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'This is very unique' | The arts is bringing millions to Charlotte

"RENT" opens at the Belk Theater Tuesday. It follows "WICKED" which organizers say brought nearly $17 million to the Queen City.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Blumenthal Performing Arts organizers said being back in the theatre has been like no other.

“They want to do it safely so we're so thankful that the public has been great partners in being able to restart and do it safely," Blumenthal Arts Tom Gabbard said.

In the ticket office, WICKED did numbers.

The musical RENT is expected to do the same as its production kicks off Nov. 9 -14. But organizers are looking ahead.

The Immersive Van Gogh experience has been a sellout. 

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“They are coming from the triangle, they are coming from Charleston this is very unique," Gabbard said. 

Organizers estimate the local economic impact of the Van Gogh exhibit is more than $36 million. That's the money people are spending on parking, restaurants, and hotels.

Blumenthal said a big part of the exhibit's success is the return customers.
440 people have come back for multiple visits.

Organizers are looking for another home past its extended Jan. 2022 date.

“There are entirely different approaches to digital art that we are interested in looking at so we are actively looking around town to set up show permanently," Gabbard said.

Blumenthal organizers said so far attendees have been receptive to all COVID-19 rules in place to keep everyone safe. There’s only been one incident where someone was not receptive to the mandatory mask mandate.

“Every day we get people together for a show to go to the immersive Van Gogh it has been an emotional experience because we know for many people that is their first time back into the theatre," Gabbard said.

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