Chowdiah seating problems

“Chowdiah”, as the city’s premier /event theatre is fondly referred to, is an excellent hall, with great acoustics, and fairly adequate parking facilities (well, most of the time!) but there is one feature of seating that I feel impelled to protest against. And it is a feature that I have noticed unchanged for many years now.

Tickets to an event in Chowdiah are normally in two or three categories…let’s say, there are Rs.200, Rs.100, and Rs.50 seats. Obviously, those who buy the Rs.200 tickets would expect to sit in front, in the best seats,right? Wrong!

And this is how it happens…

When one goes to the booking office, and buys the most expensive tickets, one looks at the floor seating plan..and realizes that at least ten to fifteen rows in the front are marked “Reserved”. The reservation is for bigwigs, celebrities, and sponsors of the event. Sometimes one buys the tickets at other places and realizes this feature only when one arrives at the hall.

So even if I buy the most expensive ticket, I will be sitting only in the eleventh row at the best, and sometimes halfway down the hall.

The irritation of this kind of being relegated to the back is made worse by the fact that those ten to fifteen rows remain mostly empty at the beginning of the show. The reason? The seats were reserved, not for those who are interested in the performance, but for people whose companies may have sponsored the show, or for luminaries who may not turn up at all,unless they want to be seen at the event. One sits and fumes at the logic that says that someone who might receive tickets as freebies from sponsors,or other people who don’t want their free tickets, will definitely come and sit far ahead of you.

But that’s not the worst part…

When the performance is about to begin, and the organizers realize that all those empty seats in front are defintiely going to put the performing artistes completely off. So they make an announcement, that people sitting at the back (those people who paid Rs.50, obviously) can come and occupy the empty seats in front!

So I sit in my nice back-of-beyond Rs.200 seat, and watch the Rs.50-ticketers gleefuly settle down in the first few rows….I don’t feel like joining the general scramble for seats, as that is why I bought the expensive avoid a scramble at the last minute.

It’s so blatantly unfair, and it happens so often.

I suggest that far less seats be reserved for sponsors/prominent persons; if, at all, more persons than the number of seats allocated do turn up, they are there on free passes, and should not mind being seated a little behind those who have paid for their seats.

Or they should have a seating system like at a theatre like Ranga Shankara, where, even if there is such a reservation, it is only the front row, and the rest is free seating, on a first come first served basis, and where, recently, an excellent queue system has been organized for entrance to the theatre….and there is only one denomination of ticket.

But, given the difficult nature of organizing shows, and the demands of so many people for free seats, I wonder if these steps can be implemented…till then, those who buy the highest denomination tickets will have to be resigned to not being able to sit in the best seats in the house.

2 Comments so far

  1. kpowerinfinity (unregistered) on August 20th, 2007 @ 9:30 am

    Well, the seats at the center of the hall have the best accoustics. So, if I get to sit in the center I would not complain. Same reason I prefer to buy mid range tickets rather than the most expensive or the least.

    Perhaps some others can shed more light if they know the accoustics better.

  2. apu (unregistered) on August 20th, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    i agree what you mention is annoying – there is surely no need to reserve so many seats for freebies. but this doesnt seem to happen for all shows…

    also, when i book, i try to ensure that i am in the middle set of seats – a little front or back doesnt seem to matter as much as having a middle seat which gets you a better view, as well as sound

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