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Saving seats at showings of blockbuster movies. (1 Viewer)

Chuck Mayer

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Chuck Mayer
Just a question I have been mulling over for about a week. I don't want it to be an issue Wednesday night (or any night).

I saw Spider-Man opening night. Bought tickets online, and showed up an hour early (I am a seat fascist - I like good seats when I spend $9/person on a movie). I was about 20 people back. Very nice. So my wife and I walk into the theater when it's ready, and we look up at our favorite spot - first row, stadium seating, so we can rest our feet on the rails, towards the center. Unfortunately, a fellow turns to me and says "sorry." He, and his friend at the other end, are saving the middle 12 seats in the front row of the stadium seating portion...what I consider some of the best seats. There are two of them. No "mind if we save these" or anything...just a "sorry." I don't mind saving seats for friends, but on a "one for one" basis. 2 saving 12 was quite rude...especially as the others didn't show up for about 15 minutes. And it was opening night. I was with my wife, and we had good seats, so I didn't make a scene. But I didn't appreciate it, and I am worried the same thing might happen on Wednesday night. I am showing up 2 or 3 hours early, without my wife, she'll show up a bit later. I don't want to wait 2 hours, just to have a huge group show up 30 minutes prior to the show and cut in line with their two friends who beat me there.

Any tips? Politeness is key, of course. I'm less worried about the in-theater antics than I am being cut in line prior to being let inside the theater. Once inside, I'll sit in a preferred unoccupied seat, regardless of someone's complaints. I doubt the manager will side with them.

Just curious,

Chuck
 

Paul Jenkins

Supporting Actor
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Jan 4, 2000
Messages
965
I have no problem with someone saving 1 - 3 seats for family, but that is it. If > 3 I usually ask if they are being saved for the family (wife/husband, kids, etc.) and get a total seat save count. If no good answer, I usually just plop down into the seats I want and let the OTHER person deal with me rather than me dealing with THEM. It helps to not mind conflict, to not mind getting into it with morons at the theater, and to not mind if they call on a theater manager.

IMO, the theater management should post something on the tickets and on the screen during the commericals saying that they only allow saving X # of seats.
 

David Rogers

Supporting Actor
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May 15, 2000
Messages
722
No right answer here I don't think.

Some people literally are saving seats for a bunch of others ... but I tend to be of the opinion one person shouldn't be allowed to save more than two-three other seats. If a party is so large they're going to block out most of an entire row, they can divide into thirds and go to concessions/restroom in shifts, rather than leaving one or two hapless wits to feebly tell everyone else who walks into a crowded theater "yes those ten choice empty seats belong to people I know who are coming back".

That aside, by the time the lights go down, you should be in your seat. I'll give most of the trailers, but if the film's about to start rolling and the seat is still open, I'm inclined to say I can sit there. I've fetched theater managers before when folks were insisting a seat was saved. When a theater is crowded and I hold a ticket, your friends should be in their seat when the movie starts.

This should simply be a matter of courtsey, but kids these days will tell you "I'm saving that seat" when the truth is they're just using that as an excuse so you don't sit next to them. So you have to treat everyone like they could be lying, unfortunately.

I expect Episode II to have a lot of this crap going on (sigh). I H*A*T*E going to a seat to have someone next to it turn their nose up and say "oh those are saved" ... I always want to punch someone. My plan is to get to the theater at least 30min ahead and plant my ass in my seat. Yes, this seat is saved ... for me. Move along please.
 

Dave_Brown

Supporting Actor
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Mar 6, 2001
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666
I'd just take the whatever seat you wanted to. I agree saving a seat or two for someone who is at the stand or in the bathroom is acceptable, but not a whole row. I've had similiar expereince where we walk in only to be told these 8 seats are saved and they will be here shortly. I simply tell them "I have a ticket and I'm here now, I'll be sitting down now." One time, I was in this discussion and they just wouldn't let me by. Ever the antgagonist, I walked down a bit, climbed over the row and sat down. Told them I would be happy to move as soon as the theater manager asked me to.
 

Malcolm R

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There is no reserved/saved seating in (most) theaters. Sit where you want to sit. If a seat's empty, you have as much right to it as anyone else.
 

David Rogers

Supporting Actor
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Yes Malcom, but considering I don't like to pull guns on folks who are frothing at the mouth at me ... its a little more complex than "no reserved seating, I'll be sitting here now". If I sit down and the guy was saving it for his wife/girlfriend, he's going to have an issue with me and most guys will pursue it very aggressively against me. If it's a bunch of teenagers, odds are I may get the seat but the movie watching experience is going to SUCK with their attitude and close proximity to my seat. Whoever was saving the seats is probably going to consider me an asshole if I just sit because their other party isn't here … that makes it very unpleasant, and I go to the movies to experience joy.

Yes I can sit down, but they might stand me up with strong words or physical action, which, frankly, gets in the damn way of enjoying my movie. In traffic both people head off after yelling at each other; in a movie they're still in the seat behind me and that just gets very complicated.
 

Danny R

Supporting Actor
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May 23, 2000
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Heh heh... this reminds me very much of a Seinfeld episode, where Elaine has to try and save 3 seats.
 

Berk

Stunt Coordinator
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Oct 27, 1999
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My opinion is that a seat can only be "saved" if the owner has already sat in it.

The idea that people can save seats for others who have not yet arrived is crap! What if they never show up?

The choice of seats in a movie theater should be based on who gets there first. If you're there and they aren't, the seats should be yours - no questions asked.

Again, just my opinion.
 

Robin Warren

Second Unit
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Jan 24, 2002
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Unfortunately people can be incredibly aggressive in this day and age. I would recommend having an usher get you a seat as they are getting the danger pay. :)
 

Ben Osborne

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Mar 9, 2002
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Last weekend two friends and I had a Hell of a time finding empty seats, even though we showed up 30 minutes before the movie started. We wanted to sit in the stadium seating section where there were many rows with 3 empty seats, but none where those seats were adjacent. We ended up sitting in one of the first rows, which sucks in the "Ultrascreen" theater since the screen is so big you have to turn your head to see if all if you're as close as we were.

When a movie is sold out or close to being sold out, people need to be told to move all the way down and not leave empty seats between themselves and other parties.
 

David Oliver

Second Unit
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Apr 12, 1999
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327
I think you should definitely be able to save one seat, the other person may be getting the popcorn or in the bathroom. Two is borderline, buit I am ok with it, really. More than that is obnoxious.
 

Andrew_Sch

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A seat is only saved if the person who it's being saved for has a possession of his or hers in the seat.
 

BrandonG

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Aug 30, 2001
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I have a funny story regarding saving seats(I learned my lesson.)
It was for the midnight show of Phantom Menace and the stupid theater mgmt opened up the theater
2 hours before showtime. Well I was the first of a group of 8-10 people(can't exactly remember exact number) so I was supposed to save seats. Well I was successful for about a total of 10 minutes, as some much bigger people wanted my seats and I decided to give up. I was angry because the rest of my party didn't show up until less than 5 minutes before showtime, so I let them fend for themselves. Man that theater was packed! I will never again save seats, unless, of course, it is for my wife. We always get to a showing an hour early to guarantee good seats.
One thing I noticed was all the groups of 4+ people who came in minutes before showtime and were angry that there were no seats available together. Some people have no clue about going to the movies.
 

Malcolm R

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One thing I noticed was all the groups of 4+ people who came in minutes before showtime and were angry that there were no seats available together. Some people have no clue about going to the movies.
Even more exasperating is the people who come in after the lights are off. :rolleyes
 

Jeff Pryor

Supporting Actor
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Mar 5, 2002
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Had I been in the situation of wanting to sit on a row that's 'saved', I would've sat there anyway. If anyone continued to give me shit about it, out comes Evil Jeff that likes to make a scene and embarass the asshole. Maybe something directed to the other patrons in the theater like "Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention for a moment?! This guy's saving an ENTIRE row for his friends that aren't even here yet! He tells me I can't sit here! What a great guy!" I would sit down and enjoy the movie.
 

Gui A

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Dec 25, 2000
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This happened when I saw Mission:Impossible 2 on opening saturday night... a couple of people were trying to save an ENTIRE ROW, near the front middle.

after about six minutes, someone told management, and there was a mild argument, and the seats were free for all. It was nothing big, but I was glad management stepped in for once.

But at another theater, watching Ice Age a few weeks after it opened, on a Sunday afternoon. I noticed 8x11 sheets of paper taped to an entire row (plus another half row) of seats when I came in.

The signs said:

**This seat is reserved for Justin's party**

I was a bit irked by this, but since I was with my family, I chose not to make a big deal out of it. (even though they were prime seats).

previews start... there's only like 5 kids there...

by the time the movie started, the reserved seats were mostly empty!

turns out that Justin wasn't exactly the most popular guy in school... hehehe...

I almost feel bad for the parents, going through all that trouble and money, and most kids don't even show up.
 

JohnE

Supporting Actor
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Jan 1, 2001
Messages
585
Tell 'em to "get bent", and sit where you want! I'm sorry but 12 seats? Screw that! That kind of thing is what inspired me to invest in home theatre.:angry:
 

Mike_G

Screenwriter
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Jun 1, 2000
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Mike
12 is WAY too much. Is the person on one end going to talk to the person on the other end?

I would have sat there and said "move me".

Mike
 

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