Information for First-Time Guests

Big and Tall?

For taller guests looking for more legroom, DPAC recommends seats in the Grand Tier, Section 6, Row J. Seats in this aisle offer several inches of added leg room. For guests of size, DPAC also has 30-inch-wide bariatric seating available in all sections of the theater. In addition, DPAC also has aisle seats with removable armrests that rotate open (and allow greater accessibility in and out of the seat) and affords some extra seat width. For more information on any of these seating options please contact our Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina - Ticket Center  at DPAC at 919.680.2787 or email us at

Come Early. Don't Be Late.

It's the #1 complaint we hear from our veteran guests. Late-arriving guests can truly dampen the magic and the mood that is created when the lights go down and a performance starts.

We recommend planning your travel so that you arrive in downtown Durham no later than 45-60 minutes before show time. You should then budget about 15 minutes to park and walk to the theater. There is nothing worse than having to rush to the theater, and then arrive just as the doors close for the start of the show. Our lobby doors open 60 minutes prior to show time; seating areas open 30 minutes prior to show time for Broadway and 60 minutes for most concerts, comedy shows  and special events. With the schedule we recommend above, you'll arrive with plenty of time to find your seat, get settled, or enjoy a pre-show drink or a light snack.

Also, if you’re late, you may end up listening to the beginning of the show from the lobby. Most shows require that our ushers hold late arrivals in the lobby until a suitable pause in the program. The timing of allowing late arrivals into the seating area is determined by the show and designed to cause as little disruption as possible to other guests and the performers on stage.

Added note: On show dates that coincide with a Durham Bulls home game, please allow yourself an additional 10-15 minutes travel time.

Content Advisory / Parental Discretion

DPAC offers a diverse selection of entertainment. Not all productions may appeal to or be appropriate for every guest or for all ages. Ticket buyers should take responsibility for making informed decisions regarding their purchases. We recommend visiting the official website of each show, or for popular Broadway shows, websites like are a good resource to learn more about the show you are coming to see at DPAC. If you ever have questions about the content or appropriateness of a show, please contact us at

Dress Comfortably

While going to DPAC is certainly a special occasion, there is no required dress code other than we do require shoes and shirts.

You'll probably be most comfortable in casual business attire, but you’ll often see people in jeans, khakis, and sometimes even shorts. Some guests enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it, and you can too, but most of all we want our guests to be comfortable.

We would ask you to politely consider other guests’ possible allergic reactions when applying fragrances like perfumes or colognes, as DPAC is a closed area with many people in close proximity to each other.


Intermissions for most shows move very quickly and commonly run just 15-20 minutes. While we wish we could extend these breaks, each show we host sets a very strict schedule from which we cannot vary. Within the time allowed, you can socialize with your companions, get a drink or a snack in the lobby, or simply stay in your seat and relax so you'll be ready for the second half of the show.


DPAC has twice the number of restrooms as required by code; but for our most popular performances, lines do form, so please plan accordingly. DPAC regularly receives many compliments about our restroom attendants who assist in moving lines quickly so please do not be dissuaded by the lines you might see at the start of intermission.

Safety First - Bag Check

  • For your safety, all guests and their bags are subject to inspection before entry.
  • DPAC asks our guests to limit what they bring with them to events. Less items to check means that lines to enter DPAC are shorter and faster.   
  • This inspection may include the use of metal detectors.
  • Items normally allowed include:
    • Bottles - Empty plastic water bottles that can be filled at our water bottle filling stations in all lobby areas.
    • Personal safety devices including pepper spray, keychain alarms, or other non-lethal self-defense devices as allowed by NC Law.
    • Prescription medications & medical supplies such as walkers, oxygen tanks or concentrators, and diabetic travel kits.
    • Seat Cushions – Please limit to standard stadium cushions of 3-inch depth or less.
    • Service Animals – Includes a person who is training the service animal and the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training.
    • Small Snacks - As needed for special dietary reasons.
    • Umbrellas
    • Water – Sealed and unopened water bottles up to 20 ounces in size.
  • Small clutch purses are STRONGLY recommended.
  • Parenting bags (including use of a backpack as a parenting bag) that have diapers and/or other parenting necessities are permitted regardless of size when accompanied by a child. All bags require inspection prior to entry.
  • Medical bags, or any bags carrying medical items such as prescription medicine, asthma inhalers, EpiPens, and other medical equipment are permitted regardless of size. All bags require inspection prior to entry.
  • To learn more about DPAC’s bag check, including restricted items, visit our guest & bag inspections page.

Service Animals

  • Service animals are welcome at DPAC.
    • A service animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability and the presence of the dog is acceptable to the event organizer and venue operator. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
  • Purpose of a Service Animal
    • In accordance with the ADA, DPAC may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. DPAC will not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.
  • Identifying Service Animals
    • At DPAC, we place a high value on the comfort and safety of our guests. We ask that service animals remain on a collar, leash, and wear the proper attire including a tag and or vest identifying themselves as a service animal.
  • The following are NOT considered to be service animals.
    • Animals that are not a dog.
    • Therapy animals; Emotional support or comfort pets; companion animals; and "social/therapy" animals since emotional support or comfort is not a task related to a person’s disability.
    • Dogs training to be service animals are also not considered service animals until fully trained.
  • Questions / Contact Us
    • If you intend to bring a service animal to an event, no advance notice to DPAC is needed.
    • Simply notify your ticket representative at the time of purchase so that an accessible aisle seat may be reserved for you.

Show Length

Most shows usually last two to three hours, and many have an intermission including almost all Broadway shows. You can find the exact schedule posted in the lobby near the doors to the seating area and the restrooms.

Snacks and Refreshments

DPAC invites you to enjoy drinks and light snacks before the show in any of DPAC’s three distinct lobbies.

  • Entry Lobby (Ground Floor)
  • Orchestra Lobby (2nd Floor)
  • Grand Tier Lobby (3rd Floor).

Snacks and Beverage Kiosks

Guests are encouraged to visit the following kiosks which feature soft drinks, bottled water, juices, wine by the glass (Cabernet, Chardonnay and Rose), and a selection of premium seltzers, hard cider, domestic and craft beer plus candy, chips, pretzels, cookies and other snacks.

  • Entry Lobby – Broadway Bar
  • Orchestra Lobby – Encore Café and Stage Door Bar
  • Grand Tier Lobby—Applause Café and Backstage Bar

Lobby Bars

Located in the Entry, Orchestra and Grand Tier lobbies, these stand-alone bars focus on a beverage menu as follows:

  • Mixed Drinks
    • Featuring Jack Daniels, Tanqueray Gin, Tito’s Vodka, Jim Beam Bourbon, José Cuervo Tequila, Malibu Coconut Rum, Johnnie Walker - Red Label Scotch Whiskey, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Baileys Irish Cream, and Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
  • Wine
    • DPAC's House Wines include highly rated selections of Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Rose. These are available at all Lobby Bars.
    • For guests looking for a wider selection of wine varietals, please visit the Skyline Wine Bar in the Orchestra Lobby. This special location offers an expanded menu of premium wines
      • Whites: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Sparkling Wine
      • Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Sparkling Wine
  • Beer
    • Our lobby bars feature a menu of premium domestic beer, import and craft beer.

Standing at Concerts

Standing and Dancing at Concerts: DPAC is proud to welcome all types of concerts to our stage. Sometimes during the course of a concert performance, audience members will show their enthusiasm by standing and dancing, especially when encouraged by the performers to do so. Unless directed by the show, we do not ever enforce a must sit policy at concerts. For most concerts this would not be acceptable to the performers on stage who often love it when the crowd is moved enough by the performance to stand. This is especially true for rock shows and for seats closest to the stage.

Please know that DPAC does not have a “no standing” policy and in most situations will allow guests to stand even if they block the view of the stage for other guests. If your view is ever blocked by a standing or dancing guest, please contact an usher and we’ll attempt to find alternative seating.


Temperature management in a large four-story high open room filled with 2,700 guests, all with varying perceptions of comfort is a complex challenge. Our temperature settings call for air to come out of the vents with a temperature of between 65 and 70 degrees. By having air of that temperature enter the room, it mixes with the heat from body temperatures and the heat from the theatrical lighting, with the end goal being to achieve a room temperature of 70 to 72 degrees.

This range can be affected by many factors including closeness of the air vents, the air pressure of the system, the number of guests at the event and the amount of humidity in the air coming into the system. In analyzing our guest survey feedback, about 4% of guests tell us that temperatures are the #1 thing we could improve at DPAC. Of that 4%, about half said temperatures were too warm and the other half said temperatures were too cool. As you can see from this survey data, meeting everyone's sense of the perfect temperature is a complicated part of managing a large public assembly building like DPAC since perceptions of warm and cold can vary greatly and be affected by the age and gender of each guest.

Our recommendation is to dress comfortably for being in a large crowd, and if you are susceptible to cold, just bring a sweatshirt, light jacket or sweater just in case. We wish the temperature could be perfect (and adjustable) in each and every one of our 2,700 seats, but that technology just does not exist.

We're Here To Help

Above all, we hope you enjoy your experience at DPAC, and please know that we are here to help. If you have a question or need assistance of any kind, please just ask a member of our staff. We believe in great entertainment experiences, and we want to be our guests’ favorite place for live events.