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London West End ticket sales rise despite downturn
Box-office takings for London West End theaters rise despite economic gloom
By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) ' London theaters had a strong year in 2011 despite the struggling British economy.

Figures released Tuesday show box office sales of 528 million pounds ($849 million) in the last year, a 3.1 percent increase from 2010.

The number of individual visits was down slightly, to just under 14 million, but those who did attend paid more.

Industry group the Society of London Theatre, which compiled data from 52 venues, attributed the decline to some venues temporarily closing while new shows were set up.

It said long-running shows like "Les Miserables" and new hits like "One Man, Two Guvnors" helped revenues rise for an eighth year.

Society president Mark Rubinstein said advance sales for 2012 were "buoyant" despite fears this summer's Olympics will hit attendance.

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