As TKTS turns 40, applause for Brooklyn booth

The famed TKTS booth in Times Square, where New Yorkers and tourists alike wait in line for same-day discount Broadway and off-Broadway tickets, turned 40 on Tuesday.

Many ticket buyers, however, prefer the TKTS booth at MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn because of its smaller lines. Yelp, the customer-review website, has 19 entries about the Brooklyn TKTS, and every single reviewer gave it five stars – the highest rating.

For example, Gabrielle P. of Newport Beach, Calif, wrote, “After close to no luck at the Times Square booth for Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, and Sunday evening for `Once’ and/or `Newsies,’ we decided to risk it all, double or nothing on Monday morning [our last day in NYC].

“I didn't see `Newsies’--until TKTS changed my life (#dramatic). On our last day, we went to the office in Brooklyn, and the employee helped us right away (no line whatsoever).

“Bottom line: 50% off regular-priced tickets. Orchestra CENTER, Row H, Seat 105. Total: $80!”

Alexis G of Brooklyn, wrote, “I got here at 10:50 on a Saturday morning. They open at 11. I was MAYBE the 15th person on line.
I waited about 15 minutes once they opened, if that.

“I got awesome seats for `Godspell’ that night. Paid with a card.
I was out of there by 11:20. I would give the Brooklyn TKTS booth a million stars if I could.”

Brett B. Of San Jose wrote, “By far, the best TKTS location and overall best place to buy Broadway tickets!  I won't ever go near the Times Square location anymore, and with good reason, as I am only in Manhattan for the holidays lately.  

“During the Christmas holiday I showed up at this location and only waited about 15 minutes, if I was at Times Square it would have been hours!”

The Times Square TKTS booth, originated by the Theatre Development Fund as a way of reviving interest in the Broadway theater, was an experiment that stuck. It opened for business on June 25, 1973, housed in a trailer with four windows. The current glass-enclosed booth under a red glass staircase, part of an overall $18 million renovation project for Times Square, opened in 2008.

That same year, in 2008, the Fund opened a TKTS booth in a  storefront at MetroTech (there is also a third booth, at the South Street Seaport).

This was the organization’s second attempt to open a booth in Brooklyn. An earlier one, near the Brooklyn Supreme Courthouse, opened in the late 1980s but closed in the early 1990s. That was before the revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn brought new residents and new demand.

While the booth concentrates on Broadway and off-Broadway plays, it also offers tickets for Brooklyn events, including some at BAM.

The Brooklyn TKTS booth is located in 1 Metrotech Center at the corner of Jay and Myrtle streets, and is open from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.