#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