Largest theaters that regularly host touring productions

davp
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I recently saw the current tour of Hello Dolly at Gammage Auditorium in Tempe Arizona from a seat near the very back of the balcony section, and thankfully I had binoculars with me.

With a capacity of 3017 seats (all of which are used for theatrical productions) Gammage seems quite large compared to most current Broadway theaters in New York (I believe the largest Broadway house in NY has just over 1900 seats).

It got me wondering whether there are any other theaters in the U.S. that regularly host touring productions, that have 3000 or more seats.

Updated On: 1/27/19 at 09:58 PM
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dramamama611
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Boston Opera House (our biggest, I believe) is 2600.
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The State Theater in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square where I saw the Philip Cast of “Hamilton” seats 3,193.

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The Academy of Music in Philly has 2600 seats. That’s where most tours perform when they stop here, but it’s also used for a lot of opera and ballet. 

Considering there are four levels of seats in a U-shape with tons of support poles throughout, there are some pretty bad views.

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The Fox in St Louis has over 4000 seats and the one in Atlanta has even more.
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davp said: "I recently saw the current tour of Hello Dolly at Gammage Auditorium in Tempe Arizona from a seat near the very back of the balcony section, and thankfully I had binoculars with me.

With a capacity of 3017seats (all of which are used for theatrical productions) Gammage seems quite large compared to most current Broadway theaters in New York (I believe the largest Broadway house in NY has just over 1900 seats).

It got me wondering whether there are any other theaters in the U.S. that regularly host touring productions, that have 3000 or more seats.
"

I saw Waitress there. I was up in the last row of the balcony. It's huge and high.

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Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas has at least 3000 to 3500 (and bad acoustics) and the Fox in Atlanta is giant, like 4500+.

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nmlhats said: "Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas has at least 3000 to 3500 (and bad acoustics) and the Fox in Atlanta is giant, like 4500+."

The Fox in Atlanta has 4665 seats and the one in St Louis has 4500.

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My research shows the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City hosts several Broadway tours during its summer seasons, and it has a seating capacity of 7,958.

Updated On: 1/28/19 at 12:13 AM
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dramamama611 said: "Boston Opera House (our biggest, I believe) is 2600."

 

i think the wang theatre has more seats, around 3500 if I remember right.

 

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tourboi said: "dramamama611 said: "Boston Opera House (our biggest, I believe) is 2600."



i think the wang theatre has more seats, around 3500 if I remember right.


"

Yes, but the Wang doesn't regularly host touring shows. Sometimes maybe one a year. 

The opera house is quite large, I much prefer to see shows at the Colonial. I will say though the Boston Opera house has great sight lines, especially considering I feel Fun Home wasn't completest washed in a theatre that size. Do any other Broadway in Boston subscribers prefer the Colonial? I know they won't do many shows there due to the complaints about the legroom, but its such a great and intimate theatre, I wish the Opera House and Colonial would split the amount of shows a season. 

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mailhandler777 said: "nmlhats said: "Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas has at least 3000 to 3500 (and bad acoustics) and the Fox in Atlanta is giant, like 4500+."

The Fox in Atlanta has 4665 seats and the one in St Louis has 4500.
"

 

Waaaaaaay back in the day I saw the pre-Broadway tour of Jekyll and Hyde at the Fox in Atlanta from near the back and the show was just a rumor from there. Later, I saw the tour of Wicked from much closer in but it still felt like a barn.

 

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carolinaguy said: "mailhandler777 said: "nmlhats said: "Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas has at least 3000 to 3500 (and bad acoustics) and the Fox in Atlanta is giant, like 4500+."

The Fox in Atlanta has 4665 seats and the one in St Louis has 4500.
"



Waaaaaaay back in the day I saw the pre-Broadway tour of Jekyll and Hyde at the Fox in Atlanta from near the back and the show was just a rumor from there. Later, I saw the tour of Wicked from much closer in but it still felt like a barn.


"

I was at the one in St Louis and it was like being in a cave. A huge cave.

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Mike Barrett said:  I know they won't do many shows there due to the complaints about the legroom, but its such a great and intimate theatre, I wish the Opera House and Colonial would split the amount of shows a season."

Complaints about legroom isn't why Broadway in Boston doesn't utilize the Colonial; they simply don't operate/manage the facility anymore and have nothing to do with its programming. The only time Broadway in Boston will have shows at the Colonial is in the event of an overlap in presentations, most recently evident when Hamilton was at the Opera House... causing The Play That Goes Wrong to be at the Colonial. Broadway in Boston basically has to "rent" the Colonial in those situations.

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bdboston said: "Mike Barrett said: I know they won't do many shows there due to the complaints about the legroom, but its such a great and intimate theatre, I wish the Opera House and Colonial would split the amount of shows a season."

Complaints about legroom isn't why Broadway in Boston doesn't utilize the Colonial; they simply don't operate/manage the facility anymore and have nothing to do with its programming. The only time Broadway in Boston will have shows at the Colonial is in the event of an overlap in presentations, most recently evident when Hamilton was at the Opera House... causing The Play That Goes Wrong to be at the Colonial. Broadway in Boston basically has to "rent" the Colonial in those situations.
"

Interesting, I did forget the Ambassador Theatre Group had full control now. Do they rent it for The Illusinits and Kinky Boots this spring as well? Theres no overlap then, wasn't sure if the Emerson Colonial booked those shows, then partnered with broadway in Boston or what. 

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Mike Barrett said: "Do they rent it for The Illusinits and Kinky Boots this spring as well? Theres no overlap then, wasn't sure if the Emerson Colonial booked those shows, then partnered with broadway in Boston or what."

You're forgetting that Boston Ballet utilizes the Opera House as well. There is an overlap during those times... with Boston Ballet programming: "Full on Forsythe" from Mar. 7-17 and "Cinderella" from May 10 - June 8.

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mailhandler777 said: "The Fox in Atlanta has 4665 seats and the one in St Louis has 4500."
"
I was at the one in St Louis and it was like being in a cave. A huge cave.
"

Oh yes. The Fox in St. Louis is a horrible venue. It's not just a huge cave - I recall poor sight lines as well.  I felt closer to the stage and more engaged from the free seats at The Muny than in the middle of the orchestra at The Fox.

The Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco now has 2200 seats - but I once sat in the second to last row of the top Balcony and the show I saw was a rumour from there.  So, it's not the largest venue - but it's not a great venue.  The Buell in Denver has almost 2900 seats, but the balcony feels closer than it did at the Golden Gate.

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Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y. has 3,700 seats. Luckily it's designed in a way where the back of the balcony still has a decent view.  

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bdboston said: "Mike Barrett said: "Dothey rent it for The Illusinits and Kinky Boots this spring as well? Theres no overlap then, wasn't sure if the Emerson Colonial booked those shows, then partnered with broadway in Boston or what."

You're forgetting that Boston Ballet utilizes the Opera House as well. There is an overlap during those times... with Boston Ballet programming: "Full on Forsythe" from Mar. 7-17 and"Cinderella" from May 10 - June 8.
"

Ah yes you are correct, I apologize again. I only mentioned the legroom issue as when I was at The Play That Goes Wrong, there were several complaints in the Orchestra! As well as seats not lining up correctly with the date they were given, it seemed to be a mess. Without a 2 month run of Hamilton to take up the Opera house, I'd expect more shows at the opera house again. 

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The Fox Atlanta is the largest.
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Providence Performing Arts Center in RI has 3100. Having been used to that, when I first started going to Broadway, I was surprised at how small those houses were.

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artscallion said: "Providence Performing Arts Center in RI has 3100. Having been used to that, when I first started going to Broadway, I was surprised at how small those houses were."

I have rear balcony seats here for Waitress... a bit concerned about the view from there. Lovely theatre though. 

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trpguyy said: "The Fox Atlanta is the largest

 

The Detroit  Fox has 5,048 seats (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s and the largest of the original Fox Theatres

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ggersten said: "The Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco now has 2200 seats - but I once sat in the second to last row of the top Balcony and the show I saw was a rumour from there. So, it's not the largest venue - but it's not a great venue. The Buell in Denver has almost 2900 seats, but the balcony feels closer than it did at the Golden Gate."

If the pit isn't used, the Golden Gate actually tops 2300. The Orpheum, down the street is almost 100 seats smaller. Thankfully, both are still smaller than some of the huge houses elsewhere.  It WAS nice having the Curran (1650-ish seats) as a more intimate alternative for these shows. (Although CSH has brought some truly interesting fare to it - and Harry Potter promises to be a great success there)
 

Updated On: 1/28/19 at 03:12 PM
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acm8468 said: "trpguyy said: "The Fox Atlanta is the largest



The DetroitFox has 5,048 seats (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s and the largest of the original Fox Theatres
"

But it’s not typically on the Broadway tour circuit, which is how I understood the question. Tours will typically play the Fischer or the Opera House.