Although the CIBC Theater (formerly Private Bank Theater & Bank of America Theater ) is beautiful, the seating chart (i.e. the seat views) are so bad, it makes the CIBC Theater one of the least desired theaters to view a show. However, the funniest musical of all time, The Book of Mormon, has been playing there for the past couple years. And starting in September perhaps the greatest musical of all time, Hamilton, will be begin playing there as well.
Note: The darker the red the worse the seats. Red circles indicate columns which create obstructed views.
Any seat in the center orchestra from row A to V will provide you with an excellent view of the stage. However, the best seats for the best views are in the center orchestra between row E and P.
Side Orchestra seats, obstructed & unobstructed views:
The majority of the seats in the side orchestra sections will provide you with a fabulous unobstructed view. However, you need to be cautious of two things:
- The higher the seat number the closer you are to the side, increasing the likelihood of obstructed views.
- POLES: On our Bank of America seating chart you’ll see red circles, these symbolize columns which will obstruct your view.
- Left Orchestra: there’s a pole in row U in between seats 4 and 8: thus anyone sitting in seats 2-6 from Row V to ZZZ will have an obstructed view.
- Right Orchestra: there’s a pole in row U in between seats 3 and 7: thus anyone sitting in seats 1-5 from Row V to ZZZ will have an obstructed view.
Tip: I would prefer to sit one row further back in exchange for a seat that is one seat closer to the inside aisle (i.e. I would prefer seat 14 in Row M, verse seat 16 in row L).
Reviews from users that saw the Book of Mormon: (A) Sat in row S, seat #19 of the orchestra. (B) Sat in the last row (ZZZ) of the side orchestra:
“We sat on the outside aisle and unfortunately we couldn’t see the stage in its entirety and missed some of the action directly on the right. There is a slight overhang from the balcony, but I didn’t find that was obstructing my view, but rather the way the set is placed further. You really can’t see the side of the stage that you are sitting on unless you are close to the inside aisle.”
“I could see 85% of the play. The overhang of the above section prevented me from seeing the upper portion of the stage (only 5% of the play took place here).
There is a column roughly in the center of the aisle that made viewing a little more difficult. I was seated pretty far left in the left most row of the theater where a column partially obstructed a portion of the center of the stage. Had I been farther right (one or two seats closer to the aisle), the column wouldn’t be as much of an issue.”
CIBC Theater Seating – Dress Circle
Quick summary, getting as close to the middle is very important, however the rows are even more important: seats between row A to C are good, D-E are okay but somewhat obstructed, and F-H are typically obstructed.
With that said here’s two entirely different reviews from two different users sitting in similar seats:
“I sat in row F of the Dress Circle, the seats were great, we really enjoyed them. The show was very well done and the cast was amazing”
“I sat in dress circle (Row G, seats 229 and 231) and I had terrible views. There were things we couldn’t see at the top and bottom of the stage and the seats seemed to be staggered so everyone had someone else’s head directly in front of them.”
Dress Circle Conclusion:
The dress circle is entirely different depending on which dress circle section and row you are in. The center dress circle section hangs over the orchestra sections at row S, while the side dress circle hangs over the orchestra at row L. This means the side sections have a dramatic viewing angle and leads people hang over the railing and sit up as tall as possible. Seat quality and sight lines depend entirely on the people sitting in front of you.
If you are sitting in row C or closer you’ll avoid these problems. But you are most likely better off sitting in a low, row number in the center mezzanine or center balcony sections.
Most people that sit in the mezzanine seats in the CIBC theater say that even though the tickets weren’t marked obstructed, they really are. Here’s two other helpful reviews:
“I had to sit on the edge of my seat in order to see all of the show especially when the actors were using the front of the stage. The top part of the setting was also not visible.”
“I sat in row K, seats 305-311 which were under the balcony overhang. You can see the entire width of the stage, and just have to sit up REALLY TALL to see the things happening near the front of the stage.”
Sitting in a lower row number is more important than sitting closer to the center of the venue when sitting in the Mezzanine section. If you can’t get a ticket in a row better than K, definitely look for seats in the Balcony.
The CIBC Theatre has three levels and the balcony, is the highest section. The view from the Balcony sections (regardless if you are in the center or not) has extreme viewing angles. Like many other seats and sections you’ll miss a portion of the stage.
If things are taking place in front of the curtain line there’s a good chance the people in front of you will block your view, this is because even the people in the front row need to move to try and see the stage, which then makes the problem worse for everyone behind them, which than compounds the problem for everyone.
It’s also worth mentioning that the acoustics in the balcony are a little worse than the rest of the CIBC seating options, but only marginally.
Reviews from users that sat in the balcony section:
“Well, the pitch (of the seating) is fairly extreme & there were times when it was difficult to see the actors because they were partially blocked from the set above them. Not horrible, but worth mentioning.”
The boxes are laid out like this:
DCRBX3 Row BX3 (seats 1,3 & 5,7 & 9,11) is the lowest box on the left hand (box 3). DCRBX4 is parallel on the right hand side (box 4).
DCRBX1 Row BX1 (seats 201 to 215) is the next box up on the left hand (box 1). DCRBX2 is parallel on the right hand side (box 2).
MZRBX5 BX5 (seats 1 to 11) is the highest box and is on the left hand side in line with the other mezzanine sections (box 5). MZRBX6 BX6 is the equivalent box but is on the right hand side (box 6).
CIBC Theater Box Seats Review
“I was in the box seats, and I really enjoyed being so close, and being able to see into the pit. My 6ft boyfriend also appreciated the extra leg room since the seats are kind of moveable. The big downside of the box seats in this theater is about 1/8 of the stage (the back corner) is entirely blocked from view.”
Complaints About The Bank of America Theatre
- Because the seats are generally bad throughout the building, people tend to lean forward over the railings and obscuring even more viewing lines.
- There are many exit doors and because of this there’s a bad draft and it may get cold.
- It can take up to 20 minutes to get out of the theatre.
- Getting food & drinks takes a long time.
Suggestions and Recommendations
- We recommend checking your coat, some seats have little leg room & it gets crowded.
- Instead of beating the rush out, just wait for the crowds to dissipate.
- Take pictures of the Book of Mormon theater seating chart & upload it below!
If you are debating about buying tickets for The Book of Mormon or Hamilton that have a “Limited” or “Obstructed” view, and you really can’t afford to spend a couple extra bucks it’s still worth going and buying the cheapest tickets.
What you’ll say when you leave: “The Book of Mormon was hysterical!” or “Hamilton was absolutely incredible!”
What you won’t say: “I can’t wait to go back to the Bank of America Theater”
It’s all about expectations… just saying.
Chicago, IL 60603
Have a question? If it’s about specific Bank of America seats, ask us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Almost every general question that can be asked has been done so below in the comments so take a look there for some more info.