suicidalmickeymouse said: "Do the theatres physically send tickets to the booths, or is it an online system where both box office and TKTS can see available seats to sell?Ive always been so curious."My guess is that now it's entirely the latter, but I know in the not-that-distant past I bought tickets for an off-Broadway show that clearly were physical tickets that had been sent from the theater to the booth, and I had to pay cash for them. (I want to say it was for Ruined, but I'm not positive.)
Tickets are allocated to TKTS on an as-available basis, and the producer/GM specify the prince. The tickets are then printed at the TKTS window (there are 3 different locations) after the transaction. It's entirely digital. (Or at least for Broadway it is, I can't speak for the smaller Off-Bway venues)
suicidalmickeymouse said: "So does this mean the allocated TKTS seats aren’t available online or at the box office?"No, they aren't. You can typically tell from price range what is a better seat or not however. I only bought from the actual TKTS booth one time for The Prom, found out my seat right then and there. For last minute discounted tickets they're not going to give people free reign where to choose. Also, its mainly so they can just sell tickets faster rather than everyone waiting for THE seat they want.
while a ticket is assigned to tkts (or any other special inventory) it does not show up in the box office/online inventory. That does not mean that the production cannot pull it back, just as the production can change prices, release house seats, etc. Back when all tickets were physical, retrieving a ticket would have been more complicated but this is not to suggest that pulling tickets from tkts is common.
suicidalmickeymouse said: "So does this mean the allocated TKTS seats aren’t available online or at the box office?"Computer networks are incredibly sophisticated and can process transactions in milliseconds. TKTS has 3 locations and while TKTS could get the tickets and split them up to allocate some of them to each of their 3 locations to make sure 2 locations don't sell the same ticket, that would be the most ridiculously inefficient system imaginable and with the network they have in place, if one location sells a ticket, it immediately comes off the inventory and can't be sold by another location so all 3 locations can have access to the same inventory. With that in mind, there is no reason the theaters if they wish to, couldn't keep those same tickets in their own inventory to be sold and the network which I would imagine is all run and maintained by either Ticketmaster or Telecharge depending on the show would immediately pull it from TKTS's allocated inventory if they are sold by the box office and vice versa. The theaters have to operate with a network like this anyway regardless of what TKTS does cause they are simultaneously selling tickets on line and by phone thru TM/Telecharge and at the theater themselves and have to make sure someone on the phone doesn't sell a ticket that's just been sold in person by the box office. Anyone selling tickets through multiple channels has to have a system like this to make sure a ticket is only sold once.The underlying premise is they are sending tickets to TKTS to sell they don't believe they will be able to sell themselves. I don't work with TKTS or the theaters so I can't tell you for sure they continue to sell those seats but with the networks they would have to have in place, they'd be foolish not to and just consider them dead not knowing if TKTS will get rid of them. Maybe there are rules in place about how and when TKTS has an exclusive opportunity to sell them but technologically speaking, there is no reason why they can't continue to be sold by the theaters even after they've sent them to TKTS. The days when someone carried over pre-printed tickets from the theater to the Times Square booth ended many, many years ago.
Yes I have no real knowledge, just what I suppose, and with that caveat I have to agree with all Uncle Charlie says above. I cannot imagine that TKTS seats are "reserved" for TKTS exclusively and not otherwise available for someone to pay full price for either online or literally on line at the box office.
I am pretty sure that TKTS can and does pull tickets from the exact same inventory as Ticketmaster and the theater box office. My evidence is, however, anecdotal. There have been several times where I have looked at seats available on Ticketmaster for a show that is also available at TKTS, the bought and received from TKTS a seat that I had seen on Ticketmaster. I've also tried buying a seat from the box office, dissatisfied with the price, and ended up getting the exact same seat from TKTS (within a matter of minutes). Assuming that's true, that doesn't necessarily mean TKTS has access to the entire inventory right away. I imagine that TKTS is probably using some type of code which is built in to their computer system which only pulls up the seats the box office is making available to them, (not entirely dissimilar to discount codes, but not quite the same either).
Once upon a time, they had physical tickets sent over or at least ones that were pre-printed for them. I can recall back in the day when you would ask for a show, the worker would go to a like set of slots they use to keep the tickets in on the wall and pull out a little pile for the show you asked of, shuffle through for the best seats or something close to what you asked for and hand you those. That went out though when they moved to the temp location at the Marriott while they remodeled the main booth.NOW though, it's all in the computer and printed on the spot.
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