New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office has recovered more than $1 million for thousands of customers who bought tickets to Westchester Broadway Theater (WBT), but were denied refunds when performances were canceled due to pandemic-related closures. The WBT, a live theater company formerly located in Elmsford, has agreed to refund tickets and gift certificates purchased prior to the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Customers have already begun receiving their refund checks.
“After the Westchester Broadway Theater took its final bow, thousands of theatergoers were unable to get refunds for tickets they had already purchased,” said Attorney General James. “For months, theatergoers were stuck in the wings, but today, my office helped put more than $1 million back into New Yorkers’ pockets. While the curtains are finally closed on this saga, we will continue to go after companies that refuse to reimburse consumers.”
The WBT provides dinner and live theater performances of popular musicals and concerts on an open stage. As of March 2020, the theater had sold more than 30,000 tickets to upcoming performances which were canceled when WBT was forced to close because of the pandemic. Following the shutdown, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) received numerous complaints from ticketholders that WBT refused to issue refunds for canceled shows. In October 2020, OAG opened an investigation into WBT after it was reported that the theater was permanently closing and would not reimburse patrons. Instead, WBT created a ticket exchange policy with the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC), whereby WPPAC would honor tickets and gift cards bought for WBT shows. However, no refund option was offered to WBT ticketholders, and the ticket exchange did not honor the value of the dinner portion of WBT tickets. Only 930 WBT ticket holders participated in the ticket exchange.
WBT has agreed to refund a total of $1,127,258.84 to thousands of customers, even the ones who participated in the ticket exchange with WPPAC. Gift certificate holders who show a receipt may also be eligible for a refund or may use the gift card at WBT’s new location in Chappaqua.
The agreement is the latest in Attorney General James’ ongoing efforts to refund New York consumers for events canceled in the wake of the pandemic. Last year, OAG returned $427,000 to New Yorkers who paid deposits for events at Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle, but had their events canceled. To date, Attorney General James has recovered millions of dollars for New Yorkers in refunds for pandemic-related shutdowns.