Chairs and Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

By Alison Baumgartner

Chairs and Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

After 40 amazing years, we’re replacing all the Performance Hall seats with new chairs, and we can’t wait to show them off.

Some big changes are coming along with these new seats. Here’s what you have to look forward to the next time you come to the Lincoln Center!

Seat Numbering

As we change our seats, the seat numbering is changing too. To make finding your seat easier, we are switching to arena-style nomenclature. What does that mean? It means that each seat has a unique, consecutive number based on its section location, so now finding your seat will be easier.  Click here to find detailed graphics of our new seating charts.



You’ve asked for it, and they’re finally here! You will now have a place to put your drink so you can enjoy the show without worrying about spilling it while you start to shimmy and sway to the music or pitch and yaw with laughter at our world-class comedians.



We want you to be comfortable and enjoy your show, so our new seats come with more padding—three inches of padding on the cushion, to be exact. You might even feel like you’re watching the show from the comfort of your own couch.


Transfer Chairs

It’s important that the arts are made accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve added transfer chairs in the first row of the theater.  These new seats are made so that the armrests easily move up and out of the way, making it easier for someone to pivot into the seat. Now folks who have special seating needs will have more options on where to sit.


 Aisle Lighting

Not only will we be getting new lighting to mark the aisles, the new aisle lights will now indicate the row letters as well! No more wandering in the dark looking for your seat!


Light Locks

For the last 40 years, leaving the theater during a show through the doors located in the upper mezzanine has always caused a distraction, mainly due to the light flooding in when those doors are opened. Now we’ve installed light locks — which are essentially outer rooms with curtains — by the mezzanine doors upstairs. Now people will be able to come and go without distracting other audience members from the show.



Although it may not be immediately apparent, the concrete flooring under the seats has gotten an upgrade too. It will now be sealed and polished for easier cleanup.  And as all these upgrades are being made, the carpeting is also being replaced for a fresh new look.


Other Improvements

We’ve made other improvements as well, like adding underground trenches to run sound, lighting and other technical cables through, as well as adding black paint to areas near the stage to cut out visual distractions during the show.

Along with all of these important upgrades that will improve your experience at the Lincoln Center, we are raising $100,000 to help offset the costs of this greatly-needed project with a total cost coming in at over a half million dollars. You can help us by Taking Your Seat, and becoming a part of our future. When you Take Your Seat, we’ll personalize a seat plate with an inscription of your choice for placement on the new seats—so you can share your love for the arts with the world. To take part, click here!


Darrel Aug 6, 2018 17:33 PM
Improvements sound great. However, we've been reluctant to attend Lincoln Center musical performances in recent years because of substantially increased sound volume--much too loud, necessitating use of ear plugs. We had complained but to no avail. Have you done anything with the sound amplification/speaker system to reduce the volume while maintaining sound quality?
    Victoria Erickson Aug 13, 2018 09:26 AM
    Darrel, The short answer to your question is no, we haven't changed our sound/speaker system. Just so you are aware, we do require all artists/acts who appear at the Lincoln Center to operate at a volume level that is well within the required safety standards. Our technical team continually monitors the decibel levels during each show to ensure compliance. In the future, please know that if you ever find the volume levels to be uncomfortable at any Lincoln Center performance, please speak to an usher. All of our ushers and front of house staff have packets of earplugs available at no cost at all times. I have passed along your feedback to our Theatre Operations Manager so that he is aware that you have had negative experiences with the sound. Thanks for your feedback. We strive to provide the best experience possible and your feedback allows us to continually improve our services.

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