Orchestra Iowa's FAQs

If you are a first-time concert attendee, it is likely that you have some questions about your upcoming evening at the orchestra. Even if you are a symphony season pro, with the many changes happening around the community it is a good idea to brush up on the basics. So here to help is a friendly guide to Orchestra Iowa’s most frequently asked questions – ensuring your time at the symphony is more enjoyable all year long!

When should I arrive?
Orchestra concerts generally start on time. With that in mind, allow for enough time to comfortably reach your seats, taking into consideration your parking options and if you will need to stop by Will Call to pick up your tickets. In general, it is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the concert start time.

What is your late seating policy?
Late seating is at the discretion of the house manager. Typically, late seating is permitted between movements or breaks between pieces. For patrons who arrive late to the Paramount, you can enjoy the performance from the screen in the Encore Lounge or listen to the broadcast throughout the lobby until you are able to be seated.

How long is a typical performance?
Program length varies, but a typical performance is about two hours, including one, 20-minute intermission. For exact times, please check with the Ticket Office.

Is it appropriate to applaud?
Absolutely! Audiences tend to wait until the end of a piece before clapping. Some pieces of music have movements or sections, and the orchestra often will pause between them. The audience holds their applause during these short breaks in music.

Is the theater accessible to patrons with special needs?
Orchestra Iowa and its venue partners are committed to providing an environment that is welcoming to all patrons, and offer services such as special seating locations and assisted listening devices. For more information about accessible services or handicap parking locations, please contact the Ticket Office at 319-366-8203 or via email at tickets@orchestraiowa.org.

Where can I park?
If attending a concert at the Paramount Theatre, street parking is limited but is free after 6pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. There are also many lots and garages within just a few blocks of the theater. For information on parking locations and rates, please visit parkcedarrapids.com.

The Orchestra also reminds its patrons to be mindful of the ever-changing road closures due to construction and highly recommends visiting cedar-rapids.org to search for “Paving for Progress” updates.

For Iowa City and Coralville concerts, street parking is available around the downtown area and is free on Sundays. Most of the Orchestra’s partner venues offer free parking in their attached lots. For information on Iowa City road construction and closures, please visit icgov.org and search “Alerts.”

What should I wear?
The key to choosing proper symphony attire is to be both comfortable and confident in your clothing choices. Many patrons will don business attire, but it is absolutely acceptable to be casual in jeans or dress-up in a three-piece suit. For the comfort of all patrons though, please refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes or wearing clanky jewelry that might interfer with the enjoyment of the music.

Do you have a coat check?
Most of Orchestra Iowa’s venue partners offer coat check during cooler months and when there is inclement weather. The Paramount Theatre coat check is located on the main floor and costs $1 per coat. Coralville Center for the Performing Arts has an unstaffed coat closet that is available for patron usage. Hancher Auditorium also offers coat check for nominal fee.

Can I take pictures?
During pre-and-post-concert, patrons are encouraged to snap selfies, pose with friends, and capture the evening’s memories. Even feel free to tag @orchestraiowa when posting your pictures online. Orchestra Iowa has accounts on both Instagram and Facebook! Please note, however, flash photography and audio/visual recording is strictly prohibited throughout the duration of all Orchestra Iowa performances.

Are there places to eat near the theater?
There are many delicious places to dine in downtown Cedar Rapids and the Iowa City & Coralville areas! If going to the Paramount Theatre, try one of the newer restaurants in town like Black Sheep Social Club, Sauce Bar & Bistro, Popoli Ristorante, Bistro on the River or L’Auberge. We also recommend Stella in Iowa City and Chez Grace in Coralville. You can visit
ArtsIowa.com for a full list of recommended restaurants.

What is your food & drink policy inside the Paramount Theatre?
Refreshments are available for purchase at the Opus Concert Café, Encore Lounge, Capital Lounge and concession areas inside the lobby of the theater. While both light snacks and beverages are served, the Orchestra prohibits its patrons from bringing food into the theater during its Masterworks, Opera and Ballet concerts. Beverages are welcome during all concerts. All concessions areas accept both cash and credit payments. An ATM is located in the Encore Lounge for guests’ convenience.

How can I get ahold of the Arts Iowa Ticket Office?
The Ticket Office can be reached in person at 119 Third Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, via email at tickets@orchestraiowa.org, or by phone at 319-366-8203. Hours are as follows: Monday thru Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 3-hours prior to the start of any show.