Frequently Asked Questions:
Auditorium Programs

If you have a question about our auditorium programs, please read through the list of commonly asked questions. If your question is not addressed by the list, please e-mail it to us by clicking on "I still have a question." We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.

1. Do I need a ticket to gain admittance?

No. Auditorium programs are open to the public and seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. You are your own ticket. You may not save places for people who have not yet arrived.

Back to Top

2. Do I need to register to attend a lecture/symposium in either auditorium?

No. Registration is not required, unless noted on the specific listing.

Back to Top

3. How many seats are available?

The East Building Auditorium seats 500 people. The East Building Small Auditorium seats approximately 60 people.

Back to Top

4. When does seating begin?

Auditorium doors open approximately 30 minutes before a program begins. After each event, the auditorium is cleared to prepare for the next event. Patrons who wish to attend more than one event are asked to return 30 minutes prior to the next program. Most events allow late seating, unless specially noted by staff on duty, or if the auditorium has been filled.

Back to Top

5. What if I need to use the restroom while standing in line?

Ask your neighbor to save your place. The restrooms are located to the left of the moving walkway.

Back to Top

6. May I save seats in either auditorium?

No. There are no tickets for auditorium events; we will seat those present before we can accommodate late arrivals.

Back to Top

7. May I bring food or drinks into either auditorium?

No. Food and drink can only be consumed in designated restaurant locations. We appreciate your help in keeping the auditorium clean.

Back to Top

8. May I leave either auditorium once I have been seated?

Yes, but seat saving is not permitted. We cannot guarantee that your seat will be available upon your return. If the auditorium is full, please let the staff member at the door know you are leaving and plan to return.

Back to Top

9. Where can I sit if I am in a wheelchair?

There are wheelchair spaces designated along the top level of the East Building Auditorium. Guests may choose to leave their wheelchairs in the rear of the auditorium near the guard's desk and sit in auditorium seating.

Back to Top

10. May I leave my child alone in either auditorium?

Children under 15 may not be left in the auditorium without supervision.

Back to Top

11. May my child sit in a stroller in either auditorium?

No. Strollers must be left in the back of the auditorium, near the security guard. Strollers may not be parked in the rows or on the stairs. All children must sit in the auditorium seats. Small children may sit on their parents' laps, but not on the floor of the auditorium.

Back to Top

12. Can I get an assisted-hearing device for auditorium programs?

Both East Building auditoria are equipped with assistive listening devices. Receivers and neck loops necessary to access these systems can be borrowed from the Art Information Desk located on the Ground Level of the East Building. The Lecture Hall in the West Building is similarly equipped. The Art Information Desk at the 6th Street and Constitution Avenue Entrance to the West Building can provide the devices.

Back to Top

13. May I make an audio or video recording of a program?

No. Recording is not permitted; all program content is property of the presenters and the National Gallery of Art.

Back to Top

14. How long does a lecture last?

Lectures are approximately 50 minutes in length.

Back to Top

15. May I film or take photographs during a program?

No. Photography is not permitted; all program content is property of the presenters and the National Gallery of Art.

Back to Top

16. If the program is followed by a book signing, where can I purchase the book?

Books will be available for sale in the Gallery Shops prior to and during the signing. There will often be a display and sales desk near the signing table.

Back to Top

17. Where do book signings take place?

Book signings generally take place just outside the East Building Auditorium, near the underground walkway to the Cascade Café and Bookstore.

Back to Top

18. May I take photographs of the author?

Please ask the signer’s permission before taking photographs.

Back to Top

19. Will the author sign items other than books?

Signing events are usually limited to books only, but please ask the staff member on duty if other items will be signed.

Back to Top

20. How long does a film program last?

Film lengths will vary. Please check the running times listed in the calendar and posted on the board outside of the auditorium.

Back to Top

If you have a question pertaining to one of the topics below, please click on the specific link to see our listings of frequently asked questions. If you have a question or comment on other topics, please see our Contact Us page for an appropriate e-mail address or phone number. We will get back to you as soon as possible.Art Information | Internships | VirtualTours | Auditorium Programs