In one of my earliest Boiling Points I discussed seat saver’s etiquette. I had watched a lone person try to save nearly an entire row of seats and thought that was just ridiculous. Listen, if you’re all going to go to the movies together, go together. This isn’t Marine Force Recon, you don’t send out a small commando team to secure a theater. Not cool.
In many theaters around the globe, assigned seating is gaining traction. This allows you to pick your seat out ahead of time, online or in the theater, and then arrive just before the show starts. This means you don’t have to stand in long lines outside the theater, queue up early, or storm the theater like a bunch of inglorious bastards.
Assigned seating makes the experience easier, right?
Most of the time, yes, as long as you don’t come in contact with one of the “Do you mind…” asshats. The guy who still doesn’t have his shit together and somehow couldn’t master the computer or buy early enough to get a group of his friends together. So now he wants you to swap out some seats.
No thanks, man, I’ll stick with the seat I paid for.
Last Wednesday, I was at a theater and a whole group of people, with assigned seats, simply took it upon themselves to have different seats. Using the mob mentality they were able to convince other people to sit somewhere else rather than deal with the headache of sorting out the situation, which is total bullshit. Assigned seats are assigned for a reason. That’s your seat. This is my seat. This is how things go.
I don’t care if you bought tickets late or you just saw your friend you haven’t talked to in ages. I specifically chose this seat for myself for whatever reason I care to give, and I intend to sit there to make use of those seats.
A few weeks back I went into the Arclight (which features assigned seating) and found a group of, like, 8 guys who had not managed to match the numbers and letters on their tickets to the numbers and letters on their chairs – it’s difficult, I know. When I pointed it out to them that they were sitting in the seats I reserved for my group, they immediately asked if we wouldn’t mind switching. Tough shit man, you’ve got a number and a letter on your ticket. That corresponds to a seat. That is where you sit.
Sometimes it’s okay to make an even trade. I’ve moved seats to let a group sit together, no big deal. But it has to be a fair trade. One seat for another. There is no movement to occupy sections of the theater. You can’t take seats that aren’t yours and force people into seats that aren’t theirs because then someone else just got seat-snatched and you’ve created a mess because you’re either an idiot who can’t find his own seat, an idiot who can’t plan ahead to order seats, or an asshole who thinks they should get what they want.
One of my biggest pet peeves in the theater is people asking you to move. No, that’s okay. I’ve chosen these seats. I either arrived early or thought to buy tickets ahead. I’m not going to be punished or denied what I want because you didn’t put as much time and effort (which is minimal) into securing a good seat with your friends at the theater. Every single time I hear someone ask “Do you mind…?” in a theater, I go past my boiling point.
Getting a seat in the theater isn’t rocket surgery and assigned seating has made it even easier. You buy your ticket early with your group of friends. Simple. If you can’t master that, you don’t get to alter everyone else’s plans, so fucking deal with it.