A service run by the Theatre Development Fund
in New York City
for purchasing discount day of show tickets
to Broadway show
s as well as off-Broadway
productions. There are two booths--on at Duffy Sqare
(roughly 47th Street
, really just north of Times Square
and really all part of the theme park
that the place has become) and one at 2 World Trade Center
Basically, the theatres allocate a chunk of unsold tickets that day to the TKTS booth(s), and they sell them for anywhere from 50% to 75% off the cover price. The business at the booths is strictly cash only. The booths have displays showing which shows are available (and which allocations of tickets have been sold out.)
You're never going to get tickets to a first-run or hit show (The Producers will probably not be available at TKTS until about 2005 when the leads are played by, say Robert Goulet and James van der Beek,) but if you want to see a long-running musical, you don't care about your seats, and only want to spend, say, $25 to $40 instead of up to $100 for a show, this is your place to go. Also, you can't be guaranteed that you'll get to see a specific show, so you'll have to be flexible. If you have your heart set on Les Mis or Phantom, you'll want to order tickets the usual way, just to be sure.
The Duffy Square booth is open 3pm to 8pm for evening sales (Monday through Saturday), 10am to 2pm for matinee sales (Wednesday and Saturday) and 11am until sellout for matinee and evening tickets on Sunday.
The WTC location is open 11am to 5:30pm Mon-Fri and 11am to 3:30pm on Saturday. The WTC booth does not do same-day matinee sales, but has a limited number of matinee tickets one day before the matinee performance.
Update: For obvious reasons, the WTC location is no longer available.