Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saving Seats at Theatres

As I type this I'm in physical pain after seeing Capitalism: A Love Story. No, the movie itself was actually pretty good. Basically what happened was my friend and I went in 45 minutes before the sneak preview was supposed to start. The theatre was already filling up fast, but two or three people near the back had saved around 8-10 seats each, including their own. No I'm not exaggerating. Consequently I had to settle for a seat where my bneck was in pain much of the time.

The pain got me thinking: snagging four seats is fine, but with eight seats the people on the far side are simply not going to be able to have a meaningful interaction with one another anyway. So why not let the people who showed up on time have some of the seats and have the latecomers deal with the lesser seats? Again, saving a few people, not a problem, but don't snag nearly the entire row.

My proposal for big ticket movies: you can save up to four seats including your own, no more. This rule can be waved for movies that have been out a while, but four seats is the equivalent of two free passholders, and again that's probably the upper limit of where the people on the far sides can whisper without disturbig the other guests. If space is at a premium the people who arrived at a decent hour should not be penalized for not being part of a particular group and eight seats is simply too many.

Or maybe I'm just grouchy because of the pain in the back of the neck.

What do people think of a seat-saving maximum for busy films? If you like this idea, how should this be enforced?

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