Welcome to the Sundance wait-list line, here’s a number
January 18, 2013
Someone who holds No. 64 in the wait-list line for a Sundance Film Festival movie at the Eccles Center would make into the theater — the last from the wait-list line to do so — at a typical screening.
But a person holding No. 44 at the Library Center Theatre could be the first person from the wait-list line there who does not get inside.
Sundance Film Festival organizers in this year’s film guide provide detailed information about the wait-list process, including the average number of people from the wait-list line who are admitted at each theater.
The wait list is a time-honored part of the Sundance experience that attracts both power players from Hollywood wearing their festival badges and day-tripping people from elsewhere in Utah, all hoping their time in line will yield a ticket.
The festival for the first time in 2012 published the wait-list averages and did so again this year. They are listed on page 80 of the film guide, headlined ‘How To Fest.’
"It was a big goal of ours to set expectations," said Jackie Landry, who is Sundance’s senior manager of theater operations, describing the information as being "incredibly helpful."
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The numbers that are listed in the film guide were compiled during last year’s festival.
Some of the averages for Park City-area theaters include:
People in wait-list lines usually account for more than 10 percent of the audience at screenings at Redstone Cinemas as well as at three of the four theaters at Holiday Village Cinemas.
Landry said people in the wait-list line are more likely to get into a screening if they are at one of the larger theaters.
Sundance distributes wait-list numbers two hours before screenings or one hour beforehand for the first film of the day at each theater. There is a capped number of wait- list positions at each theater. Once the cap is reached, Sundance will not give out additional wait-list numbers.
Tickets are then sold to people in the wait-list line if there are seats available inside the theater, sometimes just minutes prior to the start of the film. People buying wait-list tickets must pay with cash.
More information about wait-list tickets is available on Sundance’s website, http://www.sundance.org /festival. Once there, choose the ‘Get Tickets’ dropdown menu and then ‘How to Buy Tickets.’ Select the ‘Individual Tickets’ link. The information is under the ‘Waitlist Tickets’ section.