TKTS booth


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The TKTS ticket booths in New York and London sell Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music and dance events and West End theatre tickets, respectively, at discounts of 25–50% off the face value.

A new TKTS booth for the Times Square location began construction in May 2006 and was completed in October 2008. During this time, the TKTS booth was temporarily relocated to the nearby Marriott Marquis hotel. After many delays, the new TKTS booth opened for business on October 16, 2008 on a renovated Duffy Square, with a ceremony featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various Broadway performers. The booth is wedge-shaped, with wide, bleacher-like stairs covering the roof, allowing pedestrians to sit down or climb the steps for a panoramic, unobstructed view of Times Square. According to the Theater Development Fund, the final cost of the new booth was $19 million.
Operations
In the 35 years since the booth first opened, there have been 51 million tickets sold. Theaters release tickets for sale by TKTS throughout the day, with more tickets often available within a few hours of showtime. TKTS accepts cash and travelers checks and now also accepts credit cards. Waiting times at Duffy Square are normally longer than at the Seaport and Brooklyn locations. Available shows are displayed on large signs near the ticket windows. The booth has twelve sales windows.

TKTS booth "At The Booth" iPhone App Controversy
On July 23, 2010, Ken Davenport released an iPhone app called "At The Booth"; its accuracy was called into question by the Theatre Development Fund, the operators of the TKTS Booth. Victoria Bailey, executive director of the fund, reported, “While we always appreciate efforts to disseminate information about what is available at the TKTS Booths, we are concerned that this recently released app may not provide an accurate picture of ticket availability and line lengths considering the fluidity of both.” Ken Davenport responded to the veracity of the "At The Booth" app saying, "We have a lot of ways that we do it, and a lot of ways that we double-check." With its response to the app's release, TDF also claimed to be in the Beta testing stage of their own app which would feed information from all three TKTS Booths - though this was the first news of the proposed TKTS-sponsored app. An interview with Victoria Bailey appeared in The New York Times almost exactly a year before the app's release and doesn't mention developing a TKTS Booth app, instead she qualifies the TKTS Booth experience, "Our mission is in large part to promote conversations about theater. You do that in person. The booth is kind of a town square. About 30 to 35 percent of people there are first-time Broadway attendees. There is anxiety about what to see. You hear those conversations within a few minutes of getting there." The controversy is ongoing.

TKTS booth Awards and Recognition
The TKTS booth in Times Square won the Engineering Grand Award in Popular Science magazine's Best of "What's New 2009". At the time, it was the largest load-bearing glass structure in the world, designed by engineers at Dewhurst Macfarlane using a plastic film called SentryGlas Plus from Dupont.

New York City's TKTS (pronounced "Tee-Kay Tee-Ess", not "tickets") first opened in 1973 and is operated by the Theatre Development Fund. There are three locations: one in Duffy Square (at 47th Street and Broadway, the north end of Times Square); another at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan (replacing the office formerly located in the lobby of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks); and a third in Downtown Brooklyn (Jay St. and Myrtle St. Promenade). The Times Square booth sells day-of-performance tickets only, while the South Street Seaport booth sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before.

The original TKTS pavilion in Times Square was designed by the Manhattan architecture firm of Mayers & Schiff Associates and was inaugurated by Mayor John Lindsay. The city had a capital budget of $5,000 to build the pavilion, a sum that was obviously insufficient. But the city did have an "operating" budget, which the architects used in a plan based on renting, rather than buying, the pavilion's parts. The sales booth was housed in a rented construction trailer; the armature around and on top of the trailer was made from rented scaffolding parts. Interwoven through the armature was a continuous white canvas ribbon emblazoned with the "TKTS" logo. Foundations could not be dug under the booth because the subway structure is just below ground level. To hold down this giant "wind kite" the architects utilized pile driving test weights (also rented). The pavilion received many design awards, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts' Excellence in Communications Graphics; The City Club of New York's Bard Award for Architecture and Urban Design; and the N.Y. State Association of Architects Certificate of Merit for Design Excellence.