The famed Lunt-Fontanne theatre has been home to many iconic shows over the years from Hello, Dolly! to Beauty and the Beast to more recently Finding Neverland. Preparations are in full swing to mount a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an iconic tale that has captured the heart and imagination of people of all ages ! Join Charlie, the plucky protagonist, as he enters a world of pure imagination after winning a golden ticket.
Broadway veteran Christian Borle stars as Willy Wonka in the stage adaptation with Jack O’Brien taking the reigns as the director.
The show will begin previews from March 23rd and we bet you wouldn’t want to miss this magical show. To make your Broadway experience better, we have put together a comprehensive guide of everything Lunt-Fontanne theatre, from the seating map to pricemaps to best places to grab a bite nearby.
Named after the celebrated actor couple, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre was built in 1910, making it one of Broadway’s oldest theatres. With a seating capacity of 1505, the theatre is what one would call reasonably sized.
The seating section is divided into three levels, namely, Orchestra, which is the main floor, and the elevated Front Mezzanine and Rear Mezzanine. There are two sets of box seats on either side of the theatre as well, with 20 seats in total. The Orchestra section has the most number of seats at 868, and the Front and Rear Mezzanine sections have 168 and 436 seats respectively.
While not the biggest of theatres, the Lunt-Fontanne offers some of the best viewing angles in Broadway. That and the classic, old-world sensibilities that emanate from every section, make the Lunt-Fontanne an instant charmer. Beautiful crystal chandeliers adorn the ceiling, which also showcases a 100-foot painting. The theatre lobby is lined with remarkable photographs of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, a delight for visitors who appreciate the grandeur and historical significance of the theatre.
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre has seats with little to no obstructions, offering you a good look at the stage. But there are are seats that allow for a more refined viewing experience. Let’s take a look at each section of the Lunt-Fontanne seating map in detail:
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Orchestra
Typically, the Orchestra seats offer the best view of the stage and that is the case with the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre as well. This section is further divided into four areas namely, Orchestra Front Center, Orchestra Center, Orchestra Left, and Orchestra Right. The rows in this section start from A and go on till ZZ, bringing the total to 28 (most broadway theatres skip the thirteenth Row, I) The seats on Orchestra left are odd numbered, starting from one and ending with 17 on the left most corner. Orchestra right seats are even numbered and range from 2 to 24. The centre orchestra seats start with 101, which is the first center orchestra seat on the left, and extends to 114 on the right.
In the Orchestra section specifically, rows D-L are considered premium. The centre seats in these rows will give you the most direct view of all the action taking place on the stage. You wouldn’t want to get too close to the stage, though, since that can be a pain (literally) in your neck. Avoid the first few rows if you can.
The back row seats, while still offering a great view of the stage, are further back, which means you won’t get a good look at the actors and might miss out on their facial expressions during key dramatic moments. But all said and done, rear Orchestra seats are still a steal, if you get a good deal on the tickets. If given a choice, always pick orchestra center over orchestra right or left since the former will give you a direct view of the stage.
Generally avoid seats on the extreme corner of any level, which is especially true for Orchestra. Any double digit seats beyond row “H” in the orchestra section will be too far off the side.
If you looking for the inexpensive Lunt-Fontanne orchestra tickets, the rules are pretty simple. Premium orchestra seats (Center rows: A-K and side rows A-D) are generally the most expensive, while rear orchestra rows WW-ZZ are the cheapest. And just like their placement in the theatre, middle orchestra rows fall in the middle of the price range. Our suggestion, try and get the first few rows in the middle orchestra section for a good view and affordable tickets. You can compare prices on different platforms and find a great deal. For instance, the center orchestra seats for the 8 PM show on 28th April are available for $159 on TicketMaster.com, $143 on Headout.com, and $163 on Broadway.com.
I sat in row CC (last row of the orchestra) and my view was 99% fine. Only thing I had to duck a little to see was the very top of the ship in the first scene. Otherwise nice overall view.
Seating was good and there seemed to be enough leg room. Our seats were in the second row of the orchestra and although I love being close up it was not possible to see the feet of the actors. It would have been better to sit a little further back.
I just saw it from orchestra right, front row (student rush tickets), and although front row wasn't ideal, it was 30 bucks and the best deal I ever got.
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Front Mezzanine
An aerial view of the stage has its own charm and if you enjoy watching performances from the top, the front mezzanine level is perfect for you.
The front mezzanine section in The Lunt-Fontanne theatre is placed above Row J of the Orchestra section. This section has only five rows and most offer a pretty good view of the stage. Barring the extreme corner seats, of course. The rows are numbered A to E, with row A being closest to the stage. The two boxes, seating 10 people each, are placed on either corners of the front mezzanine section.
For senior citizens or people with physical disabilities, the mezzanine, both front and rear, section is not the best idea. The stairs are steep and the upward climb can take a toll on most.
Tickets for the front Mezzanine seats in the Lunt-Fontanne theatre fall in a similar price range as the centre orchestra. The centre seats for all five rows are the most expensive, while the price falls as you move along the row towards the corner seats. The centre front mezzanine are generally considered some of the best seats in a theatre, and if you book in advance, you can get them for quite cheap.
Front mezzanine is probably the best seat in the house, in my opinion. The mezzanine of the LF stretches further forward than lots of other theatres, so you're right there if you're in the front of the mezz.
NOT accessible for people with disabilities at all. No elevator, no escalator, nothing. If you attend a show/event at this venue, you better pay more money for a lower level seat. Multiple flights of steep stairs (and a lot of them) to get up to your seat - with no other way to get up there. Also, once you are up in your seat there is no way to access a restroom without going back down a flight of stairs.
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Rear Mezzanine
The rear mezzanine is the last section of the Lunt-Fontanne theatre and the farthest away from the stage. The rows begin with A and extend towards the end of the theatre to N, with 13 rows in total.
While the front few rows will give you a pretty good view of the stage, the last rows, while perfectly audible, will keep the other aspects of a stage production muddled from your line of sight.
The leg space around this level of the theatre is nothing to write home about, especially given that it has more than double the rows of the front mezzanine and that many more seats to accommodate.
Go for rear mezzanine seats only if you’re getting seats in the first few rows or are there for just the music.
Expectedly, rear mezzanine seats are the cheapest of the lot. The first two rows are priced at around the same as the seats in the Left and Right Orchestra. The last three rows, L, M, and N are the cheapest of the lot, but don’t offer a great view of the theatre.
I wouldn't say that the Lunt-Fontanne is my favorite theater, but it does suffice for the job. The seats in the mezzanine sections do go up VERY high, to the extent that you really can't "read" the facial expressions of the actors on the stage. The seats are comfortable, the acoustics are good throughout the theater, and we enjoyed the performance quite a bit.
The seats are fairly close together, though not close enough that my legs were dying of discomfort (I'm 5'5"), but close enough that a seat in the fifth row will place you very close to the stage. If someone really tall is sitting in front of you, it might be difficult to see as the difference in height between each row isn't that big. Ushers were efficient and overall I had a fantastic experience.
1. Bring some warm clothing, a jacket or a sweater, along. The theatre can get pretty chilly and you wouldn’t want the cold to distract you from the magic of live theatre.
2. Take note of all the emergency exits before the show begins. This way you’ll be prepared for fires or any other hazards that might occur during the show.
3. Wheelchair accessible seats are only available in the orchestra level, so ensure that you book tickets only in that section if you or someone with you uses a wheelchair. There’s one wheelchair accessible restroom in the orchestra level and one each on the lower and mezzanine level.
4. There are no escalators or elevators, so be prepared to climb up some steps to get to your seat.
5. There is one bar located on the Mezzanine section and one bar in the lower lounge. However, water and the souvenir drink cup are the only beverages permitted in the theatre.
6. Broadway shows generally start on time, so we would recommend you reach the theatre at least 30 minutes before your show begins. Most of this time will be spent being ushered to your seats and you don’t want to be that guest who arrives late and then fumbles around in the dark when the show has already begun.
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is located at 205 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036. If you’re taking your own vehicle, you’ll find ample parking on on 46th and 47th Streets between Broadway & 8th Avenue. There’s also additional parking available on 8th Avenue between 46th & 47th Street.
If you prefer public transport, like a true blue New Yorker, there are multiple buses and metro trains you can take. Buses plying to The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre are M104, M42, M6, M10, and M27/50. If travelling by subway is more your thing, you can take the 1, 9, C or E train to 50th Street or the N or R train to 49th Street.
If you’re looking for a quick bite before or after the show, you’re in luck. There are a lot of restaurants and pubs close to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. We have selected some for you:
1. Blue Fin: An upscale seafood and sushi restaurant in 1567 Broadway, Blue Fin has all the makings of a pre-theatre pitstop.
2. Planet Hollywood: Get your fix of Hollywood memorabilia and good ol’ American fare in 1540, Broadway.
3. John’s Pizzeria: Serving their trademark thin-crust pizzas since 1929, John’s Pizzeria in 260, West 44th Street, is a classic NYC eatery.
4. Orso: A theatre district classic, Orso in 322, West 46th Street, brings gourmet Tuscan cuisine to New York with ample aplomb.
5. Bubba Gump Shrimp: Ever wondered what dining in a fishing boat themed-setting would feel like? Bubba Gump Shrimp in 1501, Broadway is where you should head to post a show.
6. Joe Allen: Broadway stars (if you’re lucky), fellow theatre enthusiasts, and scrumptious delicacies come together in Jo Ellen, a premier broadway eatery in 326, West 46th Street.
Now that you have a better idea of the Lunt-Fontanne theatre seating chart, it’s time to book your tickets. To get the best online prices and great last minute deals, check out Headout, a one stop, on-demand mobile concierge.
Choose your show, select your seats, and show up at the theatre on the day of the experience. In the meantime, a Headout representative will take care of the legwork and meet you at the theatre before your show to hand-deliver your tickets in person.
Have further questions about the theatre or the show? Need details about specific seats and rows? Drop your questions in the comments section below.
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