Should Theaters Have Reserved Seating?


Before the madness of the holidays kicked into high gear last year I wanted to make a last-ditch attempt to see a film that was part of BAM's Sunshine Noir series.  So many choices but one was clear -- Altman's THE LONG GOODBYE. It's our usual night out, Linda and I do the dinner and a movie thing. We go to BAM because the theaters have good sound, it's close, clean and of course, it's curated by some of the city's best film programmers. This series was no different, in fact I wanted to see more than I humanly had time for and unfortunately missed many noir gems.

Anyway, our usual m.o. is to get to the theater early. I'm psychotic about seating (twelfth row, center is ideal) and about not stumbling in last-minute, interrupting the viewing experience, not to mention missing the film. Life happens and it's inevitable but not this time. We were there to see one of Altman's finest and apparently so was most of Brooklyn if not the city. Here we are and everyone is settling in and this bro comes in with his tiny date probably about ten years younger than him and in not the most polite terms demands we move over a couple of seats so they can get in our row and sit together. We make a joke along the lines, "You should have gotten here earlier." and then the said mouth-breather goes into beast mode. Telling me that my friend should shut up. I stand up and throw him a look and tell him to take a muscle relaxant or something, fully preparing myself to have this go to the thermonuclear option. His date was mortified, maybe even turned on on some level, who knows? Linda I were okay with moving but basically refused to after the insults. Go get a manager, little man. The couple comes back and enters the aisle from the opposite side and we had to sit next to them the duration of the film. Yay!

So here's the question and I would like to hear your comments below on this because I know you've all been there: should there be reserved seating? I mean, what's the point of coming early to get a good seat if you have to go through this. I'm not so much against moving to let people in especially if the film is sold out but if this is the way it's going to play out, I'd rather not. I'd pay a dollar or two more to guarantee a seat.

Isolated incident? Maybe. Petty? I don't think so. Maybe like Murtaugh in LETHAL WEAPON, I'm just getting too old for this shit.