The Magic of Assigned Seating at the Movie Theatre (or is it -er?)

We took a little break over this holiday weekend, and spent the afternoon walking around the mall in Ashrafiyeh.  The mall has a great little movie theater. And really great carmelized popcorn at the popcorn stand.  One of the things that I had never experienced before coming to Beirut was assigned seating at the movies.  Yes, assigned seating at the movie theater.  I still haven’t gotten over how cool this is.

I remember the first time we went to see a movie here…standing around deciding on which movie to go to, then standing in line waiting to buy the tickets, telling the teenager behind the ticket counter which one we want to see…and then comes the strangest question out of left field: “Where would you like to sit?”  “What do you mean where would I like to sit?” I think.  I mean, I’ll sit wherever I want to…”Uhhhhhhhh, whatever is available,” I say.  Teenager responds: “All of these seats are available, sir…just pick.”  Me: “Okay, we’ll take those seats right there in the middle.”  Teenager prints out the tickets (which are only $6 each…can you remember the days of $6 movie tickets?!) and we march on into the theater to be seated by the attendant.

No worrying about trying to save seats for my darling wife who always disappears to the bathroom just before the blockbuster movie of the century starts.  No jockeying to get into the theater early so I can get the good seats right in the middle with the perfect view.  No forced repositioning 15 minutes into the film to accommodate the three guys who got to the movie late and don’t want to sit in separate seats.

Okay, so it does mean that we end up sitting directly behind the only other family in the theater in the not so popular movies.  And, yes, it does mean we’ve got a whole new decision to make before someone gets in line to buy the tickets…sit on the aisle so she can make a quick exit to the bathroom or sit in the middle to get the best view?  Front, middle, or back?

Despite all these tremendous drawbacks…it’s still a pretty magical idea, I think.  And all for $6 ($4.67 if you make it to the matinee!).

posted by: caleb


4 thoughts on “The Magic of Assigned Seating at the Movie Theatre (or is it -er?)

  1. Ahhh, memories. We always knew that the minute we walked out the door to go anywhere… Nicolette! We soon learned:)

  2. Here in Taiwan we also have assigned seating . . . but we don’t get to choose where we’d like to sit. Apparently the computer selects the “best seats possible.” So, it does cut down on the sitting right next to or directly behind the only other people in the empty theater.

    ~not sure how I got to your blog, but I’ve been lurking for a bit. :) blessings.

  3. Caleb thinks it’s the coolest thing, but the unspoken rules of American theater etiquette are so ingrained in my mind I can’t help but laugh when we find ourselves in a practically empty theater sitting directly behind the only other people in the room! :)

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