Monday, July 28, 2008

Aisle please

Will someone please explain to me why it’s so desirable to sit in the exact center of a movie theater? I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there was a point in the history of cinema when center seating was desirable and the reasons for wanting to sit in the center were legit, but those days are long gone.

The advent of surround sound and stadium seating have eliminated the advantage of the center seat, no longer do you hear better or see better from the center of the theater, yet this weekend, when I went to the movies, sure enough, everyone and their 97 year old gimpy grandfather were jockeying for center seats.

I’m not arguing, mind you, I happen to know that my visual and auditory experience is not heightened by sitting in the center, and if anything, my comfort is increased with the aisle seat that I choose. In fact, I wish I could convince the people on airplanes that the center seat was so damn desirable!

The only valid reason I’ve been able to fathom for fighting over center seats in a theater is that there is less traffic scootching by in route to the concession stand and bathrooms, but I reject that as well. I can’t imagine any person is more or less affected by those people—and for the most part, it’s the luck of the draw. If you have little kids or the elderly in your row, there’s a better chance you’ll have to let someone slide by, if you don’t, who the heck is going to pay the outrageous ticket prices and then miss ten minutes of the movie? It just doesn’t happen.

I had to laugh, and take a quick stock for any potential offensive body odor problems I may have had this weekend, because the early crowd stuffed themselves into a stripe down the center of the theater, leaving people like me, alone on the aisles and outskirts.

After ascertaining that I did not, in fact, suffer from any type of odor problem, I marveled at the idiocy of these people. I stretched my legs out on either side of myself, I selfishly used all of the armrest on either side of me, I spread myself out for maximum comfort and enjoyment while those in the center, for an imagined better view, I suppose, sweated and banged elbows and rubbed shoulders.

In the end, I wound up with my own aisle seat and no one in the seat next to me in a theater that I would say was 95% full. Go me!

So, in that spirit, I take it all back! You’re right, I’m wrong. The center is better! By all means, discount the power of the human brain to visually center an image that is only off center by a small degree! For heavens sake, surround sound is a scam! Believe not that the acoustics of a theater in combination with sound development and technology can afford you the maximum auditory experience on the outskirts of the theater! Only in the center can you hear the movie the way it was meant to be heard!

Center is best! Only an idiot would go and pay all that money to see a movie, only to sit on the fringes. You’ve got it right! Keep up the good work, and I’m sorry if I’ve bothered you in the slightest!

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