Allocated Cinema Seating – Love it or Hate it?


Allocated seating in cinema, it sounds convenient, it sounds great, book your seats online, jump the queue, get the seats you really want, but in reality does it really work?

In my honest opinion no, no it doesn’t. It doesn’t do anything except annoy other cinema patrons when someone sits in your allocated seat and refuses to move, or someone moves next to you even though it’s not their allocated seat and talks through the whole movie, it also encourages lateness and disturbances to others in the film.

I have had allocated seating in my local cinema in the last two years and have found it does nothing but causes disturbances and un-necessary distress to both cinema patrons and staff. First of all my main problem is it encourages lateness, and not a little late like EXTREME lateness. I cannot recall the amount of times that I have been sitting in the cinema, the movie starts and just as I am getting sucked in a family of four want me to move to let them in as they are sitting in my row. Seriously?
You can give them unseen dirty looks and tusk and tutt all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that if they hadn’t been able to select their seats, they could have sit somewhere else and not disturbed anyone.

You do not have the luxury of moving away from children if they are being noisy or irritating during the movie. Or if the parent has to recite plot points so they can follow it. Or in the case of couples on dates making copious amounts of PDA or just some teenagers having a rowdy night out.

3 times out of 5 when I go to the movies, I walk into the cinema and someone is already sitting in my allocated seat. I gave up trying to tell them to move a LONG time ago as it just causes unnecessary drama and makes you look like a dick to everyone in the cinema. You are then faced with the alarming job of finding another seat and praying to the cinema gods that noone comes into the cinema and walks up to your seat. If this happens one of two things will happen, that person will head towards the seat, see you in it and find somewhere else, or they will approach you, thrust their ticket in your face and tell you to move. Then there is the 20 minute wait as the movie begins, hoping, praying that noone comes up and tells you to move and before you know it you have missed the first 20 minutes worried about having to move.

Overall I have found that allocated seating is just unnecessary and more of a hindrance than a help, I am all for online bookings to buy tickets, but not buying the seat. It is the kind of thing that should only be instilled for large movie events with ushers who can show people to their seats and monitor the situation. As either an issue of patron etiquette, mis-management by cinema stuff or just a combination of both, allocated seating was an idea, it didn’t work and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Rant over!

Do you love or hate allocated cinema seating? Let us know in the comments below!

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