How Many Seats Are In A Movie Theater – Among recent night movies, Carmella Candy – from Manchester, England; Hot music video star; A multi-platform advertiser with scantily clad selfies – she slumped into her seat and scratched her face. “Why are the seats like that?” she asked as she turned around. “Is this a luxury theater?”
Her seat was no ordinary seat. It’s a double chocolate, hot fudge brown sundae with movie theater seats—a half-man, motorized, reclining, La-Z-Boy-style chair covered in shiny red leather—and represents a big gamble for the future of a theater chain.
How Many Seats Are In A Movie Theater
Traditional movie theater seats were designed for the era with few alternatives, like CD cases and clunky phone books. Too bad if you spend two hours elbowing someone to get a handshake. Too bad if he takes permission from 23 consecutive teammates to use the toilet. Too bad if the guy in front of you isn’t too short. What you’re going to do: Go home and watch something on your 11-inch TV?
Chicago Theatre, Chicago
But today, with tens of thousands of movies clicked on various devices, television screens are a virtual object of some cottages, theaters cannot compete with your living room sofa or bed. That’s why one chain, AMC Theaters, with more than 300 theaters nationwide, is expanding into the future and spending millions of dollars ripping out old, flimsy seats and replacing them with what it calls “plush power recliners.”
In the 25 or so theaters converted so far, with more to come, the company has lost an average of 64 percent of its seating capacity but increased attendance by 84 percent, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
When this wave of reform hits New York, at the AMC on 84th Street on Broadway, it prompts an experiment: Your columnist, devoted to the public (especially in the run-up to Oscar season), spends an entire day in plush red chairs: a 10-hour, four-picture slog and avoiding stress-induced moves.
The new seats I test can be evaluated in two ways. One is a symbol of new thinking in an industry that is often left for dead. And recliners are a big crop of innovations around the world: in Mumbai, they’re theaters offering valet service for your seat. They are loose chairs that can be rearranged in Tokyo; It’s called the X4D Motion EFX System in Mexico City, which “enhances” the movie by blasting wind and fog when fully loaded, turning your seat around with the drama on screen, moving your legs with a tiny wand, and slapping your back like shiatsu. A version of this can be found at the Legoland Discovery Center in Yonkers. And AMC isn’t alone in trying hard to attract New York audiences. The Regal theater chain has introduced RPX, a premium service that features leather seats and a big screen. Regal E-Walk is located near Stadium 13 and RPX in Times Square.
Flex Vip Series
Of course, a second way to see these space pirates is a concession to a grim reality: If you think filling 300-seat theaters is a thing of the past, you can still let pop-ups spread out and pay attention in rooms created by the absence of others. Think of it as a sort of “right size”.
My experimental innovation started at home by buying tickets online. The system asked me to choose my seat in advance if it was an opera. AMC calls it “stress relief.” “We believe it’s comforting for our guests to know that there are special seats that are guaranteed to be available for sale. Comforting, yes — but less important to the company’s bottom line, useful for those looking to skip trailers that run up to 20 minutes into this theater.
I was surprised that ticket prices — $15 for regular admission, $19 for 3D — weren’t much higher than usual for a movie coach class. So far, AMC has said it gets 92 cents more for a Lakh seat, but the S.E.C. The filings (prior to the initial public offering announced this year) spoke of “unrealized revenue potential” and said it would “correct the supply-demand relationship” — which means the company eventually wants to raise prices.
At 12:15pm, the first feature of the quadruple header began. It’s “Gravity” and the title is apt, as I fall back into my heavenly seat in row G. I fly first class without having to go anywhere. Behind him is a bear hug. It approaches the platonic form of a movie theater seat (which was revived by local news site Gothamist earlier this year at a movie theater in New York). The only problem was that I couldn’t figure out how the seat was positioned.
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Many others could not either. But a woman in row F grabbed the forward and back keys and guided me to the spot on my arm. Then, there I was, my back 140 degrees or so from my feet, forward like a bastard. I had no qualms about drinking so early, but it seemed rude to be so close to the flat at such an ancient time. Other people, just a seat or two removed, seemed light years away. I felt my raised legs heal quickly from problems I didn’t know they had.
“I hate space,” Sandra Bullock, playing an astronaut orbiting Earth, says after a brief moment on screen. “I love space,” I thought to myself.
Combined with darkness, this resting phase has an intoxicating effect. I woke up only to the chill of the theater. About an hour into the movie, only a third of the day’s sleep, my mind started knocking on the door. Then I was able to defend him, and through my second feature “Don John”, I sat with women in between and watched many films like myself.
I was lucky that my third film was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, because the sleep knocks increased. Three facts are perfect for my planned sleepover: (1) it’s about science, (2) it’s for kids, and (3) it’s a sequel to a movie I haven’t seen, and by the time I do, I probably won’t like it.
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It should be noted that I was only planning to sleep because some thought the new AMC theater might accidentally provide New York with a comfortable setting: a safe place to sleep on the go. For the sake of readers, I thought I’d try this potential use. (Other popular uses of the theatre, such as a conduit for the young and downtrodden, are not explored.)
Chair: Lying down. Shoes: Off. Hearos Earplugs (with 32 levels of noise reduction): in. Blanket from home: unfolded and unworn. Eye Mask: Installed. I’m ready to sleep. My fire was temporarily extinguished as the film burned.
Lying in a public place, unable to see, shooting with loud Dolby sound from every side is not ideal. You hear footsteps going to the bathroom. What would they think of a big man wearing a blanket wearing eye masks in a movie theater? But if trouble isn’t your thing, it’s a solid B during the day in a city with no Class-A options.
The last film in my series, “Prisoners”, is a drama about kidnapping and the violent limits we put on our children. It’s tough stuff, and I’m grateful to remember some old advice from Leon Weseltier, the perennial literary editor of the New Republic, where I once worked.
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“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” hits theaters this summer. Trying to impress the seniors, one of us inter students felt that he had outgrown these types of films. Walking around in cowboy boots, Mr. Viseltier demurs: Some movies just need fluid improv, he says. He assured us that “half a bottle of champagne” would do the trick.
I did not please the theater authorities by admitting that the smuggled Nero d’Avola had slightly edited my last picture. (I look forward to and happily answer your questions, from the house bottle opener to the theater’s bathroom stall.) Unwind after a long day in New York’s most comfortable movie theater seat.
I felt grateful to be sitting there as many people are away from movies these days. More space for us.
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