In August of 2009, the Alhambra Dinner Theatre, the nation’s oldest professional dinner theater, announced it was closing its doors. Too many years of physical neglect, a reputation of less than adequate food and an overall poor customer experience had taken their toll on what was otherwise a great live theater opportunity.
Not wanting Jacksonville to be without one of its most prized icons, and having a personal attachment to the venue, a group of fans got together and formed Theatre Partners, LLC to buy the Alhambra. On October 23 they closed their deal, and for a celebration, they planned an event for just two weeks later to kick off their new venture. Unfortunately, they had no plan, human resources or skill set to market that event, nor did they have a plan for what happened next.
That’s where MediaShare came in.
The first event, the Homecoming Celebration, was slated for November 7. Our first meeting was November 1. In one week we were able to secure announcements on all three major TV stations, including a live interview on the local NBC affiliate, WTLV, as well as in the local daily paper, the Florida Times Union. During the event, we secured live televised interviews again on all three TV stations and more coverage from several radio stations and print publications. More importantly, we had nearly 800 people at the event, one that happened on the same day as the City’s biggest event, the Air & Sea Show, just five minutes away. Scheduling our live talent performances for 30 minutes after the show was a strategic move, enabling us to sell the media on hitting our event on their way back from the Air & Sea Show.
Since that event, MediaShare has been handling all of the marketing and publicity for the Alhambra. Our challenge continues to be overcoming the perception of the Alhambra as a rundown venue with bad food. To offset those perceptions, we consistently promote the renovated venue with live media tours to show off the new look. We are also heavily promoting the new menu by leveraging the name and presence of world-class Executive Chef, DeJuan Roy.
Our first client, the Alhambra has been with us since 2009. The story is long, but the result is this: the Alhambra has grown at least 25% in each of its last three years. The most current show (White Christmas), is a complete sell out. 90% of its season ticket holders renewed in 2012. We have revived the brand, are making the phones ring and have become an integral part of the Alhambra team