Chicago theatregoers got a new, improved way to get discounted tickets to events June 20, when the new, 662-square foot Hot Tix storefront opened at 78 W. Randolph, in the heart of the North Loop theatre district.
The new downtown Hot Tix location replaced the long-standing Hot Tix booth on State Street, and is located across from the Daley Center. It has a street-level entrance on the southern face of the 161 North Clark Building, right between the newly refurbished Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre and the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and just around the corner from the new Goodman Theatre on Dearborn, and the Chicago Theatre on State.
Hot Tix features an electronic call board that lists theatres offering half-price tickets for that evening's performances, a video monitor that plays a continuous reel of preview clips from some of the city's top shows, and dozens of theatre posters.
"Relocating our downtown Hot Tix outlet to a new, larger, more customer-friendly location will have a vital impact on the ongoing revitalization of the North Loop's new Chicago Theatre District," said Marj Halperin, executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres, in a statement. "In addition to being home to many of the biggest shows in town, this new Hot Tix facility also makes downtown Randolph Street the destination for finding affordable tickets to productions all over the Chicago area."
Every week, dozens of the nearly 150 theaters and performing arts organizations that are members of the League of Chicago Theatres distribute an allotment of same-day, half-price tickets to shows currently in production via the Hot Tix program. Half-price Hot Tix are available for everything from Second City improv, to the latest drama at the Goodman, to the Broadway hits at the downtown houses, to the gritty offerings of Chicago's storefront theaters. Hot Tix also has expanded hours: 8:30 AM to 6 PM Tuesday and Wednesday; 8:30 AM to 7 PM Thursday; 8:30 AM to 6 PM Friday; 10 AM to 6 PM Saturday; Noon to 5 PM Sunday.
Visit the web site at http://www.hottix.org. The site will be updated twice a day to deliver the most current listing of available half price shows. The site also links to the League of Chicago Theatres' main web site, http://www.theaterchicago.org, which offers comprehensive information on the city's theatre scene, and links to many of the League's nearly 150 member theatres.
Chicago's Hot Tix sells more half-price tickets than any city outside of New York, selling nearly 100,000 tickets each year. In addition to the relocated downtown Hot Tix at 78 W. Randolph, the Evanston Hot Tix operation moved earlier this year to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. in Skokie. Hot Tix is also found on Michigan Avenue in the historic Water Works Visitor Center at 163 E. Pearson, and at all four Chicago-area Tower Records stores.
The League of Chicago Theatres is the non-profit trade association for live theatre in the Chicago area. Member theaters participate in the Hot Tix program to help the League raise the profile of Chicago theatre, increase the public's interest in and enjoyment of theatre, and offer more affordable access to live theatre.
-- By Kenneth Jones