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by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

RiverRun breaks attendance record, box office numbers slip

The 13 th annual RiverRun International Film Festival, which wrapped on April 17, set a new attendance mark, but suffered a significant drop in box office receipts from the 2010 festival. According to a press release, admissions for all 2011 festival films, panels, parties and events totaled 14,184, a new record and a 5 percent increase over the 2010 total of 13,468.

“This year, more people participated in RiverRun than ever before,” Executive Director Andrew Rodgers said. “We attribute that to our incredibly strong lineup of films.”

Thirty-nine percent of the screenings were sold out, many of which were early morning matinees, a time that normally sees lower admissions numbers.

While admissions reached an all-time high, box office receipts suffered a sharp decrease from the 2010 festival. Total box office grosses for 2011 were $65,419, a 14 percent decrease from 2010 total of $76,462.

“This year’s decrease in box office grosses were a direct result of our aggressive outreach efforts, which included half-priced matinee screenings and free community events,” said Rodgers. “We also didn’t have access to a large marquee venue, were limited in our total seating capacity and gave away more complimentary tickets than in years past to our growing roster of donors and sponsors. While these factors combined to lower our total grosses, it was not unexpected.” — KTB

TAte sees positive growth in jobs

North Carolina gained a net of 13,900 nonfarm jobs in March, with the largest increase found in professional and business services, the Employment Security Commission reported last week. The state’s unemployment rate is down to 9.7 percent, compared to 11.3 percent this time last year. North Carolina’s unemployment ate is about a 1 percentage point higher than the national average. Despite the state economy’s positive direction, no one is declaring victory.

“March marked the third consecutive month of job growth in North Carolina,” said John Quinterno, an economist with South by North Strategies. “Unfortunately, the rate of growth remains insufficient to close the jobs gap anytime soon. The state’s labor is far from healthy.” — JG

Aquatic center hiring to fill 100 part-time positions

The Greensboro Aquatic Center is looking to hire 100 part-time employees to fill jobs as lifeguards, water safety instructors, water technicians, exercise and rehab instructors, and admission clerks. The facility hosts a job fair on May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. The aquatic center is scheduled to open in August. For more information about employment opportunities, visit www.greensboroaquaticcenter.com. — JG

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