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Broadway was booming. Then Covid-19 took center stage
03:35 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Filled Broadway seats reached pre-pandemic levels in the 2022-2023 season — which is the first full season of shows since Covid first forced theaters to shutter, The Broadway League announced Tuesday.

“Broadway is making a strong rebound as audiences are returning to New York City to experience extraordinary live theatre,” Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the industry’s national trade association, said in a statement.

A total of 88.4% of Broadway show seats were filled in the 2022-2023 season, the League’s statement said. That’s comparable to the 89.7% in the 2018-2019 run, which was the the last full season pre-Covid.

The most recent Broadway season attracted nearly 12.3 million people to 40 new productions and 35 continuing productions, and it grossed about $1.6 billion, the League added.

Before Covid hit stateside, Broadway had been enjoying a strong run: That last 2018-2019 season attracted record attendance of 14.7 million and grossed a record $1.8 billion.

But then, in March 2020, the pandemic forced all 41 Broadway theaters to close. The first full-capacity Broadway performance after the shutdown was in June 2021, and several major productions returned in September 2021, but it wasn’t until the 2022-2023 season that Broadway made a full return.