Question: What long-running Long Island concert hall is currently dubbing as a hub for trivia fans?
Answer: NYCB Theatre at Westbury
That’s right – the last Tuesday of the month is trivia night at the venue’s Lounge 960.
“We wanted to take some of these nights when we don’t have regular programming going on and utilize the building,” says marketing manager Matthew Ackermann, who hosts the event. “A lot of our shows are geared toward an older demographic, therefore trivia night gives us an opportunity to bring in a different audience.”
Each month has its own pop culture-related theme. Tuesday's event focuses on the hit NBC sitcom, “The Office,” starring Steve Carell (Michael Scott), Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly), John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) and Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute).
“ ‘The Office’ was popular when it was on TV (2005-2013) and now it’s super popular on Netflix,” says Ackermann. “Plus, it’s a show that our staff is collectively into.”
Last month's theme was “I Love the ‘90s” while April’s theme focuses on the Marvel Universe in celebration of the release of the new “Avengers” film.
HOW IT WORKS
Lounge 960 offers seating for 80 plus standing room for 20 more. The room has a casual sports bar-like environment with pro games on the flatscreen TVs around the room while music plays overhead.
Teams, ranging from one person to six (participants must be 21 or over), are formed and seated at tables and couches. Ackermann announces five rounds of 10 questions from a podium on a microphone. Each team marks their answers on sheets of paper. At the end of each round, the papers get collected and scores are tallied. There are 5-minute breaks in between rounds and the rankings are announced at the end of every round, plus there’s a 15-minute intermission in the middle.
The difficulty level of the trivia varies throughout the hourlong game.
“We don’t want to make it too terribly difficult for people so that they are intimidated,” says Ackermann. “There’s a nice range of easier to more difficult questions.”
Rounds can involve sound clips, pictures or simply direct questions.
“For ‘The Office’ trivia night, some rounds will be Music in the Office, Faces in the Office as well as Jim Pranks Dwight,” says Ackermann. “But ‘The Office’ is pretty specific and niche so I think we are going to make this one a little bit more challenging.”
Prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place teams. Each person on the winning team gets two tickets to a show of their choice at the venue, plus a collective $50 bar tab (per team) for a future trivia night. Meanwhile, the second-place team is awarded a $25 trivia night bar credit (per team) and the third-place team walks away with grab bag gifts.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m. for guests who want to enjoy some pregame food and drinks. There’s a full-service bar with $6 beers and $7-$12 cocktails. Appetizers ($10) range from chicken tacos to spinach and artichoke dip. Burgers, paninis and sandwiches ($10-$14) come with a side of fries.
“It’s an opportunity to get out after work, have a bite to eat, a few drinks and socialize,” says Ackermann. “People are welcome to hang out before and after the game.”
The age of technology can cause some issues — smartphones are not allowed to be used while playing.
“We work on the honor code,” says Ackermann. “It’s emphasized that players put their phones away. Those caught using their phones get disqualified from that round.”
The intensity increases as the game progresses.
“People get competitive,” says Ackermann. “Once the competition starts, everyone gets very excited.”
Monthly trivia night
WHEN|WHERE 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and the last Tuesday of every month at NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Reservations suggested. Ages 21 and over.
INFO 516-247-5200, thetheatreatwestbury.com