Monday, December 14, 2009

Theater $avings

One of my readers recently asked this question:

How do you cut money on experiences? Like, theater tickets or trips? How can you cut costs on bills? And I have lots of questions on coupons still. I clip them, but I don't really feel like I am saving a lot of money using them.

This is a series of great questions and I think each should get their own post. This post will address the specifics of saving money on theater tickets.

I did a little search on and found an article with some great ideas. Here are their tips:

step 1
Buy a subscription. Season-long subscriptions are ten to thirty-five percent lower than individual tickets. Contact your local theater group and find out what kind of subscription programs they offer.

Step 2
Attend the previews. Discounted tickets to attend a performance before the show officially opens are available at some theaters. While this will not be the polished, final production they are often almost as ready as the opening night performances.

Step 3
Keep an eye open for rush tickets. Call the box office one or two hours before the shows performance and find out if there are many tickets left for that night's performance. Rush tickets are sold about thirty minutes before the curtain opens and cost about half the price of the regular ticket. A full house looks good to reviews and the performers.

Step 4
Ask if your favorite theater offers week-day (or matinee) performances. If they do, they might let you make a donation for your admission. Don't expect this on the weekends when theater goers flock to the shows, but week night performances don't fill as easily.A little determination can make a big difference. If you really want to attend a live performance, check into these methods for saving money at the theater.

Now, for some of my own ideas:

If you are going to Broadway, they sell standing room tickets for about $25 per ticket (We did this with Monte Python and the Holy Grail). Also, they have lottery tickets for some of the most popular venues like Wicked. You go at a certain time, put your name in a drawing. If they pull your name out, you win! You pay $26 for a front row ticket. Be ready with cash in hand for this as well. (I do have to say, your chances are slim of winning at the really big ones. it took us four tries to win the Wicked lottery. Finally all eight of our extended family put their names in at once. One of us won and gave the ticket to me and my DH.)

Check out the ameture theater. Here you will find professionals who are trying to beef up their resumes so they can go big. While we were in the San Fransisco area, we attended operas put on by the music conservatory there. Great production, fraction of the price. Also check out a local college or university.

If professional venues are still a little pricey, even with the above tips, think local theater. The theaters are often smaller so you get a great view. You get local talent which is fun to see, an the price tag is as least 50% of what you would pay for a big production. Also, you don't have to travel as far so the price of gas will go down, and parking will probably be free. (The cut travel time will also help with the sitter cost if you have one.)

Another way is to let your friends and relatives know that you are interested in going to the theater. Maybe you will get tickets for a birthday or Christmas present.

Also, you can split the cost of season tickets with a friend or a group of friends, or if you know someone who is a season ticket holder, let them know you would be interested in their tickets if they can't make it to a performance. (You can swap babysitting with the other people who share the tickets with you.)

I just checked and people sell tickets there. Also, my brother-in-law likes However, I don't know how cheaply you can get tickets from there.

Thank you for the question. I hope this helped and stay tuned for my other answers.

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