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St. Ann's Warehouse leaving empty seats at Oklahoma?

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orangeskittles
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My friend and I tried to get tickets in the waitlist line the other night.

At 7:30, they announced they had only 3 tickets for the waitlist. We were disappointed and it was our only chance to see the show, but we thought whatever, it happens.

However, we knew people who did have tickets that night, and they told us later that there were multiple seats that remained empty for the whole show.

I know they're not obligated to sell the empty seats to us, but it seems odd that during a sold-out run, they wouldn't bother to fill the theatre from the waitlist. I've been to many other venues where they actually count the empty seats at showtime when giving away rush tickets.

Has anyone else seen this at Oklahoma?

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aasjb4ever
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I can't speak to their accommodating people on the waitlist line, but I remember staffers moving people who were in the last row in what looked like obstructed-view seats into empty seats that were in better locations, so maybe they prioritize moving people who already have tickets into the good (open) seats and just cut their losses and leave the unsavory seats open.

What a colossal piece of crap! It'll probably run for years.
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Wick3
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I saw this production a month ago and they do seat latecomers during the first act. I sat in the partial-view area by the wall with the rifles and the seat next to the wall is the usher's seat for that reason.

Also, from the box office's point of view, once they've sold a seat, that's it. For all one knows the people who bought those seats just couldn't make it that evening for whatever reason.

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haterobics
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Unless they have a strict policy against seating latecomers, I'm not sure how this could be handled. I think a handful of people entered a few minutes late when I saw Oklahoma.

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dramamama611
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They cant re-sell already sold tickets. What if the ticket holder showed up?
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orangeskittles
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Oh, I thought they didn't have late seating. They had no late seating for another show I saw there, so I thought it was their universal policy.

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mailhandler777
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Same thing happened at A Streetcar Named Desire. Said the show was sold out but I saw a bunch of empty seats at the show I was at.
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JSquared2
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As others have said, it is against the law to sell the same ticket twice --- the empty seats were no doubt "no-shows".

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mailhandler777 said: "Same thing happened at A Streetcar Named Desire. Said the show was sold out but I saw a bunch of empty seats at the show I was at."

Both can be true.

the1liamg
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What time is the queue starting for returns and cancellations? I’m hoping to try this weekend.
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orangeskittles
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JSquared2 said: "As others have said, it is against the law to sell the same ticket twice --- the empty seats were no doubt "no-shows"."

What? I've been to theatres were they have strict no late seating policies, and at showtime, they count the empty seats and fill them in from the standby line.

the1liamg, this weekend, the first person got there at 3:30, and only 3 got tickets.

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astromiami
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It breaks my heart, but a theater I work at frequently has this problem.  The show is sold out, but there are a number of empty seats due to no-shows.

And legally you are restricted from selling a seat that is already sold.

In the old days, before online sales, small theaters took reservations rather than sales. A reservation could be released if they were a no show. But if payment has been made there are restrictions.

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orangeskittles said: "I've been to theatres were they have strict no late seating policies, and at showtime, they count the empty seats and fill them in from the standby line."

 

I understand your point. I think shows that do not have intermission and have a strict no late seating policy can fill in empty seats from the standby line. However, for a show that has intermission, my understanding is late people will be seated during intermission. 

For this production of Oklahoma, I saw late people being seated after the first song.

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I've managed box offices for 30 years. You cannot sell the same seat twice, under any circumstance. Regardless of whether you have late seating or intermission or no-shows. Ticket selling software does not allow you to sell the same seat twice. It's set up this way to avoid seating conflicts where two people have a ticket for the same seat. It's also to prevent embezzlement.

Once you sell a seat it becomes unavailable in the system. The only way to make it available again is to refund the first sale. And you can't always do that since the no-show may have paid in cash. Also theatres have no interest in doing that because they've already done their job by selling it once. Why would they do double the work to sell it again, and all at the busiest time of their day, show time.
The only options remaining are to either let the people waiting in for free or to sell the seats outside of their ticketing system software. I guarantee you that reputable theatres aren't going to do either of these and could get in big legal trouble for doing the second, which is tantamount to selling under the table.

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