Proctors doesn’t hold very many midweek matinees — maybe a half-dozen each year — but when it does, the people from Metroplex, which runs the city’s downtown surface parking lots, get a piece of the action: 5 bucks a car. That wouldn’t be a problem except that non-Proctors patrons vying for spaces in those lots have to fork over a fiver, too — unless the lot attendant asks where they’re headed and ascertains that it’s not Proctors. Then the lots’ usual fee structure applies: first two hours free, $3 for the third hour and $1 for each additional.
Nearby merchants say their customers don’t know that the big “$5 event parking” signs that get put up for these shows don’t apply to them, and even if the lot attendants do inquire as to the patrons’ destination, and don’t charge those not headed for Proctors, they have to pull into the lot just to hear the good news. But some get discouraged by the sign and just drive off.
Metroplex could correct what is admittedly a petty problem by changing its policy so that Proctors patrons aren’t treated any differently than others who come downtown: Get rid of the $5 “event parking” fee (which theatergoers, anyway, can avoid, by using the Broadway garage) and charge Proctors patrons the same as other surface lot users. For almost all shows, that would be a minimum of $3. Why are Proctors’ patrons charged more, anyway?
The small sacrifice of revenue is worth the goodwill. And since publicity about this loophole may encourage Proctors’ flintier patrons to fib when asked their destination, it seems only a matter of time before the pot of five-dollar bills starts shrinking, in any case.