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In recent months, I have had the opportunity to work with “The Millennium
Theatre”, a 1,400 seat venue, in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, a predominantly
Russian community, frequently referred to as “Little Odessa.”  Over 100,000
Russians call Brighton Beach their home and, for years, “The Millennium
Theatre” catered to the needs of this community by promoting Russian
singers, actors, dancers, comedians and circus acts.
But times changed and the Russian community in Brighton Beach was getting
older while younger Russians were moving out, either to the suburbs or to
other parts of the city.
And that called for a change in strategy. No longer could the Millennium
just book Russian acts and expect sold out crowds.  It's base was eroding
by simple attrition.
Now it had to broaden its base and appeal to other audiences around the
community such as the young and affluent Park Slope singles and young
parents segment, the Orthodox Jewish segment and the African American
segment to create product that would appeal to these NEW market segments.
The Millennium's first foray into this was a to book a world class Circus
show around the holidays featuring Chinese acrobats, Ukrainian jugglers,
American dancers,  international trained dog acts, Las Vegas magicians and
all of the things you would expect from a circus. Its first foray was a
difficult one, but it did stimulate press coverage and the understanding
that the “Millennium” was no longer JUST a Russian Theatre.
Now new acts are planned for the Millennium. New markets are being
targeted.  A new energy is building and  acts, who never would have
considered The Millennium as a place “to play”, are calling to find out if
the theatre is available for comedy shows, amateur nights, American plays,
concerts and off-off Broadway shows.
Now if we, as bowling proprietors, can identify new markets, perhaps we can
see our business grow as well.
Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in the country.
Yet, I have rarely seen any marketing, communications or programming
targeting this group.
Similarly, I haven’t seen, with the exception of proprietors in Southern
California and Texas, the same marketing effort against Mexican Americans
or other Hispanic groups. Why not?
It’s a new world with new marketing opportunities.
Are you getting your share of these emerging and fast growing segments?
Good luck and good hunting.

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