#958 Being the first person into a really crowded movie theater and getting the prime seats

Where it all goes down

When it comes to where to sit in a movie theater, everybody has their favorite spot:

• The back row crowd. We all know these people because most of us have been these people. With nobody behind you, the back row becomes a prime make out spot, perfect place to sneak sips from your secret flask, or just somewhere to place your incredibly tall and lanky body without blocking anyone’s view. Thanks for that, by the way.

• Middle of the packers. These folks go for some of the most popular seats — the middles all the way. They like the middle seats in the middle row, about midway back. They might go on about how the sound is better from straight ahead or how they get a headache from too close, but really, I think they just like being in the thick of things. And who can blame them?

• Side guys, that’s who. Yes, the folks who enjoy sitting in the thin side sections of the movie theater are a rare breed…but they’re out there! Maybe they have peapod-sized bladders or nervous and fidgety children in tow and need access to quick getaway lane. Or perhaps they just want some thinking space and don’t like fighting for armrests. Whatever their reason, I think I can safely say that most of us are glad they exist, because they really help our odds at getting the other seats.


• La-Z-Boys-N-Girls. These are the people who like to put their feet up on the seat in front of them. “I came here to relax,” they seem to say to themselves. “So I’m going to relax.” They have no problem taking up a seat in front of them with their dirty sneakers or corn-covered heels. Brave souls may even try to pull off the X-Treme La-Z-Maneuver which involves very slowly and softly putting your feet on the chair in front of you, despite someone already sitting in it. It also involves pissing someone off, generally. So basically, these folks like their feet up, and they’ll even take a corner seat that nobody wants to pull it off.

• Front Row Crazies. You know, I used to think people who sat in the front section just had incredibly poor judgment…and incredibly good chiropractor coverage! Hey-ohhhhh! But seriously, craning their necks sky high, rolling their heads left to right the whole time… what were they thinking? But then I realized that some of these people are just my friend Mike, who always realizes at the last minute that he forgot his glasses and forces us to sit near the front row just so he can see the screen.

So sure, everybody has their favorite seat. The problem is just that we don’t always get them.

Beautiful in blue

Some people buy tickets online and line up really early, so when we get to the theater they’re already there, waiting near the garbage can, smacking their gum, reading their free movie magazine. No, we’re not going to beat those folks unless we want to play their game. And their game is generally pretty long and tedious.

Other times people just run in and seem to know a back route or something. You think you’re going to get a good seat, but then suddenly there are two ladies sitting there out of nowhere, stretching out their sweaters and purses across a long row to save seats for all their friends. They’re like nervous hens, eying you cautiously like you might just grab an egg and take off. They get right into it, too. I’ve seen a stretchy wool sweater cover four seats. That’s some serious wingspan.

So in conclusion, it’s pretty tough to get that perfect seat these days. The crowds are big, the crowds are feisty, and the prime plushes ain’t easy to come by. But then… isn’t that what makes it so special when you do really nail it? When you skip up those stairs, eye your prize, toss your windbreaker out in front of you, and grab your perfect little bank of seats before the big show? I think you’ll agree that getting those perfect movie seats is like melted joy and sizzling happiness served on the big pizza of heaven.

So I say when you finally score your prime time #1 Certified Best Seats For You, then just sit down, nod slowly, catch your breath, look at your friend and open your eyes real wide and let a big, toothy grin just hang from your face.

Because you won this game, my friend. You came, you sat, and you won.

And yes, tonight… you’re the feature attraction.


May require binoculars

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

69 thoughts on “#958 Being the first person into a really crowded movie theater and getting the prime seats

  1. How can one be the first one into a “really CROWDED” movie theater? If you are the first one in, then it was EMPTY (not crowded) when you got there.


    1. Sounds logical…unless someone is the first buddy to enter the main arena, bullying and slithering within the serpentine queues of the crowd outside in the lounge area.

  2. you pretty much summed up how most people feel when they go to the movies. as for me, seeing feet on the seats is a nightmare since i think feet are gross.

  3. I got into the Dark Knight at Imax, utterly crowded cinema. Managed to be one of the first in, and got seats on the balcony at the top. Came in pairs, arm rests for both and got to sit with my girlfriend. RESULT! Everyone else got stuck in the crowded centre section.

  4. the best seats are undoubtedly the ones immediately behind the wheelchair seating. Instead of having a chair in front of you, there is a railing to put your feet on, and it’s right in the middle of the theater, too

    (this is only true for stadium seating)

  5. Haha, the ‘Birmingham’ theater shown there at the top… I took my little sister to see a movie there just the other day… there’s a quaint little coffee shop there on the left that I used to frequent every day for a few years. Ahhh home….

  6. I’m one of the side persons. My favourite seats are the ones waaaay back, in the corner of the cinema. Nice to know someone appreciates my seat of choice.

    Also, I’ll happily beat up someone who does the foot thing. I just lose all respect for people who do that. Okay, beat them up verbally. Silently. Under my breath.

  7. oh the good thing about Malta is that you can choose where you’re sitting. It’s sort of the same thing really because if you’re first you’re gonna get the good seats obviously. but unlike the system elsewhere, once you’ve got your ticket you can laze about and enter the cinema at the last minute if you want and your seat is still there.

  8. LOL…I like to sit either in the back row or off to the sides…..with my feet up of course. I also hate when someone sits directly in front of me when there are other seats available. Especially when they are rocking in their seats most of the time. My prime spot is off to the side in the back row. There is usually a bar or something there for my feet and there are no seats directly in front.

    Awesome blog, btw.

  9. I love this!

    This has happened to me once before. I went to see the new Harry Potter movie, and I was the first one in there! There were no queues at the popcorn stands, and the whole theater was EMPTY. It was bliss. I took my favourite seat at the side of the room, and just relaxed, watching all those late-comers come in during the middle of the trailers and scrabble around, trying to find a decent seat. Ah.

  10. I like the front row – you get more immersed in the film and infinite leg room. No-one else does though, so I never get to sit there unless me and whoever I’m with are “unlucky”.

  11. me and my three sisters went to see the last song yesterday and we where like the last ppl to get in and we got like the best seats. theyre the ones right in the middle, right behind the wheelchair seats. u know the ones with the big railing in front i think those are the best seats cuz that way nobody’s in your way and you can put your feet up without anyone being pissed at you AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Birmingham theatre is usually dead though so it’s usually pretty easy to get prime seats

  13. Also awesome:
    Being the only people in the movie theatre, and not having to be self conscious about what you are laughing at!

  14. LMAO I used to work for a movie theatre. Helps when you want to watch a movie.

    You want a really good seat. Watch a movie on Monday or Wednesday. Slowest days in the theatre world (unless there is a movie opening on the Wednesday).

  15. I’m one of the side people.
    Although I’m not really sure why.. I just know that, ever since I was a kid, I’m strangly attracted to the left side. Take me to the left side!!!

    When I went to watch the Lord Of The Rings (The Fellowship) we sat UP FRONT. I mean, the first row. There simply was no room left elsewhere.

    As we all know, it’s a long long movie, and the theather didn’t put any breaks in between. So, after more than 2 hours, I had the feeling they had pinned me to my seat.
    My friend wasn’t able to close her mouth. That’s right, some muscle in there denied any coöperation.

    It was a nice experience, there up front, but not really something for me.

  16. My friends and I were unlucky when we went to see Titanic and ended up in the front row. By the end of the movie I can honestly say I felt seasick…I felt like I had actually been on the Titanic…it was pretty horrible.

    I’m generally a side person though…blame it on my peadpod-sized bladder, LOL

    I have to say that I am loving this blog (just discovered it yesterday)!

  17. that is awesome! and you can just like be all over the place until people get there and start eyeballing your seats and your like uhh yeah i thought i dropped something over here but i guess not. i think i will return to my seat. enjoy the film :D

  18. I live in Denver, CO and we have Hollywood Theaters where you must pick your seat when you buy your tickets. We buy online and if our favorite seats are already chosen we just try another time. It’s great. Almost always get our favorite middle seats in the middle of the theater.

  19. I like the back seat…….. feels like ur watching a picture in a theater… and u can c lotz many heads beneath u..feels like a top VIP or president of sum country… many benfits are nobody would pass on across the seats in the middle of the movie and thus disturing u if ur completly submerged into the Plot…. …front seat sucks..atleast for me,,,as correctly pointed out… i am tall and neck aches..as well my legs… middle row is simply ausum..if a gals hand is on the top of ur hand!! if not grab the backseat..and move on…. anways….. Superb Blog!!

  20. LOL, I put my feet up, but only if there is no one in the seat in front of me so I guess it’s not that bad. I’m a “middle seat” kindof person typically though sometimes I’ll go for the sides as well. I’ve never liked the very front and I never sit very back either.

  21. Dramatically- well written Documentary,
    Scarey-ladies wing-span,
    Romantic & Horror-looking theater,
    Sci-fi & Fantasy-to get the perfect seat,
    Fiction- if I can ever retain this Mystery, I’ll make reference then,
    Crime- I’m the only one who cares if I ever do, and my Family & Children who have explained it about 100 times! And all I can do is find this Comedic
    what else is there???
    ***Suspenseful and thrilling “story” from beginning to end…Awesome post Neil.
    ps. True story: When my best friend *Shelley* and I were 12, we had pet mice.
    We took them to “Wilard” and plunked them on some kids heads who were not very nice…there were some serious theatrics going on there. hahaha!

    1. love follow-up emails; they’re like the bread crumbs which lead me back to all awesome things…thank you

  22. I have to admit, I am a side guy (gal). A side view of the screen is a small price to pay for personal space. While it is nice to have a seat dead in the middle of the theatre, you always run the risk of ending up next to a arm rest hog, or a chatty preteen. Oh no, I would rather isolate myself in the island of deserted side seats where not many dare to venture to. Awesome!

  23. that is awesome! and you can just like be all over the place until people get there and start eyeballing your seats and your like uhh yeah i thought i dropped something over here but i guess not. i think i will return to my seat. enjoy the film :D

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  25. You forgot the couples who come in and sit on the 2-person couch-seat thingy because having an armrest between them is not ideal for couple-movie-watching. ^_^

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  27. I’m one of those side seat guys myself. I can remember one instance in particular in which me and a girl had went to see the Dawn of the Dead remake when it came out and nearly all the side seats were taken. I saw that another couple was headed for those remaining two and the race was on. We were successful because the other couple didn’t see us coming. Victory was sweet and so was the movie.

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