Slobodan M. Marković

Contract on Theatre Visit from the Viewpoint of Civil Law


Contract on theatre visit is a complex, non-typical, adhesive contract whose predominant elements belong to the contract for the supply of services which is regulated by the Law on Obligations. Nevertheless, due to significant diffierences between these two contracts, the statutary provisions applying to the contract for the supply of services have to be applied to the contract on theatre visit very carefully. The most significant peculiarities of the contract on theatre visit are: non-material nature of the suppliers obligation; purchaser’s presence at the theatre show as a mode of accepting the service provided; beginning and end of the show as time limits that are essential for the performance of the supplier’s obligation; theatre ticket as an identification paper and not as a security.

Contract on theatre visit also contains elements of the contract of lease in respect of the concrete visitor’s seat in the theatre. Consequently, the rules governing lessor’s liability for defects in the object rented apply.

Finally, since the contract on theatre visit is concluded by purchasing the ticket, the rules governing the contract on sale also apply.

If non-performance or defective performance of a theater’s contractual obligation is attributable to the theatre itself, its duty is to return to the visitor partly or completely the price of the ticket and to pay him the damages suffered. In order to protect itself from the immeasurable economic risk rising from that fact, the theatre may limit its liability by means of general terms and conditions of its standard-clause-contract. However, the theatre may not completely waive its liability because it would thereby abuse not only its stronger position as a contracting party, but also even its monopolistic or dominant position on the market.