Gallo center tickets to be online shortly

Gallo Center for the Arts patrons will begin getting tickets in the mail next week for events through October.

Moreover, people will be able to order tickets online at www.galloarts.org "shortly," according to Executive Di- rector Dave Pier. He couldn't give an exact date.

The new downtown Modesto venue has received numerous complaints about the lack of seat assignments. Most patrons have been allowed to place orders only for a section, such as the front orchestra or the balcony. In addition, orders have been recorded on paper rather than entered in a computer system.

"It's a little embarrassing that such a great new facility, years in the planning, is using a pen-and-paper ticketing process," said Modesto resident Stuart Johnston.

Pier said that wasn't the plan -- it has just taken much longer than expected to enter all the concerts and programs in the computer system and get the ticketing software up and running.

Though the center's grand-opening gala is less than two weeks away, the only people who have received paper tickets so far are those attending events by the four resident companies: the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Townsend Opera Players, Central West Ballet and the Modesto Community Concert Association, Pier said.

"We just had a tremendous response to the season as a whole and so the lines have been really busy at the ticket office," he said.

Starting Monday, people who walk up to the box office will be able to get paper tickets for grand-opening events. Tickets for events the rest of the season will be mailed to patrons in upcoming weeks.

The Gallo Center for the Arts is at 10th and I streets, Modesto. The center has two theaters: the 1,252-seat Mary Stuart Rogers Theater and the 444-seat Foster Family Theater. www.galloarts.org, 338-2100.