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TKTS Celebrates 40 Years Of B'Way Discounts

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TWC News: TKTS Celebrates 40 Years Of B'Way Discounts
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Discount ticket seller TKTS celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a party in Times Square. NY1's Donna Karger filed the following report.

Some theatrical icons, or at least their satirical facsimiles, courtesy of the long-running Broadway spoof "Forbidden Broadway," turned out Wednesday to honor another theatrical icon, TKTS. The Times Square booth is marking its 40th anniversary this week.

Four-time Tony-winning writer-performer Harvey Fierstein was on hand to help accept a proclamation from the city declaring Wednesday "TKTS Day."

"I've had shows that depended on the booth, that didn't find an audience until the booth helped out a little bit," Fierstein said. "It's used for all kinds of things, but it can really help a show that's struggling."

The original TKTS booth made its debut in June of 1973, and during the past 40 years, TKTS has distributed more than 58.5 million tickets to Broadway, off-Broadway, music and dance events.

"It's hard to imagine what it all looked like 40 years ago," said Victoria Bailey, executive director of the Theatre Development Fund. "Times Square was kind of a scary place, and the city and the theater industry had this idea: 'What would happen if you put a half-price ticket booth in the middle of Times Square? Maybe someone would come buy tickets, discount tickets.' And 40 years later, here we are.

While Wednesday was a day to celebrate 40 years of TKTS' history, there were also announcements of some new features.

One is a so-called "fast pass." Buy a discounted ticket and you'll get a coupon. Use it within seven days to get on the much shorter full-price ticket line and still buy your next ticket at a discount.

"And then the other thing we announced was, our booth at South Street was flooded out in Sandy, and like Coney Island, we're not sitting out the summer. We'll be open some time in July," Bailey said.

For more information on everything TKTS and the Theatre Development Fund have to offer, visit their website at tdf.org.

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