Met To Open New Entrance To Lobby This Fall To Ease Audience Congestion
Patrons and Subscribers arriving for a performance at the Metropolitan Opera will find it easier and faster to make their way inside when a new entrance opens in the late fall of 2018, a significant architectural alteration designed to meet modern audience needs.
Renovations to the southeast corner of the Met that began over the summer will be completed in early November, creating what will be known as the South Entrance. The decision to create the additional entrance was driven by increased congestion in the front of house in the minutes leading up to the start of performances, a condition caused by the larger proportion of ticket buyers purchasing their seats on the day of performances.
"We need to meet the current needs of our audiences," said Peter Gelb, the Met's General Manager. "When the Metropolitan Opera opened its new theater in Lincoln Center in 1966, the plans for a larger front of house were abandoned in an effort to reduce costs. With subscribers making up the majority of attendees back then, the sole entrance to the lobby sufficed, since there was considerably less last-minute traffic at the box office. We're now adapting to the changing times."
The new South Entrance will be dedicated for use by patrons and subscribers and will include other amenities, including a bar, as well as ADA access. It will also be used for intermission events and for educational and other events during the day.
Gallery Met, the company's exhibition space for contemporary art that had occupied this area since 2006, will continue to present new work by leading visual artists in public spaces throughout the house.
The new entrance was made possible thanks to a donation from Betsy Z. Cohen, a board member of the Met, and her husband, Edward E. Cohen.