Thankfully, gone are the days of rushing to the movie theaters to make sure you get a great seat. No more standing in line waiting at the box office to buy movie tickets. Reserved seating and buying your movie tickets ahead of time ensures you’ll get the seat you want.
But that begs the question: What is the best seat? I mean, we all have our favorite seats in lots of situations. You already know if you prefer to sit in the front of the class or the back; in the aisle or the window seat in an airplane. What about at the movies? What is the best seat in a movie theater?
Movie Theater Seats: Front or Back
Let’s first settle this debate. It’s safe to say that the back is better. If you take the chance of sitting in the front row, your neck will probably start to feel sore looking directly up at a movie screen. You don’t want to ruin your movie-going experience with a bad neck.
While the back may be the safest option comfort-wise, experts say that the middle row has the best seating. According to Groupon, an ideal row in the movie theater is “the center row and the four rows behind it, which is about one-half to two-thirds back.”
Movie Theater Seats: Aisle or Middle
Okay, so now that we know we aren’t sitting all the way up front or in the way back, are we in the aisle or in the middle? Sure, you get the full screen in the middle, but you also might get “stuck” between groups of people who pile into the aisle seats next to you. What if middle seats are the only ones left? Do you climb across people to get to them? You might get a beer like these people did.
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer in this case. Many moviegoers have different opinions on whether they enjoy the middle or aisle seat. In “The Criticwire Survey” from IndieWire, film critic Eric John says, “No matter where it’s located in a theater, I prefer the aisle so I can dart out easily.”
On the other hand, Chase Whale says, “For an audience: dead center in the middle of the theater is ideal. It’s the central focal point and helps people with glasses focus better and not have to turn their head in awkward positions to see the film correctly.”
It seems like deciding aisle or middle movie theater seat is all based on personal preference.
Movie Theater Seats: Accessible Seating
For moviegoers that need accessible seating, big cinema chains like Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Theatres offer an accessible movie theater experience. According to AMC’s website, they “offer wheelchair seating in every auditorium” along with a companion seat next to it. AMC Theatres also provide Assistive Listening Devices, closed captioning, and narration on their movie screens.
In Regal’s Admittance Procedures, they say their theaters are handicap accessible. According to their website, “All seating designated as ‘handicapped’ with the familiar wheelchair symbol is reserved for the disabled and their companions.”
For more information about accessible seating, check out the Americans with Disabilities Act’s rules on accessible seating.
Movie Theater Seats: Not Just Seats Anymore
Get ready to feel more comfortable with a new approach to movie theater seating! Theaters around the country now fill their screening rooms with recliner seats where you push one button to lie back. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014 that AMC Theatres began to renovate their older, stagnant seats with comfy recliners. Big chains like Regal and Showcase Cinemas soon followed and added in their own recliner seats.
Countries like Switzerland have experimented with a different type of seating—a bed! My Modern Met reported that in 2019, movie theater Cinema Pathé opened its own VIP section where guests can lie down in double beds to watch a movie while wearing a pair of slippers on their feet. How nice is that?!
Wherever you decide to sit at a movie theater, make sure the experience is comfortable and worthwhile for you!
Ready to see a movie now? Check out all of the hottest new movie releases out now to find movie showtimes near you and buy your movie tickets. Not sure what movie theater is best? Check out our local movie theater guides.
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