TKTS Turns 40 with a Celebration in Times Square

The original TKTS Booth in 1974. Photo courtesy of TDF.

July 1, 2013 - On June 26, TKTS celebrated 40 years of offering discount theatre tickets to shows both on and off Broadway. To mark the occasion, a special event was held in Time Square, where the first TKTS location was established in 1973 on 47th Street.

TKTS, housed in what is commonly known as the “large red staircase” in Times Square, delivers discounts of up to 50% for same-day purchases of Broadway and off-Broadway plays, musicals and dance events. The service has been credited with returning as much as $1.9 billion to stage productions and its $4.00 surcharge has been used to fund a number of educational and service programs.

At the event, the non-profit Theatre Development Fund (TDF), which runs TKTS, received a proclamation from the City of New York that was accepted by Harvey Fierstein, a four-time Tony winner and author of Kinky Boots, which won Best Musical this year at the 67th Annual Tony Awards.

The City’s proclamation was followed by a special tribute from the cast of Forbidden Broadway, an off-Broadway satirical revue created by Gerard Alessandrini. Next came a series of Broadway-themed karaoke performances that were introduced by actress and performer Julie Halston.

At the event, TDF introduced the TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass, allowing TKTS patrons to return to the iconic discount ticket booth within 7 days of their TKTS purchase and walk up to window #1 with their TKTS ticket stub, thereby avoiding the longer lines at peak hours.

TDF also announced that the TKTS’ satellite booth at South Street Seaport, which has been closed since Hurricane Sandy, is currently under reconstruction and will be open sometime in July. That Booth serves thousands of theatregoers who work and live in Downtown Manhattan.

To learn more about TKTS or the TDF, visit or one of the two operating TKTS locations in New York (in Times Square and in Downtown Brooklyn).

- Jordan Gary
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