Boiling Point! Seat Saver’s Etiquette

With the Holiday movie season upon us, large crowds of families and friends will undoubtedly be flocking to the multiplex in large numbers and equally massive groups. Now, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been part of the 12 person movie viewing club in which 12 people show up in 4 different cars 20 minutes before the movie. Oh and I should mention that, of course, no one arrives on time. So the two or three people who make it on time are supposed “save some seats” much to the bane of themselves and those other fine folks wishing to catch a film.

I have seen the rampant, blatant, and offensive methods of bogarding seats and it will not stand any longer! No more shall 1 man and his jacket lay the groundwork for the ensemble cast of Les Miserables to have center row seating.

In normal situations, the saving of 1 seat is always appropriate, because of bathroom and concession stand trips. The proper method is to leave an article on the seat directly in question and you yourself remain seated adjacent to it. In such situations when 2 seats must be saved by 1 person, the proper seating is this: Empty Seat – You – Empty Seat. If you can, place articles on the seat designating them as taken. Do not try to outflank the rest of theater goers by having two seats on the same side of you being taken. When your friends come back, you can switch to whatever seat you prefer.

Now, it is illegal in movie code justice for 1 person to save anymore than 2 seats. If you want to save a third seat, you need another person. Then the seating code would be akin to: Empty Seat – You – Empty Seat – Empty Seat – Friend. Always try to surround the empty seats. Your valuables go in the center, your perimeter is easily breached. Now, I’m very hesitant to allow a general 1 person = 2 seats saved rule. Because with just 6 people you could block an entire row. That’s just an unruly amount of people and disastrous, but I’ve seen it! And I’ve seen one man try to hold down something like 12 seats. Pardon me sir, but not in my America! Those who wish to sit together should arrive together. And if you have a ridiculous number of people, arrive as early as needed to secure your seats.

I beg of you, conscientious movie-goers, arrive early if you wish to sit together en masse. Save yourself the trouble and embarrassment of being the last defender of the Alamo surrounded by the Mexican Army of cinephiles! When someone approaches, they will normally ask – you respond “I’m sorry, someones sitting here.” If they approach to sit without word, again “I’m sorry, but someone is sitting there.” Politeness! Civility! Harken back to the golden age of chivalry in the theater!

Don’t feel bad when you arrive by yourself or with just 1 friend. The other members of your entourage are to blame! They are the ones who are late and they shall pay the price. Let them shift through the darkened theater while the dancing hot dog mocks them from a 40 foot screen, give them the utter joy of sitting in the back left corner. Take responsibility for yourselves and show up on time!

If I show up to a movie on time and there is one man attempting to cordon off a seating area the size of New Jersey, beware! I shall take the seats from you and be in the right as me and my punctual friends settle in for a fine evening experience.

In summation, my good chums arrive early and as a cohesive unit. Be proud of your friendships and your uncanny ability to navigate ticket lines and traffic to arrive 25 minutes before the previews roll. But if you find yourself stuck behind enemy lines, cut off from your friends who are struggling to find a parking spot, be courteous, be polite, and follow the rules. One seat on either side of you is your limit. Protect the center seats by manning your perimeter. Never try to take more than you can hold and don’t launch a land war in Asia! But that’s just me and I’ve just reached my Boiling Point on imperialist seat savers.

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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