A latent class model of theatre demand

José M. Grisolía, Kenneth G. Willis

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates market segments for theatre demand using a latent class model. The model is applied using data from a stated preference survey implemented in a regional theatre in England. Results allow three classes of theatregoers to be identified. The largest and 'main class' comprises mainly affluent people who show a strong preference for main theatre venues, consider reviews of the productions, whether the author is known, and like all types of shows. The second is a 'popular class', exhibiting the smallest willingness to pay and manifesting a strong preference for comedies, paying little attention to venues and disliking more sophisticated shows. The third is an 'intellectual class' of theatre goers, who exhibit the maximum willingness to pay, and show a strong interest for drama and adaptation of productions, and more independent aesthetic judgement. The study shows the usefulness of latent class models in identifying market segments, a procedure that is relevant to policy makers and theatre managers in setting prices, identifying different kinds of consumers to increase people's engagement with theatre, and undertaking social analysis of performing arts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-139
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Latent class model
  • Market segments
  • Theatre demand
  • Willingness-to-pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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