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AMC to reduce theater capacity for larger, fully-reclinable seats

07.08.2014

If you're one of those who seem to have issues with the actual seats in your local AMC theaters, then this may be music to your . . . butt. I can't say I've really had any issues in my neck of the woods, but I'm also pretty easy to please. Screen the movie I paid to see in good quality, and I'm set! AMC would like to enhance that experience a little bit further. In order to keep attendence up, something else has to be introduced. Reducing ticket prices will never be an option so instead they're looking to increase the comfort of your "stay".

Enter the La-Z-Boy-esque chairs, that will not only fully recline, but also be 16 inches wider. This actually reduces seating capacity anywhere from 50%-70% in theaters. When you think about it, the bulk of screenings aren't usually a full house (that's generally reserved for opening weekend affairs). The theaters in which AMC have tested these new seats in have actually boosted attendance up to 80%.

This graphic, via The Wall Street Journal, gives you a good idea of what to expect:

So what's the catch? You got it; higher ticket prices. As if 3D and IMAX didn't boost them enough, you'll most likely have to shell out a few extra bucks to sit in the lap of luxury. You could argue ticket prices are going to increase anyway, as they do, but I can't help but think back to the article when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg waxed philosophical on the future of cinema, where a couple of tickets could cost you $100 and people only go a couple of times a year. And why not? Home cinemas are becoming more impressive by the year, and more affordable too.

As of now, AMC is spending $600 million to install these new seats, but they will only be occurring only in certain areas.  Evidently big cities where attedance is booming (NY, LA, etc) is not going to be the focus.  There will also be La-Z-Boy 2.0, where the seats don't recline as far back in order to conserve more room.  Either way, it's something to keep an eye out for if you noticed a lack of packed AMC theaters in your area.

Extra Tidbit: Are you looking forward to these new seats in your town?

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