Tech Talk: TKTS, NYC on Sale


tech talk redesignNew York City is one of those places that fits the old saying: “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Actually, I might not mind living there, if I could do so in style, but I don’t think that’s happening any time soon.


Photo by lensicle via

Even as a visitor — or perhaps especially so — I’m always looking for a way to enjoy as much of what the city has to offer as possible, which means taking advantage of bargains wherever I can find them.

One of the best bargains in Manhattan is the Theatre Development Fund’s TKTS booth, where you can buy tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows at a significant discount. TDF has TKTS booths in three locations — Times Square, South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn — and tickets at all three TKTS locations are half price for most shows, making a family trip to the theatre much more affordable.

I’ve known about the TKTS booth for years, but it wasn’t until last December that I discovered that there is, indeed, an app for that — and it’s free. According to its description in the Apple App Store, “the Official TKTS app is the only way to get fast, accurate, real time listings of all Broadway and Off Broadway shows available at the world famous TKTS Discount Ticket Booths in New York City.”

In the app, tap on the location of the TKTS booth you want to visit and a list of shows with tickets available at that booth will pop up, along with their discounts. Tap on the title of the show, and you’ll get its information screen, featuring a synopsis of the show, theatre, performance and transportation information. Checking the list before you go to the booth will tell you whether or not the show you want to see has discount tickets available, and reading the show information can help you pass the time in line (and I’ve never been to the TKTS booth when there wasn’t a line).

If you’re heading to New York to see a specific show, then this app (or the TKTS booth, for that matter) isn’t for you. But if you just want to see a show, and are open to several possibilities, check out the app.

After all, buying tickets at the TKTS booth might mean the difference between a show and dinner and a show.

The TKTS app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2015 Lisa Hess.
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Photo: Yellow-cabs-in-New-York by lensicle, copyright 2015, via Morguefile.


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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