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To be seated or not to be seated

Should late arriving patrons be seated in live theater productions?
Should late arriving patrons be seated in live theater productions?

When a person enters a theater where a live performance is taking place, do they have the right to be seated while the show is going on?

A few weeks ago, I purchased a ticket to see Rock City and Other Destinations, a show with a limited run that ended 2 weeks after the day I planned to go.  The website for ticket purchase was very clear about their policy: No one will be seated after the show begins.

That day, my NJ Transit bus was extraordinarily late.  And we hit large amounts of traffic going through the Lincoln Tunnel.  Even though I had given myself nearly 1.5 hours to get to the show which was right on 42nd Street, I found myself running out of Port Authority at 3:04.  Showtime was 3:00. 

Many theaters these days will seat you no matter what time you come in.  This one stuck to their policy.  It was a smaller theater so there might have been concerns about the lighting or action involved to seat someone interfering with the safety of the actors performing.   The show did not have an intermission so there was no opportunity for me to get in for that performance.  Unfortunately my schedule did not permit a rescheduling of the ticket which the show was willing to do. 

I respect the organizers of this show for adhering to their published policy.  And I would like to see this done more places.  At least hold people back until the intermission.  It is very distracting to patrons already seated to have to let people come into rows that are normally tight.  Standing in the back until intermission is an option. 

What is your opinion on this? Please weigh in and let us know.


  • Texas chick 4 years ago

    I totally agree with the policy. I went to see a show recently, had great tickets, and a group of 8 sitting in front of me was let in 15 minutes into the show. Took them a fair amount of time to get settled. And I couldn't see past them while they were getting settled. :(

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