Muny tickets – ’til death do us part

by | Jul 20, 2017 | Shahnaz Blog (Previously They Throw Rocks)

Real quick, for those of you from another country who may have just stumbled upon my blog.  The Muny is America’s oldest and largest outdoor theatre.  It is in one of the largest parks in the United States – Forest Park.  Yes, we are bigger than Central Park in New York.  This is in St. Louis, Missouri and going to the Muny is a part of St. Louis summer traditions.  On with this post.
This past Tuesday, we were at the Muny for one of our rescheduled sessions of Something Happened on the way to the Forum.  Phenomenal performance, but that’s not the point of this post.  The person sitting next to me talked about how they were not in their usual seasons seats, in row A.  Wow!  Row A?  Those are usually seats that have been and continue to be in families for decades.  Yes, decades.  Most people don’t give up those seats, except through death and not having a child.  So, I asked him how long he has had those seats.  He said a few years.  A few years?  That’s less than 10 years and in my book, from everything I know about prime Muny tickets, that’s not possible.  How can you start a few years ago, like I did, and start on row A?  I wanted to know.
He explains.  It was technically not his seats.  He didn’t own them.  Ah Ha!  I knew it!  The person who owned the tickets/seats has had them since 1916 is what he told me.  We calculated to 102 years.  Hmm.  My math is off.  Maybe he said 1915?  Irrespective, that’s a long time and if you have tickets to the Muny for so long, of course you are going to be in row A.  Heck, at that point, you might as well be box seats A.  As I’m typing this blog, I just realized that 102 years of holding those seats is simply not possible.  The Muny turns 100 next year.  So, maybe he meant 1960 or 1950 and it just sounded to me like 1916 or 1915?  I remember the 102 years though.  Oh well.  That’s not the point.  The point is that the owner of those tickets on row A cannot transfer them.  The Muny will not allow a transfer.  Basically, the owners had several tickets in Row A and didn’t use all of them anymore but they didn’t want to give up those remaining tickets either.  Why give them up?  So, it moves laterally through them to their friends.  My point in this is that everyone is doing it.  No one is giving up their tickets.  They keep it but have their friends pay for it or just give it away to their friends and it’s all noble and fine.  I feel that since it’s already going on, why not allow a transfer of those tickets to the person of the owner’s choice.  It’s happening anyway!  The Muny rule is keep it in the family, but is it really being kept in the family?
I recently heard of a woman who doesn’t even live in St. Louis anymore but she doesn’t want to give up her tickets.  She maybe comes to one show out of 7 and gives the rest away.  I don’t know.  I guess it’s like owning property or a home in another state that you never use.  Why can’t someone just buy that home from you?  Well, no one wants to give up their prime property, right?  And without the transferability (or sale of home) to friends or even nieces/nephews, one would want to keep it.  I feel, ticket transfers should be allowed. Why not?  Or maybe it’s not allowed so in cases of death, there can be movement after all, but if there was transferability, there would be no movement and people in the rows at back will not ever be able to move forward.
So, my forward progress inches along.  I think I’ve had Muny season’s tickets for 7 years now.  I was able to move 3 rows forward this season from row J to row G.  It is something.  If I ever get lucky enough to hit the row A in my lifetime, I would want my niece to be able to take it from me before I pass away.  Otherwise, those tickets cannot be willed.
For now, any movement of tickets, literally means the death of someone.  I can give up my Fox tickets after this season but I won’t be willing to give up my Muny tickets.  I never considered it, but looks like I’ll have Muny tickets ’til death do us part.
Before I go, a quick note to those of you who have never been to the Muny.  If you are in the St. Louis area in the summer, try a show there.  It’s well worth it.  It’s a neat experience.
Best to you all,


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