New York)-329,721
9. Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles, California)-308,487
10. Beacon Theatre (New York City, New York)-307,433

Below is a promotional clip of Johnny Reid: Live at the Jubilee, which hits stores this Tuesday (February 9).

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