London theater sales hold up in Olympic year

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LONDON -- London's theaters say they had a strong 2012 despite the Olympics' "dampening effect" on ticket sales.

Figures released Tuesday show that almost 14 million tickets were sold for 52 playhouses in 2012, a 0.56 percent increase on the year before. Ticket revenue rose 0.27 percent to just under $835 million.

Attendance fell 3 percent for musicals but rose 9 percent for plays.

The Society of London Theater says sales and attendance dropped during the Games, but not as drastically as some had feared. There had been worries that concerns about transport mayhem and overcrowding would scare audiences away from central London.

Society president Mark Rubenstein said it was encouraging that sales had grown amid a struggling economy and in a year of "exceptional challenges."

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