Random Factoid #358

21 07 2010

Last night, I added a new moviewatching experience to my extensive collection.  But it wasn’t one I wanted to add.

I was fortunate enough to receive passes to an advanced screening of “Salt” last night (review coming tomorrow), but I made the mistake of not reading the time of the screening on the pass.  I assumed it would be 7:30 like every other screening I go to, yet for some reason, this one was at 7:00.  My friend and I got there a little before 6:30 and stuck it out in the standby line until showtime.  We were two of the last three people let in and thus had to sit on … the front row.

I had sat up close before, as I described in Random Factoid #66:

I really like to get to movies early because I prefer sitting in the middle and towards the top.  Usually, I am able to get a reasonable seat.  I can, however, think of two horrible moviegoing experiences that were strongly affected by my seat.

  1. I have described this experience in a previous factoid, but for my 8th birthday party, the theater reserved us a row right behind the railing for “The Grinch.”
  2. I saw “The Reader” from the second row.  I had to crane my neck for two hours to watch a lackluster movie.  Also, Kate Winslet doesn’t look quite as good from such an angle.

But never had I been forced to endure the torture of sitting on the front row.  For those of you with a little bit of geometry under your belt, imagine looking up at the screen at a 60˚ angle of elevation.  Looking straight ahead, I could see the bottom tenth of the screen.  That’s how miserable it was.  It wasn’t watching a movie; it was looking up at a skyscraper that was Angelina Jolie.  It messes with your perception of things too.  People’s heads looked disproportionately small compared to the rest of their body.

Honestly, it makes so mad that theaters put in seats like that.  If I’m going to pay $10 (which I didn’t in this case), I want to be able to actually see the movie.  I feel like the theater should be paying me to sit there – or at the very least not make me pay full tilt.  Or maybe give me a neck massage or something because even today, my neck is SORE!

So has anyone else been the victim of the theater’s front row sadism?



3 responses

22 07 2010

I love the front row. Everyone else I go to movies makes me sit with them, near the top where there are people on phones and babies crying and guys eating Chinese food for some reason, but in the front row it’s nice and quiet and nobody’s head is in the way, and I don’t mind craning my neck. One time, me and my friend from another state (she moved, like, five years ago, so I hadn’t seen her in awhile) went to see Hellboy 2 in a really fancy theatre, where all the front row seats were basically velvet couches, and we both chilled out and were pleasently assaulted with the genius visuals of Guillermo del Toro…I did that again when my Parent and Co. made me see Knowing, something that a) looked awful, and b) would start up my apocalypse panic again, something I had just gotten rid of, so I abandoned the crew of evildoers and slept in the front couch (the speakers were at the top, so I was cool)…

And that is your anecdote for the day. Just skim, nobody cares.

23 07 2010
Aiden R.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Return of the King (that was rough, but it was too awesome for me too really care). God I hate that front row.

25 07 2010

The Grinch is one of the few films where I had to sit in the front row, and it was very uncomfortable.

When I go with other people (which seems to get even more rare the more times I go to the theater), I’ll usually say “I don’t care, you choose” when it comes to the sitting arrangement, but then again, I say that for everything.

If I go by myself, I try and get to theater at least 20 minutes before the movie. Being in Nebraska, the screenings usually don’t have very many people in them unless it’s the opening weekend, but I like to make sure I get the seat where I want. But 20 minutes is enough time to get my popcorn and pop, as find the proper place to fully apreciate the movie. A little bit more than halfway up, and mid screen. Another thing that sucks about the front row is that there is no seat in front of you to place your feet.

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