FAQs - MPSF Speaker Series

Questions You May Have About Your Subscription

When do tickets go on sale?

The speakers comprising the next season are announced at the final lecture of the current season. Series tickets for the next entire season become available at that time.

Orders may be submitted online via the online order form for each venue. Subscribers and people on the wait list will receive a brochure in the mail. Subscribers are given a two week “grace period” in which their Series subscription is guaranteed.

Applications for Series tickets from those on the waiting list are accepted on a “first come, first served” basis in order of the time and date that they are received.

When do I get my tickets?

Tickets are sent out in July.

Can I Buy Individual Tickets?

Tickets are sold by Series only. Tickets to individual events are not available. There are separate lectures in the Series, and a Series ticket includes all lectures.

Why Not?

Selling tickets as a package enables us to advertise the Series all at once and reduces the costs of presenting these notable speakers. If each event were marketed and ticketed individually, tickets would be twice as much as they are now. For the same reason, there are no Senior or Student discounts.

How do I get on the waiting list?

You may telephone our office: Oakland at (650) 343-8001, the Peninsula at (650) 348-0820 or Marin and Marin 2 at (650) 340-7004. As a policy, we do not solicit you with any other information unless you request it, nor do we provide any of your address information to any other source. (This policy applies to subscribers as well.)

What kind of seating is available?

The Oakland and Peninsula venues have open and reserved seating. Open seating, or general seating, allows you to choose a different seat each evening (outside of the reserved seating section), whereas in the reserved section your seat is assigned throughout the Series. The Marin and Marin 2 venues are all reserved and therefore your seat is assigned throughout the series.

How do I get reserved seating?

Let us know if you want reserved seats on your order form. Reserved seats, as with general subscriptions, are renewable from year to year. Once renewals are complete, remaining seats in the reserved section become available. These seats become available first to current subscribers wishing to upgrade from open to reserved seating, and then to new subscribers. Historically, it has been necessary to have open seating before you become eligible for reserved seating.

What if I need handicapped seating?

If you are mobility impaired and have a handicapped placard or walking aid (such as a walker), please mention your needs when ordering tickets. We reserve space for our handicapped patrons, so it helps to have an accurate count of those with special needs. If, during the season, your mobility status changes, please call the office so we can make any necessary changes to keep you comfortable.

If you are in a wheelchair, please make that comment when ordering tickets. Chairs are removed to make room for wheelchairs and it helps the theater staff to know how many spaces are needed. Wheelchair patrons are encouraged to arrive by 7:45pm to ensure they are well settled by the beginning of the performance at 8:00pm.

If you only need handicapped seating temporarily, please call the office and we will make arrangements to move you into handicapped seating for as long as your mobility is impaired.

Is the Speaker Series appropriate for children?

The recommended minimum age for all speaker events is 10 years or older. NOTE: Every person who enters the theater must have a ticket. No babes in arms.

Is there any support for the hearing impaired?

The Paramount Theatre now offers Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) that work with hearing aids! Click here to learn how to obtain them at Oakland events. Standard Assistive Listening Devices are also available at Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium and the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.

Can I go to a different event than is shown on my ticket?

Our series runs Monday through Thursday in three different venues. Your ticket is good only for the date shown.

However, MPSF has devoted a page of this site to our subscribers to post messages of trade with one another. Go to the “Ticket Exchange” for a simple bulletin board where our subscribers may leave or review offers to trade tickets. This forum allows subscribers to deal directly with one another to facilitate trading their tickets.

NOTE: Ticket Exchange is not available to subscribers looking to sell tickets or non-subscribers looking to buy tickets. Any postings mentioning money will be deleted.

What are event start times?

All speaker events begin promptly at 8:00pm and doors open at 7:00pm for seating.

How Long Is Each Lecture?

Each evening lasts one and one-half hours, from 8pm to 9:30pm. The evening begins with a short introduction by MPSF, Inc. President Jim Weil. The speaker begins at about 8:05pm with remarks usually lasting until at least 9pm. During the talk, you have the opportunity to fill out “a question for tonight’s speaker”. Following the speaker’s formal remarks and beginning at approximately 9pm, audience questions are posed to the speaker. The “Q&A” period belongs to the audience. This 25-30 minute session, during which the speaker clarifies or amplifies previous remarks or offers spontaneous and revealing new information, is often the most interesting portion of the evening.

What do I do if I’ve lost my ticket?

If you know in advance that you have lost your ticket, please call the office by the morning of the lecture. We will be able to reprint or replace your ticket and have it waiting at Will Call.

If you forgot your ticket on the way to the venue, please go directly to Will Call between 7pm – 8pm. The subscriber, or purchaser of the tickets, just needs to provide photo identification and we can replace the tickets. This process is a bit slower, and calling ahead is encouraged.

Can I get an audiotape, videotape or transcript of the talk?

By contract, we are strictly prohibited from distributing video, audio or written transcripts of any of our presentations.

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