Footstoves and coconut mats
In the past, there was both reserved and free seating for the St Matthew Passion. Outside, the audience jostled for a good place, and when the doors opened they streamed in to find a seat with a good view.
Sometimes, they sat in the wrong seats or pushed chairs around. Section A was the best section, where people were even given a footstove to keep them warm. To make the church warmer and more intimate, coconut matting was laid on the floor. At the time, an audience of around 2300 was admitted to the church, whereas nowadays there is a maximum of 1700, and everyone has a numbered seat.
Footstoves and coconut mats in section A.