Durham, N.C. — More than 414,000 fans attended shows and events at Durham's performing arts center in 2011, placing it among the top theaters in the United States.
The ranking comes from entertainment industry magazine Pollstar, which ranked the Durham Performing Arts Center fourth, behind Radio City Music Hall, Coliseum Theater at Caesars Palace and the Fox Theatre of Atlanta.
The Durham theater ranked ninth place on Pollstar's list last year.
"It’s hard for us to say we ever anticipated reaching a top-five national attendance ranking, but it’s a nice reward for everyone that worked so hard to bring this theater from a vision to reality," DPAC's general manager, Bob Klaus, said.
The 2,700-seat center is the largest venue in the Carolinas, and since opening in 2008, has hosted dozens of top performers, comedians and Broadway shows.
"The Lion King" was a big draw last year, drawing in nearly 82,000 fans over the course of its run in January. The "Radio City Christmas Special" in November drew in more than 75,000 people.
Neil Young's performance in April was the top-grossing concert and comedy event of the year.
Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Diana Ross and John Mellencamp rounded out the top five. Dolly Parton, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Lawrence, Carol Burnett, Erykah Badu and B.B. King were among the top 15.
On the schedule for 2012 are performers like Kelly Clarkson on Jan. 31, Aretha Franklin in February, Elvis Costello in April and George Jones in August.
Broadway's "Wicked," returns in May, two years after it sold more than 80,000 tickets. Other Broadway shows include "Chicago" in March and "West Side Story" in June.