Monday, September 01, 2008

Advance Order Pickup

As I tweeted through today, I lined up at the Toronto Life Square box office at about 8:00 AM this morning. There were already at least 100 people in line at that point, and the line went north on Victoria St:

Around 9:00 AM, the line reached Gould and started heading west. By 9:30 it had reached Yonge Street, and I'd guess there were over 300 people in line at that point:

At around 10:00 AM they opened up and starting handing out envelopes. It look about 40 minutes for me to get from the entrance of the Ryerson parking garage on Victoria to the front of the line:

After you had picked up your envelope (and picked up your free can of Dole sparkling fruit juice), if you wanted to make exchanges, you had to get into another line that ran parallel to the envelope pickup line:

They held people here until there was enough room in the box office on the 3rd floor. They gave each person a white ticket to show they had been in the line downstairs, which you then handed to the volunteer manning the door at the box office on the 3rd floor. Wasn't completely successful, as they weren't able to man the door 100% of the time, so I think the odd person or two was able to sneak in (mind you, I'm not entirely sure even that was intentional, as the process wasn't completely clear to everyone). From the corner of Dundas and Victoria, it took about 90 minutes to get upstairs.

Once inside the box office, it took another 70 minutes to make it to the front of the line there and make the exchanges we wanted. All in all, I think it took around 5 to 5-1/2 hours to get everything done. Whew!

When I finally left downtown around 4:00 PM, the envelope pickup line was probably around 50 minutes. The exchange line was significantly longer, and I'd expect people there will still be waiting into the evening.


It took you 5 hrs to get though both lines and you were there 2 hours early? OH my ... I hope you got the exchanges you wanted!

Actually, turned out well. We wanted some films that we thought were off-sale, but they had tickets available once we got to the box office. At least I'm fully in the festival mindset now!

My wife and I got there around noon and finished a little before 2. We got all our picks, so we only had one line to deal with, but it still seemed to take a while. Probably just logistical issues with the new facility, etc.

Glad to hear you got all the tickets you wanted.

Rock on to getting your picks! The availability of tickets can be wonky and to-the-minute process during the busy times like these.

Wow, five hours. I'm glad that you seem to be happy with your movie selection.

While you were at Toronto Life, did you happen to note how many machines they had there? I'm still trying to make a decision about where to line-up for the first day of sales. I plan to get downtown by 5:45AM at the latest and don't want to miss out on some of the more popular films. Last year I missed Persepolis, but was able to see Control because of lining up.

The probably had at least a dozen tills at Toronto Life Square, but only half or so were actually staffed. So, not sure how it will be during the actual festival.

Richard ... I would have said 'hi' if I realized we were so close! Looks like you were right behind me by the time we got to the exchange line -- that's my girlfriend in the bottom left of your last pic. :) I must have been up checking the off-sale board at the time.

The lines seemed particularly brutal this year. Two years ago I arrived at about the same time, and from that point it took around 4 hrs to get everything done.

I left my house today at 7AM, got there just before 8AM and there were only three or so people ahead of me. I was near the front of the line and considering the amount of rescheduling I needed to get done, I was in and out fairly quickly.

Anyone need a biiig tip that will make or break you during the festival? NEVER get caught in Box Office traffic. You'll instantly lose up to six hours of your time if you get there too late during the afternoon/early evening rush. If you're in line, about to miss a show, it's murder.


That's so funny we were that close to one another! We'll all have to wear a sign with our blog names or something like that so we can identify each other. :-) I imagine I'm going to run across a lot of bloggers by looking at their film schedules.

My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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