Two weekends ago when I went to see “The Imitation Game” at the theatre, I noticed a strange new thing at this particular theatre. Not strange in a bad way, just different than what I am used to. When buying my ticket, I had to actually select a seat. Not a normal thing to do when you go to the movies. I shrugged it off thinking it was because they were showing the movie in one of their special features rooms that have specially designed chairs and whatnot. Oh you talk about watching a movie in style! Adjustable recliner style seats with arm rests large enough to set your snacks on if you are the type to snack at the movies and plenty of leg room with no chance of anyone kicking your seat. One drawback to such luxury is that this cuts down on the amount of seats they can place in the room and therefore limits customer capacity. Still didn’t think much of it as the movie was still only in limited release and not very well publicized in my area.
The following week when my supervisor returned from having some days off for the holiday season, I told her about the movie and of the cool seating they had at the theatre. She mentioned that that line of theatres is intending to do convert all of their theatre rooms like that. She too had recently saw a movie there as well and had asked one of the employees about it when she had to pick seats from a seating chart when she and her family went to another movie over the holiday weekend. They had started with this change around the spring or summer of 2014. Shows you how long it’s been since I went to that particular theatre.
I love the fact that a theatre is upgrading things to improve the moviegoing experience and entice people to come and help keep them in business as they compete with economy and a growing trend twoards people waiting until the movies they want to see are available on some on demand platform at a fraction of the cost of a movie ticket that can go anywhere from $9-$15 (in some places even more expensive). My problem with this upgrading is that, for one thing, the limiting capacity. Never really took the time to count how many seats are in an average theatre, but these new luxury seats cut the capacity by at least half. Less seating means less customers which will mean less profit for them if they keep their prices at their already ridiculous rates which leads to problem number two. By not having the capacity for larger amounts of customers, they will most likely need to raise their prices on either tickets, concessions, or both, which doesn’t really attract me. Prices are already needlessly high. And point three is that the luxury they’re selling isn’t cheap either. Some people just don’t care about not damaging stuff wherever they go. It’s a great idea, I just don’t see it as profitable when you’re already testing the limits on how much a person is going to spend on a night out at the movies. Just my two cents.