Sundance festival cuts the wait for theatergoers

AP News
Posted: Jan 06, 2014 10:47 AM

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Waiting for hours in the cold will no longer be necessary to grab a last-minute ticket at the Sundance Film Festival at Park City.

Organizers have created an electronic wait list to resolve the inconvenience.

It allows festivalgoers to check on ticket availability "from the comfort of your home or wherever you are," David Sabour, Sundance's manager of ticketing systems, told the Deseret News of Salt Lake City ( "This is just one of the ways we're looking to improve the guest experience at the festival."

For years, people hoping to squeeze into a theater had to arrive two hours early to grab a number and return again to wait for a chance for a seat.

All that will be a thing of the past when the Sundance Festival opens Jan. 16 for a 10-day run.

Festivalgoers can get on the electronic wait list by opening an account at That lets them reserve a line position using their mobile devices.

The Sundance Film Festival will premiere 117 independent feature films and 11 documentaries this month, its 30th festival.

"No film is ever really sold out. I think with this new system, it's going to make the festival more accessible," said Jacqueline Landry, senior manager of theater operations for the Sundance Film Festival. "It can be a last-minute decision. You can decide two hours before that you want to see a film."

The majority of festivalgoers purchase tickets and ticket packages weeks in advance of the screenings. About 10 percent hope to grab a ticket at the last opportunity, she said. It's easier to do that at the larger theaters in Park City or at Salt Lake City's Rose Wagner Center.

Wait-list tickets sell for $15 each, and only cash is accepted.

Several other ticketing options are available. Starting Jan. 14, individual tickets will be available to buy online or at festival box offices. Some films are shown in Ogden and at the Sundance ski resort.

Demand has been high for a package of tickets for leading films, said Heidi Bruce, manager of ticketing operations.

"There are still options for seeing the films. You just have try," Bruce said. "If you're willing to get there and make an effort to see a film, there's usually a really good chance you'll get in."