Thermal Ticket Printing: A Complete Guide

Advance preparation is key when it comes to moving patrons into the theater as quickly as possible. Our batch thermal ticket printing allows you to prepare each order prior to the doors opening. As a result, you'll have shorter lines at check-in, and patrons have more time to enjoy concessions before the show.thermal tickets printed in three different sizes

We offer three different printing options: individual PDF mail-at-home tickets, individual thermal tickets or batch thermal ticket printing for the entire performance or season package. Aside from the obvious convenience of print-at-home tickets, our individual or batch thermal ticket printing options are designed to save you time.

With thermal printing, your box office staff can print tickets “on-demand” after each order is completed with the click of a button. At the conclusion of each order, we provide two possible actions -- our quick print or our "repeat order" button. Both options allow you to quickly process orders, hand over tickets and move to the next customer in your queue.

Batch printing provides additional convenience in advance of the show. For example, each printed order includes an optional "header ticket" that acts as both a payment receipt and a regular address mailing label. Sized to slip into the pocket of single-window envelopes, you can print a run of tickets weeks before the show for easy mailing by postal service.

Thermal tickets may be printed on souvenir-style ticket stock as attractive keepsakes. Alternatively, our team provides design assistance. We create custom templates including watermarked logos, show dates and times, or customer names. Each ticket includes a unique barcode for rapid barcode scanning with fraud prevention. Let's examine some important themes around thermal ticket printing to help you choose the right ticket stock, printer, and other items.

Ticket Printer Options

Switching to ThunderTix doesn't mean buying new printers or changing your box office routine. We integrate with several thermal ticket printers for rapid printing when it matters most — on the night of the show. For example, choose from the small footprint of the Boca Lemur. Fitted with an automatic cutter, this little workhorse prints 14" inches per second! Two thermal ticket printers with similar footprints are the Practical Automation micro-ITX and the Datamax-ONeil.

Dymo Labelwriter printer with very small footprint for thermal ticket printingA favorite for size and convenience is actually not a ticket printer at all. The Dymo Labelwriter 450 Turbo receipt printer uses 3.5″ x 2″ ticket stock and takes up about the same amount of room as two coffee cups!

We support virtually all thermal ticket printers, and we encourage you to find the one that fits your box office and your budget. Consider searching eBay for used thermal printers at great prices. Do check that ticket stock is still available along with replacement parts such as cords, cutters, and other components.

We also work with many receipt printers. Options include the Citizen America CT-S310II, iTherm 280, Label Value, LV-30374, and belt-sized, Zebra ZD410. If your thermal or receipt printer isn't mentioned here, please contact us.

Whatever the choice, ensure have box office space for larger -- especially used -- thermal printers by measuring the available counter area before ordering. (Please make sure you place printers on the counter to avoid accidental damage, avoid tripping hazards, and avoid the inconvenience of having to bend over to retrieve each set of tickets.)

For expert advice on thermal ticket printing, feel free to connect with us. If you are new to thermal printers, please check out the following guides:

What they are and how to maintain them
Space, speed, security, and cost

Selecting thermal ticket stock

Ticket stock, the physical paper used for printing tickets, represents more than mere admission. Ticket stock is unique because it serves a marketing and branding function, as well as providing venue security.

Before you make your final selection for a thermal ticket printer, review ticket stock choices and prices. If you have a small venue with a rather limited run of tickets, the difference in prices between two stock prices may have a negligible effect on your budget. It may be more important to know there are many vendors from which to choose. This is especially important if you're facing a busy weekend with limited remaining stock on hand and may need to replenish ticket stock very quickly.

Once you receive the thermal receipt printer of your choice, review the size of your selected ticket stock. The most popular ticket template size is 5.5" x 2", but we support ticket stock of all sizes. So, If you choose to use alternate-sized printer stock, please provide us with the exact dimensions. Since each ticket is custom designed for you, we'll prepare your template exactly as desired.

In addition to basic white stock, ThunderTix supports nearly all special ticket stock and our custom ticket templates extend your possibilities even further. Some organizations prefer more expensive ticket stock (four-color printing, high gloss paper, etc.). High-quality ticket stock may be a good match for your special event as a souvenir-style ticket and has increased marketing value. Some choices include holograms which make counterfeiting very difficult and function as an extra layer of event security. To learn more about security ticket stock, you are encouraged to read our industry reference guide:

Ticket Stock for Counterfeit Protection

Ticket Templates

ThunderTix will automatically pull all the event information from your ThunderTix account into a predefined template. You can easily upload a black & white logo for the front of your ticket with the event information.

Thermal Tickets

Event information printed on the ticket includes the event name, date, time, ticket type, ticket price, seat (if assigned seating), a short message, venue address, and phone number. And as seen in the image above, the customer's name can also be included in the ticket. The 1" ticket stub includes a unique barcode, the barcode ID, event name, date, and time.

We also offer custom thermal ticket templates. You supply us with a sample of how you want your ticket to print, and we can make it happen! Ticket templates are offered as a one-time setup fee.

Ticket Envelopes

Our thermal ticket printing options work well with “windowed” ticket envelopes. These special envelopes are custom made with a small compartment inside to fit tickets safely and securely.

Thermal Ticket EnvelopeFor walk-up redemption of paper tickets (will call, special VIP tickets held in reserves, etc.) the ticket envelopes help efficiency in busy box offices. With the printed tickets placed inside, the customer's name shows through the window, making them easy to find within a tall stack.

The see-through window serves a second purpose if you send tickets to customers via postal mail. The custom ticket template can be configured to print the buyer’s home address on a separate ticket-turned-label, and that address will show through the ticket envelope window eliminating the need to print the address manually.

Thermal Ticket Printing Setup Guides

Below are the setup guides to configure your printer:

Practical Automation ITX and eITX
Boca Lemur