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Largest theaters that regularly host touring productions

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hollebolle said: "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”.


 

Still the most beautiful theater I’ve ever been in. 

 

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davp said: "...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."

3000+ is pretty common for Broadway touring houses outside New York.

It has been renovated since I worked there, but the now-named "Fillmore Theatre at the Jackie Gleason Theater for the Performing Arts" had over 3,000 seats when it was the "Miami Beach Theatre for the Performing Arts".

We used to share tours with theaters (some open air) in the Midwest and often had to cut sets DOWN because our 3,000-seat theater was smaller than those in St. Louis and Kansas City, etc.

In Los Angeles, the Dorothy Chandler has more than 3,000 seats, but it is used almost exclusively for opera, ballet and special events nowadays. The Ahmanson nearby gets more tours; it has slightly over 2,000 seats since a renovation 15 years ago that made it feel (at least) more intimate. The Pantages is the other big touring house and it has 2,700 seats, not much smaller than the 3K seaters.

Updated On: 1/28/19 at 10:21 PM
acm8468
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trpguyy said: "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 typicallyplay the Fischer or the Opera House.
"

Hi...  you must not be from Michigan?  Not to start a fight cause I really don’t care... but...our Fox Theatre does have a Broadway series every year.  Upcoming stops for Cinderella, Legally Blonde, and The Sound of Music are scheduled.The Fox even has a Broadway season ticket package.   Last year I saw the excellent Chorus Line and the Lincoln Center King and I...they only made stops at the Fox not the FISHER (no C...as you spelled it) or the Opera House.  The Fox does not host first run tour stops as a rule....those belong to Broadway In Detroit but the topic is largest theaters that host touring productions and The Fox Theater certainly qualifies.  

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Not to mention that even if for some arbitrary reason the Fox in Detroit were to not qualify, the Fox Atlanta still isn't the largest, because the Starlight Theatre in KC is bigger. Granted, it's an outdoor venue, but it does host multiple Equity tours each year and OP didn't specify anything about indoor theatres only.
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Keller Auditoriuom in Portland, Oregon is the biggest in the Pacific Northwest at 2992, Seattle's Paramount is 2nd at 2807, & Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth has 2765. Of the three, I think the Paramount is the best to see a show at as the mezz & balcony are closer to the stage than in the other two.
...
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Mike Barrett said: "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.
"

Just an FYI: Your knees will be touching your tummy. I've had the unfortunate luck to buy tickets in the rear balcony for many shows at this theater before I became a subscriber (I have since dropped my subscription a while ago). Those seats are horrendous, as any adult sits crunched up  - so keep an eye out for better empty seats which you can move to during intermission. 

 

NYC is less than four hours away from Providence, so I now avoid Providence shows (even though I live in Providence - about 2 miles from this theater) and see everything in NY for close to the same price in better theaters. 

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David10086 said: "Mike Barrett said: "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.
"

Just an FYI: Your knees will be touching your tummy. I've had the unfortunate luck to buy tickets in the rear balcony for many shows at this theater before I became a subscriber (I have since dropped my subscription a while ago). Those seats are horrendous, as any adult sits crunched up - so keep an eye out for better empty seats which you can move to during intermission.



NYC is less than four hours away from Providence, so I now avoid Providence shows (even though I live in Providence - about 2 miles from this theater) and see everything in NY for close to the same price in better theaters.
"

Ugh, I am 6'0 tall, but do have an aisle seat. I generally don't mind cramming a bit for shows because live theatre is just my favorite thing, but theres a line between toughing it out and being in pain haha. Was the view decent at least? I don't mind if its a little far away but if I need binoculars then this may have been a waste of $45. I have friends and family in Providence and would take the train into NYC all the time if it wasn't so expensive. 

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acm8468 said: "trpguyy said: "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 typicallyplay the Fischer or the Opera House.
"

Hi... you must not be from Michigan? Not to start a fight cause I really don’t care... but...our Fox Theatre does have a Broadway series every year. Upcoming stops for Cinderella, Legally Blonde, and The Sound of Music are scheduled.The Fox even has a Broadway season ticket package. Last year I saw the excellent Chorus Line and the Lincoln Center King and I...they only made stops at the Fox not the FISHER(no C...as you spelled it) or the Opera House. The Fox does not host first run tour stops as a rule....those belong to Broadway In Detroit but the topic is largest theaters that host touring productions and The Fox Theater certainly qualifies.
"

 

Fox hosts many non Equity productions and I think that is the distinction. Your point is taken though. Cinderella, Legally Blonde, Rock of Ages, and Sound of Music are all non equity productions and the productions at the Fox are usually only there for one or a small number of dates, unlike when tours come to the Fisher or Opera House, for what its worth. So that is probably why the previous person neglected to consider it since its not on the broadway in detroit platform.

 

Updated On: 1/29/19 at 09:31 AM
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The Muny in St Louis with almost 11,000 seats used to regularly host touring productions (though they haven't in recent years). As the outdoor theatre doesn't have a fly house, many shows had sets created specifically for the Muny. Probably the best/worst example was a 1985 stop of the national tour of Dancin'--a 14 member cast totally lost on the 95 foot wide Muny stage.

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The beautiful Auditorium Theatre in Chicago has often been used for sit-down productions and tours. It has 3901 seats. These days, Broadway in Chicago uses their other venues more often than this one (which is owned by Roosevelt University.)

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Yeah, I was making a distinction -- which the OP didn't specify -- and I wasn't counting D-circuit touring venues, which is why I omitted the Detroit Fox. One-nighter tours also play the FargoDome, which technically has 19,000 seats. Mea culpa.

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Chicago's Aerie Crowne? Detroit's Masonic?
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Mike Barrett said: "
Ugh, I am 6'0 tall, but do have an aisle seat. I generally don't mind cramming a bit for shows because live theatre is just my favorite thing, but theres a line between toughing it out and being in pain haha. Was the view decent at least? I don't mind if its a little far away but if I need binoculars then this may have been a waste of $45. I have friends and family in Providence and would take the train into NYC all the time if it wasn't so expensive."

 

Keep in mind, the theater was built in 1928 as a Loew's Movie Palace. so the balcony seats were designed for viewing a large movie screen  in front of the audience - not for focusing on live people 'down below' on the stage. So 'sight lines' for a musical are 'iffy'. If it's something like "Phantom" or any other musical who's actions take place vertically as well as horizontally, you're fine. I'm not sure about "Waitress" as I've never seen the show.

 

(As a matter of fact, about 25 years ago, the theater temporarily started showing 'classic' movies again on weekend nights when there were no Broadway shows or other events scheduled. Watching movies on this giant screen was spectacular from the balcony; not so much in the orchestra seats. I must say there's nothing like watching Gone With The Wind and the burning of Atlanta on a huge movie palace screen!)

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David10086 said: "Mike Barrett said: "
Ugh, I am 6'0 tall, but do have an aisle seat. I generally don't mind cramming a bit for shows because live theatre is just my favorite thing, but theres a line between toughing it out and being in pain haha. Was the view decent at least? I don't mind if its a little far away but if I need binoculars then this may have been a waste of $45. I have friends and family in Providence and would take the train into NYC all the time if it wasn't so expensive."



Keep in mind, the theater was built in 1928 as a Loew's Movie Palace. so the balcony seats were designed for viewing a large movie screen in front of the audience - not for focusing on live people 'down below' on the stage. So 'sight lines' for a musical are 'iffy'. If it's something like "Phantom" or any other musical who's actions take place vertically as well as horizontally, you're fine. I'm not sure about "Waitress" as I've never seen the show.




 

 

 

 

i Didn't know that!!! Interesting. I'm also seeing Book of Mormon from up there. We shall see how this goes. I'm hoping it's a good view because I could afford a subscription to their next season in those seats. 

 

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Re: Fox Atlanta. I live in Atlanta and have seen many Broadway touring shows at the Fox. We also travel to NYC once or twice a year and catch shows there. In the last few years in New York, we’ve seen Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen (OBC), Great Comet, An American in Paris, Amazing Grace (oops), and others. We typically see the shows we really want to see in New York, and the others in Atlanta.

While the Fox is a beautiful building, it’s HUGE. The orchestra level is 70 seats wide and 40 rows deep. While the mezzanine level does overhang Row M, it is 25 rows deep. By comparison, many Broadway theatres are 40 seats wide and 20-25 rows deep in Orch, and 10-15 rows deep in Mezz. So, at the Fox, you can be way off to the side or very far away. That, and the traveling shows bring their own sound system, with varying quality. 

That said, we still love going to the Fox and see 4-5 shows a year there.

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The Fox sounds enormous! Does it usually fill up?

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The Fox sounds enormous! Does it usually fill up?

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It depends on the show. Dear Evan Hansen is sold out as was Hamilton last year. Typically, there aren't many empty seats. Seats on extreme sides are marked as limited view, though we've taken advantage of them - some aren't bad at all. Legroom is fine. We're seeing Waitress Wednesday.

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Indianapolis has two theatres that Broadway in Indianapolis visits... Clowes Memorial Hall (2,096) and Murat Theatre (2,500) both pretty average size for touring stops. 

In a nearby drive (about an hour each, different ways), we also have a few other college auditoriums that host tours for one or two day stops. IU's Auditorium in Bloomington with a capacity of 3,154 sometimes with an extra 46 seats in the orchestra pit. Ball State's Emens Auditorium with 3,581. And Purdue's Elliot Hall of Music with a crazy capacity of 6,005! (didn't realize how much larger it was once and purchased rear second balcony seats.... major regrets there.)

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jpbran said: "The beautiful Auditorium Theatre in Chicago has often been used for sit-down productions and tours. It has 3901 seats. These days,Broadway in Chicago uses their other venues more often than this one (which is owned by Roosevelt University.)"

Back "in the day" when the Auditorium booked Broadway tours independently the rear of the first balcony was curtained-off and the second balcony and gallery sections were closed, which offered less than 2500 seats.  I think those closures stopped with the formation of Broadway in Chicago and the end of the Auditorium's independent booking of Broadway tours, since it's the leasee's decision.


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