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Score Discounted Tickets to Popular Plays or Movies

Online lotteries and apps can help you get deals on last-minute tickets.

Snagging a deal on a good seat no longer means lining up at the box office or buying from a scalper. Want to take in a show in New York without breaking the bank? Find links to lotteries for Broadway and off-Broadway shows at Playbill.com and www.broadwayforbrokepeople.com. Seats can go for $30 or less, although you may have to claim your winnings within an hour and sit in the second balcony. The TodayTix app covers some theater venues outside of New York and offers affordable last-minute tickets and tickets by lottery. Sharing your entry on social media will sometimes earn you an extra submission.

Movie theaters are ex­perimenting with new ways to discount tickets besides lowering prices at off-peak times, says Patrick Corcoran, vice president of the National Association of Theater Owners. For ex­ample, the Atom Tickets app can allow groups to coordinate ticket-buying and theaters to discount rates, if they choose. The Dealflicks site and app allow theater chains, such as Carmike, to discount tickets or bundle in deals with concessions for up to 60% off.

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But concertgoers are better off buying offline and skipping online marketplaces, such as StubHub, that carry high markups. The cheapest way to buy tickets is through the venue or its consignment outlets, which will tack on only a couple of dollars in fees, says David Taylor, owner of Empire State Concerts. Or join an artist’s fan club to get first crack at advance sales.

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