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Tighter Security Measures Leave Fans Waiting In Long Lines At Cultural District Theaters

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Dance fans learned the hard way Saturday night that slipping into the theater at the last minute is no longer the best approach in Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

Fans were lined up outside the Byham Theater in the half hour before showtime for about a block.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Cultural Trust Director of Communications Robin Elrod says of the reason, "Everyone has to walk through the screening devices, so there is going to be a little longer time walking into the theater."

The curtain for Saturday night's show was held for about an extra 10 minutes to allow everyone to reach their seat.

Elrod says this is quickly becoming the norm in theater venues across the country, and more and more traveling shows like "Hamilton" require tighter security.

While it started at the Byham, Elrod says, "This weekend we'll be rolling out these measures at the August Wilson Center, and then for the Billy Gardell performance at the Benedum Center, we'll be rolling them out as well."

Once in place they will be the norm for each theater from now on. To avoid the lines, Elrod says, "We really need people to come a little bit earlier to the theaters to avoid any sort of line."

And to entice earlier arrivals, if you come more than a half hour before the show, "You can get drinks and concessions for half off."

Unlike many venues, the new metal detectors are set up so patrons do not have to empty their pockets. Purses and bags are searched separately.

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