By Bernd Debusmann Jr.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Patrons of the arts can now be instantly connected with New York City's famed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts thanks to a new app.
"We are trying to transform the way a cultural institution engages patrons with new technology," said Peter Duffin, Lincoln Center's vice president, brand and marketing.
The free app enables users to keep an eye on current and coming events and to buy tickets directly from their phone.
"It's the digital equivalent of collecting the playbill of shows you get to see," Duffin said.
Users unfamiliar with Lincoln Center's 16-acre campus will also be able to explore maps that include restrooms, subway stations and dining options, which can be reserved through the app.
The map portion of the app includes little-known facts - called "secrets" - about Lincoln Center.
"For example, you can learn how many gallons gush through our fountain in a minute, or that the new film center has the largest LCD screen on public display in America," Duffin said.
He added that the app can be useful both for older patrons, who may have been attending the theater regularly for years, or for younger fans.
"I think all patrons, no matter what age, are connected to technology."
Lincoln Center first opened its doors in 1962, and now is visited by over 5 million people each year. It is home to the New York City Ballet, the Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and the prestigious Juilliard School, as well as eight other organizations.
The Lincoln Center app is available as a free download on the iTunes store.
(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Patricia Reaney)