How do you watch movies? Where is your favorite place to sit for optimal viewing? I have always considered where one sits an indication of just how serious a movie fan they are.
At the theatres there are those movie-goers who like to arrive early and stake out the center seats in the center row of the auditorium. If you look closely you can actually see them counting seats and rows. If you see them counting it’s a good bet they will actually sit in THE SEAT. Of course, if you are early enough to see them counting, you are probably already in their perfect seat.
Maybe you’re one of the “cool kids” who sits on the back row. You know who you are. You might not even care what feature is showing—that’s not what you’re there for anyway.
Typically the front few rows belong to the younger set or the late arrivals for opening night. Those rows will make you feel a part of the action for sure. I saw the Italian Job (2003) from the front row, left corner. By the end I was car-sick. It was a rush.
Modern theatres have sections open for visitors in wheelchairs. The seats behind these areas are prime real-estate. The advantage of sitting in the seats behind the wheelchair section is that patrons in front of you can’t rock back into your personal space, nor will they be jumping up and down throughout the film.
My personal preference is to sit half-way to two-thirds back. The farther back I sit, the less centered I have to be. My main preference is that I don’t have too many others (people I don’t know) around me. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I tend to enjoy my personal bubble. People invading that bubble make me nervous. People kicking the back of my chair or leaning back into my lap bother me.
I love watching where and how other people find their theatre seats. I love watching young men (high school, college and just beyond) when they come in together. They observe the “chair-between” tradition. Three such guys can take up an entire row. I always wondered if they secretly hoped a group of super-models would come in and sit in the empty seats between them.
The type of movie also helps determine where I prefer to sit. I’d rather sit in a center seat for an action movie or one with sweeping cinematography. A chick-flick allows me to take a more flexible approach to my theatre experience.
Next time you go to a movie, watch where you sit. Watch where others sit. It will add that extra little something to your movie fun. Tell me where you sit and why!
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.