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Choosing the best theater seating for a specific production is often difficult and a matter of personal taste. However, some basic rules of thumb can help.

First, it is important to understand that potential seat layouts are often limited by fire and safety regulations and the need for aisles that are a minimum of six-feet wide. Additionally, ADA requirements will also influence some decisions about where seats for patrons in wheelchairs can be placed within the theater.

As a general rule, Top Price seats are those in the Stalls and Dress Circle, and excludes back two or three rows and anything behind a pillar. These seats tend to be sold for a premium, as they are considered the best available in the theatre, although they do not guarantee a 100% view of the stage.

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Boxes: Usually separate rooms, these can be placed to the side, front, or above the level of the stage and typically seat up to five people. They are expensive, but the views are poor and tickets are normally sold with a “no view” warning.

Balconies: One or more raised platforms towards the rear of the auditorium which may be inserted above or beneath the stalls, in larger opera houses these may be stacked vertically. They are typically lower priced and are sometimes sold with an obstructed view warning.

Aisle seats are a good option if you need to leave the auditorium during the show, but be warned of the annoying bar that runs the length of most rows which, unless positioned correctly, disrupts any viewing. Fortunately, theatremonkey has found that by swinging his seat into the aisle it is possible to avoid this problem without having to move all of your neighbours.

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