Movie theatres are constantly looking for new ways to get a few extra dollars out of us, whether it is by upselling concession purchases or by adding value through technologies like 3D, IMAX, D-Box or Dolby Atmos. There is even the recent addition of Superticket packages that include digital downloads of movies and other goodies. But what would happen if they decided to take something that used to be available on a “first-come, first served” basis and decide to slap on a premium fee? Like, say, the seating in the middle of a movie theatre? It’s one thing to add value, but to take something away and charge for it seems potentially problematic.
According to a recent article in the Toronto Star, later this year Cineplex will begin testing the possibility of charging an extra $2-$3 for the seats in the middle rows of the theatre in Canada. (The pilot project will take place at the Varsity Cinema in Toronto.) These sections of the theatre tend to fill up faster because many people believe they offer the best visual and audio experience. While this new approach might help to spread out the seating a little more, people who are adamant about sitting in the middle might feel like they’re being taken advantage of. What do you think? Is the middle really the best place to sit at a movie? Would you pay more to have the best seats in the house or is there just generally too much nickel and diming going on here? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.