Home Pop Culture The (Il)logic of Free-seating in Theaters

The (Il)logic of Free-seating in Theaters


the opening of any popular movie and you’ll see people who’ve been waiting in line scramble Lord-of-the-Flies-style to get good seats once the theater doors are opened. And latecomers even do laps- running up and down aisles in the hopes of finding two or more seats together before giving up and settling for the front row. One definitely earns that 90-minute sit-down movie rest time.

With change always difficult, especially with time and the phenomenon of path dependency, I doubt the system will be upgraded anytime soon. I guess I’ll either have to suck it up, or simply not catch anything on opening weekend. Maybe if enough people do the latter, theater chains will sit up and take notice.



  1. Hey Adrian, I checked with a friend who lives in L.A and he said that that wasn’t the case though. Only a few, like the Arclight, has assigned seating. Otherwise, it’s pretty much free seating like it is here in NYC.

    Hi Phil, no I don’t feel smarter using French expressions. That was simply the phrase that came to mind. I think the beauty of the English language lies in how it incorporates phrases/words from other languages into it. Other examples include schadenfreude, per se, et cetera (which is Latin basically), chutzpah, aficionado… you get the point.

    But I thank you for your comments! Any feedback is always much appreciated!

  2. Do you feel smarter using french expressions in your article? Being french, I find it very annoying to see french expressions when its feels uncalled for.

    Just take it as advice. If it serves no other purpose than to sound smarter, then it’s probably useless.

  3. Um, almost every theater in the LA area has assigned seating. Try to paint the whole nation with such a broad brush next time.

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