SVA Theatre

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AVAILABILITY & BOOKING

How do I inquire about availability?
Feel free to email or call us whenever you’d like to inquire about available dates and times. We will strive to return your message in one business day. We are happy to book months or even years in advance—the earlier you book, the better! We prefer not to book events fewer than 14 days out, but will consider those requests under certain circumstances. If you’d like to get started, feel free to fill out our online availability form, which can be found here.

Can I rent the entire venue out for my event? I need both theatres and/or would not like to be competing with another event at the same time.
Yes. Should both the Silas and Beatrice Theatres be available on the same date and time, we can work with you to make your rental “exclusive use” so that you have the entire venue to yourself.

When there are two events happening simultaneously, how do you keep the audiences separate?
We have a lot of experience hosting two events at once. At a minimum, we will coordinate the timing of both events, and try to ensure that the audiences are not entering/exiting simultaneously. Additionally, we will provide stanchions with signs to separate the crowds and a house manager to guide guests to the proper theatre. And, though we do not prefer to have guests enter through our side door, if your party is amenable, we are able to make use of that secondary entryway.

Can I use the lobby, green room, and bar for my event? Does it cost extra?
You are welcome to use these spaces at no additional charge, but please note this is shared space. If there is an event happening simultaneously in the opposite theatre, we will either work with you to coordinate the timing of your lobby use so that the two events do not cross, or you will need to agree to share the lobby with the other event. If you are concerned about sharing the lobby, we are happy to discuss an “exclusive use” rental of the venue for your event, which would provide you with the run of the entire space.

Can I just rent the lobby by itself?
We are happy to consider any and all event requests, so feel free to contact us.

Do you have minimum/maximum rental periods?
We prefer not to rent for a period less than five hours per day. Though your event may be brief, we always find that once you incorporate setup, testing/rehearsal, and breakdown/strike, it works out to five hours at a minimum.

We do not have a maximum rental period per se, but we generally do not rent the space between the hours of 1AM-6AM, so most daily rentals do not exceed 12-17 hours. And, though we are happy to accommodate festivals and other events that span a few weeks, we generally cannot offer our space for events with open-ended runs or events that run longer than two weeks.

It doesn’t look like you have anything happening on the date/time that I’d like to reserve. Should I assume the space is available? 
The events on our calendar are confirmed, but we may have holds and/or private events on particular days or times, so it is always best to call or email us regarding availability.

According to the calendar, it looks like you’re booked on the day I’d like to reserve. Should I still inquire about availability? 
Though the events on our calendar are unlikely to change, there is always the possibility that they will, and we would be happy to put you on our calendar as a second request for that date and time.  Additionally, some of these events are only renting one of our two theatres, and we might have availability in the opposite space.

I’m ready to book my event. What are the next steps? 
Please reach out to us through the Contact Us page, or by emailing svatheatre@sva.edu. Alternatively, or additionally, you are welcome to fill out our availability form, which can be found here. We will be sure to get back to your inquiry within one business day.

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RENTAL RATES

What is the cost to rent SVA Theatre?
We understand that every event host is working with a budget and is trying to keep costs as manageable as possible. To that end, we try to be competitive with other similar venues throughout Manhattan and prefer to have individual conversations with each of our potential renters so that we can provide an accurate quote that is as all-inclusive as possible. Please note that all rental costs, including a security deposit, are due in full prior to the start date of the event. Don’t hesitate to call or email us to inquire about availability and pricing—we will try to return your message in one business day.

Do you offer nonprofit discounts?
Yes, so please alert us to your 501c3 nonprofit status (or if you are fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit) when inquiring about our rates, and we will take that into account when drawing up your quote.

Do you charge per hour or per event? 
We prefer to assess the overall event and create an individualized quote that addresses all of your needs — amount of hours, number of staff, etc. Should you want a ballpark estimate, though, we should be able to provide a per-hour approximation when we initially discuss your event. However, our formal quote will be as all-inclusive as possible.

Instead of rental fees, can we split our box office sales with SVA Theatre?
Unfortunately, we must receive full payment for our rentals prior to the event start date. Therefore, we cannot rely on ticket sales for rental payments. That being said, we are happy to consider collaborative ideas that will benefit both parties, so don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Are renters required to obtain any special type of insurance in order to use the SVA Theatre?
Yes, and we are happy to send you a list of those requirements as well as suggestions on ways to purchase this insurance at a reasonable cost. At a basic level, you will be required to carry some form of event or general liability insurance. Our other requirements may be negotiable based on your event.

Do you charge differently depending on the format of our film/video/projection?
With the exception of 3D screenings, absolutely not, so long as we can accommodate your film’s format using our in-house equipment. A full list of that equipment can be found on this page of our site. Should we need to rent equipment for your event, which is rare, we will work with you in advance to discuss requirements, vendors, and costs.  Again, we will try to incorporate any and all of these items into your overall rental fee, so long as you alert us to your event’s needs prior to having us draw up your quote.

Are you a union house?
No, we are not, but we generally require a five-hour minimum for all our events. Basic technical and front-of-house personnel costs are included in the overall rental quote, and extra staff members are available for an additional fee.

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TYPES OF RENTALS

Is your space suitable for performances—theatre, music, dance, etc.?
Yes and no. We do not have backstage areas, dressing rooms, or wing space in either theatre, and all stage entrances are through the audience. Our stages are not sprung, so they are generally not suitable for dance, and neither stage can support elaborate, heavy sets. We also have limited lighting instruments and, though you are welcome to bring in your own, creating sophisticated lighting plots in our space can prove to be difficult. Theatrical readings are welcome and are entirely suitable for our spaces. Small musical performances, with fewer than ten musicians, are also permitted, but we ask that you speak with our technical director to ensure that we can meet your needs. Also, as most performing arts productions tend to have multiple performances across several weeks, we are generally unable to provide that long of an uninterrupted rental period.

Do you allow film/photography shoots in SVA Theatre?
Absolutely. We are happy to discuss shoots with studios, production companies, and/or independent filmmakers/photographers.

I’d like to host a birthday party, wedding, etc. in your space. Do you allow that?
Though we are generally unable to accommodate children’s birthday parties, we are happy to consider any and all event requests, so feel free to contact us.

If I screen my film at SVA Theatre, will it be eligible to qualify for the Academy Awards?
Unfortunately, no.  As we are not a commercial movie theatre (e.g., AMC, Loews, Regal, etc.), screening your film here will not mean you have had a commercial theatrical screening in New York City, which is required to be eligible for the Academy Awards, as well as some other cinematic awards.

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RENTAL SERVICES & POLICIES

Do you provide staff for our event?
We provide a house manager to oversee front-of-house responsibilities, an SVA security guard to manage egress, a porter to clean during and after your event, and technical staff to run your program. We can provide ushers upon request, but you are also welcome to use your own staff. We suggest having a point person or event coordinator on hand to communicate your needs to our staff members. Most, if not all, staff fees will be included in your overall rate unless additional staff are required or requested.

What are your policies on serving food and drink?
Food and drink are permitted throughout the venue, though glass containers are not permitted in the theatres themselves.  As we do not provide on-site food or drink sales/concessions or in-house catering, it is necessary for you to supply this for your event. A list of caterers that have worked here in the past can be found here, but you are welcome to use whomever you choose (so long as they are properly insured), or you can cater the event yourself. If you simply wish to order water, soft drinks, and/or individually wrapped bags of popcorn, we can help arrange that through our vendors.  Again, though, you are welcome to buy these items yourself and bring them to your event to be served.  Though we do not supply bartenders or concessions staff, if you would like to hire our ushers to distribute any free food/drink items, please let us know.

Should you wish to serve alcohol, we require you to obtain a particular [inexpensive] permit from the New York State Liquor Authority, and we will provide you with the information necessary.

If a substantial amount of food/drink remains after your event, we can gladly arrange a donation to the New York City Rescue Mission.

Can we have a red carpet/step-and-repeat in your lobby or outside the theatre?
Absolutely. If you would like to have this outside on our sidewalk, however, a particular permit needs to be obtained, and we are happy to provide information regarding that. Should you wish to have this in our lobby, please contact our operations manager to discuss it further. We also have a red carpet available for use if you’d prefer not to rent one.

Do you handle ticketing for our event?
We do not provide ticketing services, but are happy to recommend companies that other events have used in the past. We do not have ticket printers and, though you’re welcome to use our two box office windows, we do not provide computers at either window — you must bring your own. We will supply the Internet connection (via WiFi) for these computers.

Can my event make use of the marquee and/or the box office?
Absolutely. We will provide you with specifications for the marquee, or you can give us the text and images that you would like shown and we will create something to be displayed. As for the two box office windows, you are welcome to use them to sell or distribute tickets on the day of your event, though a check-in table positioned in the lobby or vestibule usually works just as well.

What film/video/digital file formats are you able to screen?
We have equipment on hand to screen most any film, video, or digital format, with few exceptions.  A full list of the equipment available in both theatres can be found here.  Should we not have the equipment to screen your material, we should be able to work with you to rent it for an additional charge.

Do you offer 3D technology in either of your theatres?
We have Dolby 3D in both of our theatres and have a total of 600 glasses on hand.  (If you plan to screen in both theatres at the same time — a total of 745 seats — we will need to work with you to rent or purchase additional glasses.)  Please note, we charge an additional fee for events making use of our 3D technology, but we will incorporate this into your overall rental fee when drawing up a quote.

Are you able to record and/or live-stream our event?
Yes, we can work with you to provide either or both of these services. You will likely incur related costs, though, so we prefer to discuss this prior to sending a rental quote.  We offer state-of-the-art HD cameras, up to three camera positions, and can stream to whatever website you prefer to use.  Though our prices for these services are extremely competitive, if you prefer to use your own team to record/stream the event, there is no additional charge.

Does your venue have WiFi and is it free to use?
Yes and yes. It requires a password, so please ask us for it. You’re welcome to distribute the password to your guests.  Additionally, we have good cellular service throughout the building.

Is SVA Theatre wheelchair accessible?
Absolutely. Should a guest be using a wheelchair, we recommend they arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of the event’s start time in case the use of a wheelchair lift is required.

Do you have assistive listening devices available?
Yes.  If a guest is in need of one of these devices, please locate the house manager on duty or visit our office, which is found immediately to the left upon entering the building.  We require a piece of identification (preferably a driver’s license) in exchange for the device, which will be returned after the event.

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ATTENDING AN EVENT

I don’t see the event I’m interested in listed on your calendar. Is it still happening?
Possibly. Many times, SVA Theatre is rented for private events that are not open to the public.  We are therefore not able to list information on our calendar or provide information over the phone or via email. And, at times, SVA Theatre may be listed incorrectly as the venue for a particular event. In either case, you should contact the event host and/or refer to the information you received about the event — whether that’s from an invitation, email, website, etc. If you are still unsure, feel free to contact us, but please know we may not be able to provide an answer in certain circumstances.

Can I reserve a particular seat for an event I’m attending?
Unfortunately, our staff cannot help with reserved seating, so we recommend contacting the event host, as they may be able to assist with your request.

The event I’m attending is free and there doesn’t seem to be an RSVP list. How do I reserve a seat?
Our free events are very rarely “sold out,” so just be sure to come 15-30 minutes before the start of the event. Though we cannot guarantee it, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a seat.

Is SVA Theatre wheelchair accessible?
Absolutely. Should you be using a wheelchair, we recommend arriving at least 30 minutes in advance of the event’s start time in case the use of a wheelchair lift is required.  If you need to use one of our wheelchair lifts, please locate the house manager on duty or visit our office, which is found immediately to the left upon entering the building.

Do you have assistive listening devices available?
Yes.  If you are in need of one of these devices, please locate the house manager on duty or visit our office, which is found immediately to the left upon entering the building.  We require a piece of identification (preferably a driver’s license) in exchange for the device, which will be returned after the event.

Do you have concessions available?
Unfortunately, we do not sell food or drink in our venue, but many events held here may provide their guests with these items. Please check with the event host if you’re interested.  Additionally, depending on the event, you may be welcome to bring in outside food/drink, and there are several stores nearby where you can make a purchase. Please keep in mind that glass containers are not permitted in either of our theatres.

I bought a ticket to an event at your space and can no longer attend. Can I get a refund or exchange my ticket?
In general, SVA Theatre does not operate ticket sales, so please contact the event host or company you purchased the ticket from to obtain refund/exchange information.

I’m attending an upcoming event and am wondering what restaurants, hotels, and/or local attractions are nearby.
We have lists of some local recommendations here!

Do you have free WiFi available for guests?
Absolutely.  Please ask the host of your event or the house manager on duty for information.

I believe I lost an item at the SVA Theatre. Help!
We are happy to look for any and all lost items and, chances are, your item has already been found. Please email or call us and provide the following information: your name, your phone number or email address, a detailed description of the lost item, what event you were attending (including the date and time), and try to describe where in the theatre you were seated. Found items that are not recovered by their owner after 30 days will be donated to charity.

 

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MORE ABOUT THE THEATRE

Are you affiliated with a school or college?
Yes.  SVA Theatre is a part of the School of Visual Arts, a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world.  You can learn more information by visiting www.sva.edu.

Are you a movie theatre?
No, we’re not a commercial movie theatre that shows the latest films. You may be confusing us with our neighbor to the East, the Cinepolis Chelsea (formerly the Bow Tie or Clearview) or you may remember when this was the Chelsea West Cinema. Though we no longer show first-run films, we have a variety of events year round — including film screenings — many of which are free and open to the public, so please take a look at our calendar. If you are looking for a movie theatre, we recommend visiting Fandango.com or MovieTickets.com.

I have praise, a suggestion, or a complaint. Who do I contact?
We love to hear any and all guest feedback, so feel free to contact us. If the comment deals with an event that was not initiated by SVA or the SVA Theatre, we will be sure to pass it along to the appropriate party.

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