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Orlando-area theaters are now selling tickets for half-price -- providing you're willing to wade into the tourist pool on International Drive to pick them up.

That last part's the bad news. The good news is that the two-week-old practice sets the stage for the similar sale of half-price, same-day tickets at a downtown location. The Central Florida Theatre Alliance, which is negotiating for a spot that could open next month at Church Street Market, debuted the promotion farther away at the invitation of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which sells the ticket vouchers between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily at its Tourist Information Center, 8723 International Drive.

Participants in the first weeks have included Theatre Downtown, Performance Space Orlando, Orlando Theatre Project, Sak Theater and the Orlando/UCF Shakespeare Theatre. Buyers also can halve the cost of a $4 admission to the Orange County Historical Museum -- which, when affixed with a $1.50 per ticket service charge, doesn't really save a lot. "But that's not the point," says Terry Olson, executive director of the alliance that hopes to help fill seats and find new spaces for shows to go. "The point is putting it out there in front of the tourists' eyes."

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