OPINION: why reserved seating needs to happen at every movie theatre

Because it just makes sense.

On Sunday, I worked at the radio station from 11 AM to 7 PM. I then had to run over to the Scotiabank Theatre to catch The Man From Uncle, because I didn’t want to have to see the last showing, which was sometime after 10:00 pm. The showing I was trying to catch was for 7:50 PM.

I got to the theatre at 7:30 PM, picked up my tickets at a kiosk for the AVX showing (which comes with reserved seating), managed to pick up some food at the concession, and headed into the theatre – my seat completely open and waiting for me. I didn’t have to wait in any line ups; I didn’t have to worry about finding a seat. I just went in, sat down and had a good time.

Which is why I’m baffled not every theatre offers reserved seating. Most of the time I’m at theatres of one of two franchises: Cineplex offers reserved seating for its AVX showings, and Landmark Cinemas’ New Westminster location offers them for every showing and theatre.

In an age where the movie theatre is no longer the juggernaut it once was, better streamlining the movie goer’s experience is a good idea. What’s more, a typical movie ticket is about $12 to $15 (at is the case in Metro Vancouver). Pricing is worse than what it used to be. It doesn’t take long for the prices of snacks to add up, either. For a hot dog, a medium popcorn, medium drink and a bag of candy, I paid about $17 dollars (I picked a combo that does give me a free movie back in Scene points, which is nice, but when you think about how much I paid for those two items, it’s still a lot). A couple heading out to a movie theatre, at its peak pricing, could cost you upwards of $50.00. (2 tickets at 12 bucks, plus tax – then factor in your food and drink – and if you want to, the cost of travelling to and from the theatre.)

And don’t get me wrong: reserved seating comes with flaws – but those are easily corrected. At the heart of the problem – there could be glitches with selecting seats. Personally, I don’t know anyone it’s happened to, but it’s not a far-fetched idea, seeing as technology is involved and it is prone to its issues. What I have seen (and experienced) is people sitting in the seats they weren’t assigned to. Most considerate people just move when I ask them to; but I’ve had the odd situation where someone’s refused – and that’s solved by grabbing an attendant, showing them my ticket, and having the jerk booted.

I can’t see it being an increased cost to add reserved seating in theatres. It’s something we do at sporting games and concerts. It wouldn’t hurt to take one element of stress out of the equation, and have reserved seating at every theatre for every showing. Give something back to the box office fans.

Oh, and next step would be to bring ticket prices down. Seriously.

Keep it reel!

R

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