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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?

Amykin67
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#1
Posted: 7/20/19 at 10:39am

I’m currently looking for front mezzanine tickets (middle or middle aisle) for Slave Play & Rose Tattoo; even on the day tickets went on sale, large sections of seats were unavailable, and this is consistent with all dates of the shows. Is this common for producers/theaters to hold back on certain sections until the date of the show is closer? Thank you for any insight!

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#2
Posted: 7/20/19 at 10:59am

Those might be house seats.

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#3
Posted: 7/20/19 at 11:07am
Short answer, yes.

Long answer - dozens of seats are held for each performance for a variety of reasons. Most often these are “house seats,” which are premium seats reserved for members of the production to use (for example, every member of the Hamilton creative team has 2 seats available per performance to purchase at house price, which I believe is $230). If those seats are not claimed, they get released to the public.

Additionally, more house seats are reserved for a variety of reasons - contests, press, marketing, etc. Producers may also strategically hold back blocks of seats for later release at a higher or lower price depending on demand (ie what Harry Potter does).

Lastly, there’s a theory/conspiracy that Stubhub has a relationship with Ticketmaster & Telecharge, and producers specifically upsell tickets on those platforms. That’s a conversation for another day tho.
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#4
Posted: 7/20/19 at 11:08am

Yes we do hold back house seats or production seats depending on the type of show. It would be unusual for these to be large sections, maybe about 10 seats. They are released the day before or morning of. Some theaters will use these as their lotto or rush seats depending on their view. If you are looking on the map on ticketmaster this is not always a true reflection as what is for sale. Some seats are held to only be sold directly by the boxoffice or on hold for VIPs which will be released at a later date. 

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#5
Posted: 7/20/19 at 11:43am

Some theatres will reserve seats for lotto winners. I know Hamilton does that.

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ggersten
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#6
Posted: 7/20/19 at 12:07pm

In Chicago, a box office person told me they referred to some seats as the "Oprah seats" - held back just in case Oprah decided to come to the show that night.  We have benefitted from being able to purchase the "Oprah seats" within a couple of hours of curtain - at face, non premium, value.  But, I think the "Oprah seats" are just "house seats"

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#7
Posted: 7/20/19 at 2:59pm

are you searching for premium or mid-premium seats? I see a healthy number of orchestra tickets available throughout except what I would think are house seats and seats being held for rush. 

Side note: when we are talking about Broadway it really is not helpful to get info on what happens elsewhere because it's different.

ShowStop2
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#8
Posted: 7/21/19 at 12:34pm

HogansHero said: "are you searching for premium or mid-premium seats? I see a healthy number of orchestra tickets available throughout except what I would think are house seats and seats being held for rush.

Side note: when we are talking about Broadway it really is not helpful to get info on what happens elsewhere because it's different.
"

HogansHero, out of curiosity why do you think comparing other theaters to broadway theaters is not helpful?

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#9
Posted: 7/21/19 at 12:39pm
I think Slave Play is expected to be a hot ticket, so I imagine lots of seats will be held for celebs and such.
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#10
Posted: 7/21/19 at 2:36pm

ShowStop2 said: "HogansHero, out of curiosity why do you think comparing other theaters to broadway theaters is not helpful?"

There is no other place that has the same landscape: contracts, markets, media, etc.  

TheCooler
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#11
Posted: 7/21/19 at 9:33pm



Lastly, there’s a theory/conspiracy that Stubhub has a relationship with Ticketmaster & Telecharge, and producers specifically upsell tickets on those platforms. That’s a conversation for another day tho."

 

This is not a conspiracy theory.  Welcome to reality.  almost every theatre sells premium seats on Stubhub at 2-5x markups that you would find on the regular maps. 

 

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#12
Posted: 7/21/19 at 9:43pm

TheCooler said: "This is not a conspiracy theory. Welcome to reality. almost every theatre sells premium seats on Stubhub at 2-5x markups that you would find on the regular maps."

Considering that Broadway theatres don't own any tickets, you might want to sort out your facts before you propagate your theory.

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#13
Posted: 7/21/19 at 11:04pm
If you are talking about what are commonly referred to as house seats, it varies from show to show. And no, you can't compare touring houses to Broadway theaters. On Broadway, it's the show's producers that determine which seats will be available, how many are available, and how they are distributed. Touring houses will have their own seats that they've designated, since they are the ones selling the tickets.

If you mean do shows hold back large swaths of tickets to sell closer to performance date, then the only show I know of that does that is a Harry Potter. And not just the Friday 40, They seem to hold back a decent number of regular priced seats as well. Which is probably to keep demand and price high.
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#14
Posted: 7/22/19 at 1:42am

This is a bit off topic but sometimes theatres block off cheaper seats to get people to buy the more expensive ones and to make the show look like it is a hot ticket.

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#15
Posted: 7/22/19 at 1:45am
Also some productions put those seats on sale on Stubhub for exorbitant price and only put them back on the official sources if they didn’t manage to sell them.
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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#16
Posted: 7/22/19 at 8:20am

Most likely just premiums. They don't put all the premiums online at once, since they want to control the pace at which they sell as well as the price... don't want to dump your whole inventory online and you can't raise prices because all the tickets are bought.

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Do theaters hold back on certain seats?#17
Posted: 7/22/19 at 8:39am

On a possibly related note, I've noticed that some shows sell immediately adjacent seats at wildly different prices. For example, I bought tickets for Slave Play this weekend, and the first 4-5 rows in center orchestra repeatedly alternated between blocks of 4-6 seats at premium prices, then 4-6 seats at much lower prices, than 4-6 premium seats, etc., all in the same row, in no apparent pattern. I saw the same thing when I bought tickets for The Prom last spring. Anyone know the reasoning behind this?

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