Coordinating your choice of seats in a movie theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Damien Montanile, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Damien Montanile

    Damien Montanile Stunt Coordinator

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    the Post about Stadium Seating or not sparked me to thinking about what I do when I go to a movie theater...

    I eye out all of the Surround sound speakers in the place and start counting seats to get a prime listening position (or at least estimate acording to eye distance). My friends think Im nuts when they see me start counting in seats from both ends toward the center.

    Anyone else like that?

    -Damien
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Well, if a theater is set up correctly, there shouldn't be a substantial difference as far as the surround field goes. The theater I freqent is set up nicely, so choosing a seat isn't such a hassle. Sometimes I pick the "sweet spot" but usually, I try to get the upper row because of more leg room.

    Bruce
     
  3. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    I don't count seats but as I'm walking down the aisle I eyeball the screen to gauge how close I am to the center. If possible I try to sit halfway up the stadium riser.
     
  4. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I've got such a reputation for being uptight about my seat location that none of my friends/family bother to question me anymore. I'll show up absurdly early for a film just to make sure that I'm sitting where I want. I saw Apollo 13 in the front row once and I felt like I was staring up Tom Hanks nostril the entire time.
    I like to sit at approximately half way up the height of the screen and in the center. This usually puts me about half way back in the seating.
    Yeah, I'm uptight but I'm cool with that[​IMG]
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I simply sit where the screen size is "comfortable" and grab a middle sseat if I can.
     
  6. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    I always try to pick the sweet spot in the center. But, sometimes I'll move if I happen to be sitting near loud and annoying people. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I happily give up "optimal" seating in order to get away from the throng of yahoos who typically occupy and/or surround the best seats.
     
  8. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    I do the same thing as Neil. As long as I am comfortable everything is good. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    In a stadium theater, back row baby! Although an irritant of mine is seeing every bloody person get up to go to the bathroom, I have no one kicking behind my seats or talking behind me. [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    In stadium seating theaters, you'll always find me smack-dab in the middle (use lights/tile lines on ceiling - easier than counting seats) and second row from the back.

    The back row would be better in one sense - no one to kick your chair from behind or munch popcorn in your ear - but the rear surround field needs a bit more room IMO. And from this distance, the entire frame of the film (particularly if 'scope) is easily within my field of vision (as opposed to being too close and having the sides drift off into the periphery).
     
  11. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I generally eyeball the center of the screen and try to sit toward the front, trying to find the point where the screen fills my field of vision but doesn't require head movement to see any part of it. With stadium seating, I've generally found myself going for the "entrence level" seats, since the walkway gives me leg room.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I usually will try to sit in the middle of the seats.

    I don't like being too close are too far to the edge (disortion) and surround sound works better in the middle sweet spot (more vital to Cinerama if you're lucky enough to see a Cinerama film.)
     
  13. Jens Raethel

    Jens Raethel Second Unit

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    Are you not able to choose the seat you want when buying a movie ticket in the US?
     
  14. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    I seldom go to the movies but when I do I make sure to get an end seat on the right about halfway back from the screen. That way if the theater starts getting a little on the packed side, I will only have some asshole sitting to the left of me and I wont be sardined in the middle of two strangers. I'm a person who needs his personal space [​IMG]
     
  15. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I will usually try for about 2/3 of the way up.
     
  16. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    Jens, very few theaters in the USA use assigned seating. There have been some experiments with it, particulary in New York and from what I have read it has worked out well. Personally, I prefer first come, first served seating.
    By the way, we also can't get a beer in theaters in the USA. I hope you serve beer in Cinemax! [​IMG]
     
  17. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Center, of course, and usually beneath screen center (typically third-fifth row in the stadium section). I don't ever recommend sitting in the ground floor section. I think the last time I did the ground floor front row was for Waterworld and Castaway. Detracted from both films.
     
  18. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    When I'm by myself, I sit dead center, very close. I like having to turn my head to follow the action. If the screen is set back far enough, I'll even sit in the front row, taking advantage of the extra legroom (plus nobody ever has to climb over me or vice versa)

    When I'm with somebody, I just let them pick the row, suggesting center seats "as close as they can tolerate".
     
  19. Greg Rowe

    Greg Rowe Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I'm not sure why beer isn't served in US theaters. If I had to guess, it would be because it's impractical - half the people working the concession stand are under 21, and you'd have to ID people at the stand, too.

    One interesting trivia bit about that is that the Keystone Theater Cafe in Portland, ME (RIP) did have beer and wine on the menu, but weren't allowed to serve it during Warner Brothers movies - so one studio, at least, had it in their distribution contracts.

    The coffee thing appears to have done very well - I can't remember going to a theater that didn't serve coffee in the past five years.
     

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