Konstantine Stanislavski Love art in yourself and not yourself in art.

Harold Clurman The stage is life, music, beautiful girls, legs, breasts, not talk or intellectualism or dried-up academics.

I Almost Went Out

Posted by PC on Mar 6th, 2010 and filed under I Have Reservations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By P.C. Clark~

seats-bwSo, here I am. I’ve decided to get up off my lovely leather couch, leaving my home-theatre- blue- ray-surround-sound-ultimate-movie-theatre-experience behind. I’ve decided I need to leave my comfortable home and venture out into the “actual” world and risk bumping into “actual” people and see an “actual” theatre piece.

I’ve done my research. I read a review on LATheatreReview.com that made me think, “I might like this show”. I checked the theatre listings and discovered where the little 99 seat jewel box theatre is. I go to the website listed and try to make a reservation. They want a credit card. I just want to make a reservation and pay cash at the door. ( I have a thing about not using my card on line any more than I absolutely have to. Besides, there is almost always a service charge to use the credit card to reserve a seat.) I close the browser. I pick up my cell phone which, miraculously, has a signal in my house for once, and I dial the theatre. I listen through a recorded message that must rival the 1001 Arabian Nights tale for length and finally leave a message making a reservation for the show.

Later that same day I get a call from the little theatre confirming that I called and could they please have a credit card number to confirm the reservation. I explain to the lovely young voice on the phone that I will pay when I arrive and pick up my ticket. The lovely young voice explains that, well, they can put my name on the reservation list, but my seat won’t be guaranteed. I thank the now less than lovely and less than young voice and hang up.

I return to my comfortable leather couch to watch Pyscho Beach Party and think, why would I want to support the “actual” fools that run that theatre.

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8 Responses for “I Almost Went Out”

  1. Yes, we require a credit card to reserve seats, but I know it wasn’t our theatre that P.C. Clarke was considering, because: 1) we do not charge a service fee for phone orders, and 2) our voice mail message allows you to “bypass this message and go straight to the box office.” But it’s too bad it wasn’t our theatre, because he probably would have been greeted at the curb, passengers (especially elderly passengers) would have been assisted out of the vehicle, after which he would have been pleasantly directed to nearby free parking. After an enthralling first act, in a comfortable non-leather seat in a location he could have pre-selected, he could have purchased a beverage or snack for only $1. And so on.

  2. What’s the name of your theater, Jennifer? Hell, it would be worth the price of admission just to be greeted at the curb!

  3. Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre, Pico @ 27th Street
    http://www.SantaMonicaMusicals.com

  4. We don’t require a credit card for reservations! We only take cash and checks at the door at the moment, so there’s no reason to ever pay a service fee either.

    Though other theatres ask for the number or for a fee because they want to make sure you’ll show up once you’ve reserved. Many people don’t feel like they need to show up or courteously canceling if they’ve made a free reservation. Which may lead to a house that’s “sold out” but only half the people show up. That’s a challenge we’re currently dealing with.
    .-= Gedaly Guberek´s last blog ..img_0242 =-.

  5. Carny says:

    Why aren’t small theaters using a Paypal option? Cheaper for the merchant than credit cards, more secure for the patron.

  6. Geoff says:

    Carny – that is a very good suggestion! Setting up a PayPal account is quite easy and using it is also. Let’s hope some of them see it here and make the change.

  7. Drew says:

    Our theatre company has made the choice to operate under the following ticketing policy.

    We do not take advance reservations (or sell tickets) over the phone. We sell advance tickets through our website only. (For one thing, we’re a teeny tiny little theatre company and we couldn’t possibly have someone manning a telephone reservation line.)

    We use a PayPal payment system, where people can use either a credit/debit card or a check. Our advance sale tickets are at a discount (usually $5) below what we charge at the door.

    We also offer a limited number of discount tickets through Goldstar and LA Stage Tix. (While these are available to the public, we steer our friends over there if they truly cannot afford a full-price advance ticket.)

    Here’s why we don’t take reservations without an actual ticket purchase. We’ve found that a not insubstantial number of people will make a reservation, then not bother to show. It’s nice that you want to attend our show, but it’s important to us that you also make the financial commitment to attend.

    That way, we know ahead of time what the house is looking like, and how many comp tickets we will have available for the performance. And if we are close to selling out, we know exactly how many walk-ups we can accommodate well before curtain because we don’t have to deal with “no-shows” who hold an unpaid reservation.

    You can’t make reservations for shows at the Ahmanson, Pantages, etc. without actually purchasing the tickets. We’re not sure why we should be expected to operate in any different manner.

    Unlike many of the larger theatres, however, we also have a policy that if someone cannot make the show for which they have purchased tickets, we bend over backwards to get them into another show. We think it’s only fair.

    I’m sorry, P.C. Clark, if this arrangement is not to your liking. You’re always welcome to try your luck at the door if you don’t want to make an advance commitment to attend our show over and above merely expressing an intention to do so.

    If you use your credit or debit card for other purchases, you should not have a problem using it for ticket purchases.

  8. Hello AMC theater,
    I’d like to see a movie tonight. Save me a seat and I will pay you cash when I get there.

    Hello Staple Center,
    I’d like to see a game tonight. Save me a seat and I will pay you cash when I get there.

    etc, etc, etc…

    We all know what the outcome would be.
    So, lovely young voice , you did the right thing!
    Lovely leather couch person, give a small theater a break and go see a play. Your couch and flat screen TV will thank you for it. And heck, you might have a really great time!

    Sincerely,
    Jan Michael Alejandro

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