Broadway Theater Seating Plan Guide

Broadway, New York's theater district, is as beloved to the city's locals as it is to the scores of tourists it attracts from around the world. While Broadway itself has 41 theaters, there are around 60 Off-Broadway and over 120 Off-Off-Broadway theaters, and these venues stage a range of everything from well-known classics to off-beat shows the likes of which you've never seen before. The sprawling, bustling district is also home to historical sights, tourist attractions, restaurants and eateries, parks, rivers, museums, and everything in between. It is a theater aficionado's dream in every way. If you happen to make your way over to Broadway to catch one of its many shows, be sure to give our Broadway Theater Seating Guide a gander so you have all the information you need to choose the perfect seat.

Broadway Theater Seating Plan Guide

The seating arrangements in most theaters on Broadway are divided into two to three sections, each with a different view and price, varying levels of accessibility, and unique pros and cons. Let's look at these sections in a little more detail.


The Orchestra section is the closest to a Broadway theater's stage. It includes front-row seats, offering the most immersive experience. This section is usually the most accessible for patrons with disabilities or specific mobility needs and is thus generally on the ground level or the lowest level of the theater's auditorium. The Orchestra seats are more often than not more expensive, owing to such factors, though seats towards the ends of each row along the aisles are often cheaper. The premium front-row seats are best if you want to feel like you're part of the action, but for some larger theaters, you might find yourself craning your neck ever so slightly for certain performances. For the best experience from the Orchestra, try booking seats closer to the Center of the section, three to four rows behind Row A.


The Mezzanine section is an elevated, raked section behind the Orchestra. It is usually not present in smaller theaters. The section is particularly sought after for its wider view of the stage, as it offers a comprehensive and clear sightline of the entire performance and set design. The front row seats offer extra comfort with more legroom while seats close to the middle of the section have the best views. The Mezzanine also offers the perfect balance between affordability and an incredible experience.


The Balcony is a smaller elevated and raked section above the Mezzanine in larger theaters or behind the Orchestra in smaller ones. Their distance from the stage can sometimes lead to obstructed views, which is why this section usually has the most affordable seats. This does not mean you're in for a bad experience, however, as the Balcony's vantage point can sometimes offer the best views of the stage, depending on the theater's layout and the performance being staged. Shows with a larger ensemble cast and extensive set designs, for instance, are made for Balcony viewing. For a more comfortable viewing experience, you could also opt for a private Box seat along the sides of the theater at this level, at a slightly higher cost. These seats, however, might have some sightline restrictions due to their angled placement.

How to Choose the Best Seats in Broadway Theaters? 


Across Broadway theaters, you'll usually find the best seats in the Orchestra for most shows. The first four to five rows offer the most premium and immersive experience, though you might find yourself straining your neck now and then, while the next few rows just behind these offer a more rounded experience while still being immersive. Seats in the first elevated section behind the Orchestra also offer decent views at more affordable rates.


The most affordable seats are usually in the rear-most section of a theater. In most Broadway venues, this would be the Balcony. For the most part, this is because it is further back and does not have as clear a view of the stage. But it can still offer pretty decent views, especially from the front rows and closer to the middle of the section. If you're on a budget, this section is your best friend.


You can buy tickets directly at the theater booths, particularly if you're looking for some good last-minute deals, but given the number of people who watch shows in the district every day, you might wind up without a ticket to your show. Online ticket sellers and apps, like Headout, are a safer bet and offer last-minute deals now and then. The affordable and limited seats in elevated sections, including Boxes, sell out faster, so it's best to book these in advance.


Older theaters tend to have lesser legroom, but many Broadway venues have been refurbished in recent times and the comfort of patrons was factored into the newer designs. This translated to better accessibility overall, with spacious aisles and better legroom in front-row seats of each section. We'd also recommend catching a weekday matinee show if you're after a more spacious, comfortable experience since these shows tend to be less crowded.

Nature of Show - Play/Musical 

Plays, especially ones featuring a limited or smaller cast, are intimate experiences best viewed up close. You'll want to be in the Orchestra for them. Musicals, however, are more often than not larger productions with big casts and complex sets, props, and costumes, and the Mezzanine or Balcony is a better choice so you get a clear view of the whole stage.

With Kids/Without Kids

While children might want the immersion of the Orchestra for a magical experience, their view might be obstructed by whoever sits in the seat in front. The raked sections work better for this purpose since nothing will block your view no matter where you sit.

Which Broadway Theater Seats Offer The Best View?

In most theaters, the Orchestra has the best seats. Particularly, seats towards the middle of the section, just behind the first few rows, offer the most immersive and comfortable experience. Each theater will have unique quirks to its layout, of course, so its best to check the seating chart while booking so you know exactly what you're getting. Here's a quick criteria you can use to select your seat:

  • Value For Money Section - The section just behind the Orchestra is usually the best to find seats that are great value for your money. In smaller theaters, this is usually the Balcony, while for larger theaters this would be the Mezzanine. Within this section, seats in the center and towards the middle of the rows have the best views.
  • Best Legroom Seats - Lack of legroom could dampen your experience for a variety of reasons. Orchestra seats often have decent legroom, particularly down the aisles. Seats in the front row of any section will also give you better legroom.
  • Best Views of The Stage - The absolute best seat for a show will depend on the show itself, including what type of show it is and which theater it is playing at. That said, if you're unsure, it's best to pick a middle Orchestra seat for most shows. If you're on a budget, a middle seat in the Mezzanine of Balcony will get you decent views at great rates.
  • Premium Seats - These seats are usually available only in advance and online and tend to be the most expensive. In most theaters, these are front row seats that have you feeling like you're part of the action on stage. In some theaters, these might also include Boxes, which offer private and comfortable seating with additional amenities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Broadway Theater Seating Charts

What are the best seats at Broadway theaters?

Generally, Orchestra seats will get you premium views at premium rates while Mezzanine and Balcony seats offer decent views at affordable rates. That said, each theater is unique and each show is its own viewing experience, so it's best to check the seating chart while booking to make sure you're choosing the seat that's perfect for you.

Which seats are the cheapest in a Broadway theater?

The cheapest seats are usually in the rear-most section, which in most theaters is the Balcony. They're great for anyone on a budget and while they suffer from sightline restrictions now and then, they're great value for money seats.

Which are the most expensive seats in a Broadway theater?

Premium seats are usually right in front of the stage in the Orchestra section, owing to their proximity to the performance. Boxes are also sometimes offered at premium rates due to their vantage point, comfort, and additional amenities offered.

Is it better to sit in the Orchestra or the Balcony?

The Orchestra seats just behind the first few rows are often thought to have the best views and offer an immersive experience. This section is particularly great for intimate performances like plays. The Balcony's front and middle rows offer a balance between affordability and decent views. These seats are great for large productions like musicals.

What is a loge?

Loges are Boxes, usually found in the Balcony section of a Broadway theater. They are smaller sections that function as private seating areas for small groups.

When do theater shows generally start in New York?

Most commonly, Broadway shows start at 7-8 pm, with the afternoon matinees starting at 2-3 pm. But Broadway shows have begun to deviate from standard or traditional timings and performance days, so don't be alarmed if you see an odd show slot now and then.

What should I keep in mind when buying my Broadway ticket?

Seating charts are your friend! Use it to carefully select a seat that suits your needs perfectly and be sure to book in advance so you don't miss out.

What should I do if my ticket is double booked?

While rare, instances where two people have booked the same seat do occur. If you find yourself in this position it's best to notify theater staff and have it sorted out quickly. Please note that whichever customer booked via the Box Office and possibly paid a higher price will likely get priority over the customer who booked through an approved agency.

Is it better to sit stage left or right?

"Stage left" or "stage right" refers to the position from the perspective of the performer on the stage. For seating, "left" or "right" refers to where you're sitting as per the performer's view. If you choose seats further to the sides, you'll see the performance at a slight angle. We recommend the seats in the center of the rows for the best view to avoid such sightline restrictions.