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David H. Koch Theater | Complete theatre guide

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An integral part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the David H. Koch Theater New York is a premier performance venue for ballet and other modern forms of dance. The theater is located at the Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street intersection and occupies the south side of the Lincoln Center main plaza, opposite David Geffen Hall. Originally named the New York State Theater, this glorious performance venue was constructed with funds from the State of New York during the 1964-1965 World's Fair as a part of the city's cultural participation. Post the completion of the fair, the ownership of the theater was transferred from the State to the City of New York. In 2008, philanthropist David H. Koch pledged upwards of $100 million for the next 10 year to renovate and maintain the theater. At the New York City Ballet Winter gala of the same year, the theater was officially renamed in honor of David H. Koch. The theater was designed by architect Philip Johnson and was later renovated by JCJ Architecture with Schuler Shook as theater consultants.

If you’re looking to catch the show, our David H. Koch Theater guide has all the information you could possibly need.

Venue Details

Address: 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, United States

Opened: 1964

Seating Capacity: 2,586

Seating Chart
Check out the David H. Koch Theater Seating Chart here.

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Practical Information

Section Accessibility

Entry: For patrons with limited mobility, the drop-off location with the least number of stairs is at Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street under the canopy next to the sidewalk. From here, a ramp connects directly to the theater's lobby where you'll get an elevator to the auditorium. Another accessible drop-off location is at north-south drive between 62nd and 65th streets.

Wheelchair Accessible Elevator: A wheelchair accessible elevator is located to the right of the box office window in the lobby for patrons with limited mobility. This elevator connects from the lobby to the orchestra level of the theatre. On the orchestra level, there are additional elevators on both sides of the theatre which allow access to all other levels of the house.

Seating: Wheelchair accessible seating is available in the orchestra, the first ring and the fourth ring. When booking your tickets, specify that you'll need wheelchair accessible seating. If the wheelchair accessible seats are sold out at the time of your booking, the theatre staff will do their best to accommodate your needs.

Available Facilities

Restroom: Accessible restrooms are available on all the levels of the David H. Koch Theater.

Bar: The David H. Koch Theater is home to the recently inaugurated champagne bar, the Ruinart Champagne Bar. The bar is located in the lobby and will be available for all patrons.

Binoculars: Opera glasses are available for rent for a fee of $5. You can rent the glasses at the coat-check section on the orchestra level. You'll need to either deposit $80 as a security deposit or present your credit card to rent the binoculars.

Water Fountain: Recessed water fountains are available in all levels of the theatre. Water cups are available next to the water fountain as well.

Assisted Listening Device: For patrons with limited hearing, infrared headsets are available for rent at the orchestra level. Please note that only a limited set of headsets are available and you'll need to provide a valid photo ID or credit card to rent the headset.

Handy Tips

  • If you're getting seats in the third or fourth rings, don't fret. Sitting high up for a ballet allows you to get the full structural scope of the performance. In fact, for ballets, you wouldn't want to sit too close to the stage for fear of missing too much at the stage or seeing too much, depending on the performance!
  • If you're planning to watch a ballet at the David H. Koch Theater, plan your day so that you have some time to explore the iconic Lincoln Center as well. There are guided tours of the performance venue as well which you can undertake to learn more about the creation and history of one of the most revered performance spaces in the world.
  • New York Ballet company organizes many shows annually and most of the shows are extremely popular with both locals and tourists. If you're planning to watch a ballet performance at the David H. Koch Theater, book your tickets well in advance since tickets tend to sell out pretty fast.
  • Arrive at the theatre at least thirty minutes before your show begins. This will give you some time to explore the David H. Koch Theater and revel in its modernistic beauty. Arriving early also ensures you don't miss a part of the show since coat check and locating your seat will take some time.
  • Avoid seats in the fifth ring since these are on the extreme ends of the theatre and don't offer a good view of the stage. Also, you might hurt your neck by constantly turning it to look at the stage by sitting at the fifth ring seats.

Getting There

The David H. Koch Theater is located at 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, which is one of the most popular areas in New York City. You can either take the bus or subway to the Lincoln Center. Here's how:

From Penn Station: Take the uptown 1 local train to 66th Street/Lincoln Center station.
From Grand Central Station: Take the S or 7 train west to Times Square-42nd Street. Transfer to the uptown 1 train to the Lincoln Center/66th Street station. Bus lines M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104 all stop within walking distance from the Lincoln Center.

Restaurants near David H. Koch Theater New York

1. Rosa Mexicano: This modern Mexican chain eatery is known for its tableside guacamole, chic surroundings, and creative selection of margaritas.

2. Tavern On The Green: An iconic Central Park highlight which has been restored to its former glory features classic American fare with garden seating available.

3. Masseria dei ViniThis fine dining restaurant serves dishes from Puglia, including seafood, crudi and pastas and a great selection of Italian wines.

4. Jean-Georges: Visit this sophisticated New French eatery which boasts floor to ceiling windows overlooking stunning views of Central Park.

5. Per Se: Enjoy spectacular views of Central Park at Chef Thomas Keller's New American restaurant which offers luxe fixed price menus.

6. Aba: Enjoy a taste of Turkey, along with other Mediterranean options, at this traditional spot which is equipped with a patio.

Check out our Theatre District restaurants guide for even more fantastic dining options in and around Broadway district.

FAQs: David H. Koch Theater, New York

How old is the David H. Koch Theater in New York?


When was the David H. Koch Theater built?

The theater was designed by architect Philip Johnson and opened on April 23, 1964. After the Fair, the State transferred ownership of the theater to the City of New York.

What is the address of the David H. Koch Theater?

20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, United States

What is the seating capacity of David H. Koch Theater?

The David H. Koch Theater is a traditional proscenium theater with seating for 2,544. Part of New York's famed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex, the theater occupies the south side of the main plaza (at Columbus Avenue & 63rd Street) that it shares with the Metropolitan Opera House and David Geffen Hall.