But Mom, Chicago has it! Why can’t we?

Yessiree, that sound you hear is me whining so hard you serve me with a glass of chablis and a side of brie.

I know, I know, a whiner is not very flattering, but look at what one of my Chicago-born staffers found right off the Magnificent Mile in Chi-town!  When you see it, you’ll be whining too!

Yep, that’s right, downtown Chicago has Ticketmaster ATMs (Automated Ticket Machines).  Aren’t they pretty?  Easy to use and easy to put in any location, these machines not only make purchasing tickets for theater easier, but their simple existence helps remind people that live theater exists.  It helps keep buying a ticket to the theater “top of mind”.

I want one!  I want one!

But NYC shouldn’t have one.

We should have several.

Imagine ATMs like these in locations like Rockefeller Plaza, Empire State Building, the Staten Island Ferry, subway stations, NYU, big hotels,  etc.  This could be one of the easiest ways to sell more tickets and at the prices we want.  Put full price tickets in more places than discount tickets, and slowly but surely, we might start to gain some traction.

And speaking of traction . . . putting official ticketing sources in more places, and slowly but surely, we might also make a dent in the broker business that has been scooping up customers off the web faster than we can say “service fee”.

I know this idea makes some people nervous . . . but honestly, this is a simple one that will sell us more tickets.  And I’m not even saying these suckers should be in box offices, so no jobs are threatened.

But they should be around the city.  And when they add to our bottom line, we can all toast with a real glass of wine.

 

(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • SarahB says:

    Cool idea but Ticketmaster? Ugh. They are evil.

  • Www says:

    Ticketmaster = legalized scalping.
    Pure evil.

  • Chris says:

    This is amazing, totally cool. I wonder if it would work if theaters had their tickets across multiple companies — Tickemaster, Telecharge, even Brownpaper Tickets for smaller events.

  • Matt says:

    All this talk of eeking out every last dollar from a theater-going public makes me kind of sick. I realize this is a producer’s blog, and it’s a business and all, but as a performer and audience member, I refuse to pay full price for a Broadway show. Few if any are worth the exorbitant prices that are being charged and it severely cuts into my entertainment budget. I’m lucky if I see 1 or 2 shows a year and if the prices were reasonable, I’d see at least 3 or 4 a month. You know, maybe houses would be fuller and sold out longer too. I’d love for someone to produce a show that didn’t need to recoup so much to break even and actually cared more about the art than the money.

  • Hey Matt – what’s a reasonable price for you that would get you to see 3 to 4 a month? And my only counter to your statement would be . . . I don’t know many producers that are in this biz for the money. There are a lot of easier ways to make a buck, that’s for sure. Most are in it because we’re just like you . . . we love the theater.

  • James says:

    Amazing. Maybe when they’re everywhere people will know what’s playing on broadway more often. Tons f people have no idea what’s out there already, an automated ticket vending machine in popular places will definitly help. I’m worried about ticket prices staying affordable though. Do you think this will continue to raise the ticket prices!?!
    5 years ago an iPhone was more expensive than a new one in 2011; Broadway show tix were a lot less expensive 5 years ago.

  • Mozz says:

    This is AMAZING! I love it. Chicago is so cool. I can see myself using one of these too. Simply because I’m not much of a planner when it comes to buying tickets, I’m a spontaneous sorta guy, so being out with friends and encountering one of these would totally make a Broadway show something of a spontaneous thing to do. YAY!
    As far as Matt’s comment. I appreciate it, I know Broadway is super expensive,so I tend to be choosy, but I take it as paying for people’s time. And how much value they should get for doing what they do.
    On film and tv an actor’s performance is captured. Theatre actors, stage managers, dancers, singers, crew personnel, they show up every night, for the audience. They should get paid well for what they do.
    I mean, just the risk they take jumping on trampolines is worth it.
    Back to the Ticket ATMS. Hotdiggity that is a cool machine.

  • Paul Mendenhall says:

    I thought this was a great idea until I saw it is Ticketmaster. If they are anything like their website, you could spend all day trying to get the seats and dates you want. And just when you are almost there, they cut you off.

  • kim says:

    Yes to the ATM’s.. No to Ticketmaster. They are too difficult. Who makes the ATM’s for movie theatre’s? Those are really easy. Let’s contact them!

  • Cam says:

    I did some research on this. It’s actually a good idea. You could buy a kiosk and set it up in front of your theatres. It would save your customers the exorbitant fees that Ticketmaster charges. Or you could setup a coop with other producers or theatres etc and together set some up around your theatres and other places.
    I also read that hotels are a good place for them and would be a great way to connect with the travelers that go to NYC. I know I’d love it if I could buy my tickets at my hotel. It would eliminate the need for me to go out somewhere, find a broker etc, get lost or conned in the process.
    The website for Kiosks Inc, a USA company, is very informative too.

  • How long has Chicago had this? The obvious thing to do is let Chi-town be the guinea pig. Just let the data roll in and then decide whether NYC should do the same.

  • yvette heyliger says:

    What a like most is the fact that it can be perceived as so simple “even a kid could do it.”

  • Yvette Heyliger says:

    I meant to say, what I liked most about the ticket machine is that it can be perceived as so simple “even a kid could use it.” I love the next generation of theatre ticket buyers approach to the photo op. It is important.

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