After years of work, the Theater Development Fund unveiled the new TKTS Discount Booth in the heart of Times Square yesterday. A glowing red glass amphitheater-style staircase, designed by John Choi and Tai Ropiha, is the centerpiece of Father Duffy Square (Broadway & 47th Street).
The rest of the structure is a fiberglass shell; the ticket booths, which are under the stairs, now take credit cards. There's also one booth for plays only, "where there is rarely a wait for tickets to non-musical productions." As has been widely reported over its nine years of construction, the project wound up costing eight times more than initially thought. But it has silver linings: Not only does it give people a chance to buy theater tickets at 50% off but also allows them an amazing view of Times Square from the top of the steps—16-feet above street level—for free.
The NY Times describes it as "a kinetic panorama: the perfect picture-postcard angle on the colossal sluice of entertainment, commerce and humanity that has bedazzled Americans and bemused foreign visitors for more than a century." And the NY Post, which calls it a "Boffo Revival," has this quote from the Times Square Alliance's Tim Tompkins: "New Yorkers are always trying to get somewhere and you see the tourists standing around. Now there is someplace to stop and have a look at the other great show - Broadway and Times Square."
TKTS Times Square booths are open: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 3pm to 8pm for evening performances, Tuesdays from 2pm to 8pm for evening performances; Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm for matinee performances; and Sunday from 11 to 3pm for matinee performances and 3pm to 7pm for evening performances. There are also TKTS booth locations in the South Street Seaport and downtown Brooklyn.