Portion of a theater or hall where an audience sits, as distinct from the stage. The auditorium originated in the theaters of ancient Greece, as a semicircular seating area cut into a hillside. Floor levels in a large auditorium may include stalls, private boxes, dress circle, balcony or upper circle, and gallery. A sloping floor and converging walls allow for a clear view of the stage and improve acoustics. The walls and ceilings of contemporary auditoriums usually conceal light, sound, and air-conditioning equipment.
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The term is taken from Latin; the concept is taken from the Greek auditorium which had a series of semi-circular seating shelves in the theatre, divided by broad 'belts', called diazomata, with eleven rows of seats between each.
The price charged for seats in each part of the auditorium (known colloquially as the house) usually varies according to the quality of the view of the stage. The seating areas can include some or all of the following: