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Capitol Theatre

accessibility rant

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#1 Jwheelz

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:11 AM

So it's great to see all of these world-class shows happening in what seems to be the region's premier venue of its size, the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. However every time I see what looks like an amazing show scheduled to happen there, I immediately have second thoughts because of the experience I had there the first time.

 

Now don't get me wrong, the Cap is a beautiful venue, and I'm happy to see that they are attempting to restore it to its former glory both in terms of reputation and its physical appearance. However I'm incredibly frustrated that they made what seems to me to be insufficient effort to accommodate its mobility impaired guests. My first and so far only time there I had a general admission ticket and according to the seating chart everything was "wheelchair accessible" on the floor level. So it was very surprising when I got there expecting to be shown the way down to the floor to be told "oh no there's a 'special area' for you to go to." What I found was a relatively small area behind the railing at the bar level of the first level. Immediately in front of that were about six or seven steps down to get to the actual floor level.

 

I don't necessarily expect to have unlimited freedom of movement at a theater, but I want a little bit more options of places to sit at a general admission event. But I don't want to be under the balcony with a partially obstructed view feeling like I'm miles from the action on stage. I go to concerts to experience being in the same space as the performer but the experience I had I might as well have been in a completely different building watching the show on a screen.

 

Many other venues including older ones that have been kept up and are still used for modern shows allow access to every guest including those in wheelchairs onto the floor level. The Beacon has seats right up in front of the stage for wheelchairs. I just want to have the option of having a similar experience to other able-bodied people when I go to a concert, within reason.

 

I would be very happy if the Cap either put in some sort of ramp or porch lift style system to get people in chairs down to the floor for GA events, or if they opened up a separate accessible entrance on the lower level that fed into the main floor, there are already doors from the wings that open up to the floor but I don't know if the path to the doorway in the hallway is accessible, but it might be a good place to put a lift that is out of the way. I know I don't have any pull to get something like this done but it would still be nice to see something like this happen. I am very reluctant to ever go to a show at this venue again because of that experience. I'd really like to go to some of them because they have really great artists coming but I just don't see it being a good time when I'm penned in at the back of the floor.

 

/rant



#2 gregoir

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:46 AM

I don't go way down on GA floors.  I don't like wooks touching me.



#3 megmyster

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:15 AM

Gotta bring wook erase with ya! :cheesy:



#4 James420

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:30 AM

Have you e-mailed the Cap your concerns about this? Complaining to security might not have gotten your complaints to the right people. If a ramp is all it takes to fix this issue, im surprised they cant answer you on this. I've heard this "rant" from you before and since the show you've been to, I have noticed a wheelchair down the few steps in the GA area. But that was a smaller chair than yours, and probably easier to get up and down steps with help. That doesnt make your complaints any less valid.



#5 TEO

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I'm with James420 on this, if you have not written the Cap your concerns, I very much think you should.

 

The above rant is a great start to such a letter.



#6 Jwheelz

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Good idea on the letter, I think I'll do it! :)