Kill seats: theater tickets for $5

During my undergraduate schooling, I interned with a large performing arts theater. They continue to host many fantastic Broadway-style productions. Although I interned in a tourism/marketing role, I got to know the box office staff pretty well. I’m going to let you in on a little-known secret concerning ticket prices – call the box office directly and ask if they offer “kill seats.” You’ll save a bundle of money.

What are kill seats?

Concerning the theater I interned at, kill seats are basically the same as obstructed view seats. Their kill seats are located in the first row of the balcony. If you’re the wrong height, you’ll have a handrail bar cutting through your line of vision. This really wasn’t a problem for  me and my husband, though. He was tall enough to see over the bar; I was short enough to see under the bar.

You can commonly purchase obstructed view seats on any theater’s website for a discounted price. For some reason, this theater saw their kill seats as being separate from their obstructed view seats so they were not made available for online purchase. They could be bought by calling the box office directly and asking for the best deal, a.k.a. kill seats.

Why are kill seats a good deal?

In my case, I was able to purchase kill seats to many top-notch productions including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Chicago,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and more for only $5. Normally, tickets to the productions ran from $18-22 so this was a real savings. Prices will vary from venue to venue, though.

How to buy kill seats

Call your local theater directly to inquire about kill seats; they are generally not advertised online. Remember, kill seats may not be available at all venues and they may have a different name.

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

I purchased kill seats to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," for $5. Photo courtesy of

I purchased kill seats to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for $5. Photo courtesy of

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