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

Jul. 8, 2014by:

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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2:12PM on 07/10/2014

These seats are great!

I have an AMC theater nearby in Metro Detroit that has these same seats. Really wonderful stuff. The ticket price was only a $1 more but more than worth it. Saw the Captain America marathon in them and had a frigin blast. Yes, they also have reserved seating but I've come to enjoy buying tickets online and getting there when I want. Took my girlfriend there and now there's no where else she wants to go.
I have an AMC theater nearby in Metro Detroit that has these same seats. Really wonderful stuff. The ticket price was only a $1 more but more than worth it. Saw the Captain America marathon in them and had a frigin blast. Yes, they also have reserved seating but I've come to enjoy buying tickets online and getting there when I want. Took my girlfriend there and now there's no where else she wants to go.
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11:29AM on 07/10/2014

The honest answer......

I love movies and always enjoyed going to the theatre as a kid but find myself going about once a year now because of other people. I could care less about the seats or ticket prices. I can't remember going to the theatre and nobody checked their cell phone, kicked my chair, talked, or a fat guy with a 5 gallon thing of popcorn tries to eat the whole thing in one bite so I can't concentrate. The best seat in the whole place is my living room. Same reason I don't go to a lot of football and
I love movies and always enjoyed going to the theatre as a kid but find myself going about once a year now because of other people. I could care less about the seats or ticket prices. I can't remember going to the theatre and nobody checked their cell phone, kicked my chair, talked, or a fat guy with a 5 gallon thing of popcorn tries to eat the whole thing in one bite so I can't concentrate. The best seat in the whole place is my living room. Same reason I don't go to a lot of football and basketball games. So much cheaper and the best part is nobody is there to ruin the best part of the movie. Except my girlfriend who constantly tells me I don't listen but apparently can't keep her concentration long enough to know whats going on in the movie.
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1:25PM on 07/09/2014
Add in free beer and a blow job and then the ticket prices will be justified.
Add in free beer and a blow job and then the ticket prices will be justified.
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12:48AM on 07/09/2014
They should add 7.1 headphones with replaceable earpieces or at least a headphone jack with 7.1 capability so I can ignore my annoying wife.

Now that I think about it, I'd rather just sit at home and use an Oculus Rift.
They should add 7.1 headphones with replaceable earpieces or at least a headphone jack with 7.1 capability so I can ignore my annoying wife.

Now that I think about it, I'd rather just sit at home and use an Oculus Rift.
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12:25AM on 07/09/2014
These recliners have been here in LA for a year now, and its actually the cheapest movie ticket in town at 11 bucks.
These recliners have been here in LA for a year now, and its actually the cheapest movie ticket in town at 11 bucks.
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11:15PM on 07/08/2014
Sounds nice, too bad there isn't a movie theater in my town.
Sounds nice, too bad there isn't a movie theater in my town.
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9:45PM on 07/08/2014
My local theater (Tyngsboro, MA) installed these last year and they are amazing. The reserved seating is also nice...no more worrying about getting to the theater early to get a good seat. The theater was a dump beforehand, but saw a turn-around with the new seats. I didn't really notice a price increase with the new seats: $6.50 before noon, $7.50 between noon and 6pm, $10 after 6pm ($4 more for 3D titles).
My local theater (Tyngsboro, MA) installed these last year and they are amazing. The reserved seating is also nice...no more worrying about getting to the theater early to get a good seat. The theater was a dump beforehand, but saw a turn-around with the new seats. I didn't really notice a price increase with the new seats: $6.50 before noon, $7.50 between noon and 6pm, $10 after 6pm ($4 more for 3D titles).
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9:13PM on 07/08/2014

It's called Prime

We have them out here in my theater in Missouri. The theater is called Prime and it's about $3-4 more, and it had enhanced sound coming from each seat, vibrations and of course, reclining seats. It's alright, but I'm also not hard to please either and don't mind going to the normal seating.
We have them out here in my theater in Missouri. The theater is called Prime and it's about $3-4 more, and it had enhanced sound coming from each seat, vibrations and of course, reclining seats. It's alright, but I'm also not hard to please either and don't mind going to the normal seating.
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9:13PM on 07/08/2014
The AMC in my town has them and its awesome. Less people, better seats and they are reserved. If you get your tickets a week in advance and you have the best seats in the house. I just wish IMAX was like that.
The AMC in my town has them and its awesome. Less people, better seats and they are reserved. If you get your tickets a week in advance and you have the best seats in the house. I just wish IMAX was like that.
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7:32PM on 07/08/2014
I love that kind of seat so this is a good news for me.
I love that kind of seat so this is a good news for me.
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6:43PM on 07/08/2014
AMC has already implemented in this in at least two theaters in my area. My wife loves the seats.
AMC has already implemented in this in at least two theaters in my area. My wife loves the seats.
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6:36PM on 07/08/2014
They put these in my local AMC about a year ago. They're pretty epic. Before the renovation, my AMC was a dump and the seats were very uncomfortable. Yes, the prices have increased, but they're still pretty cheap compared to everywhere else (7.50 during the week, 11 on weekends, even cheaper if you go earlier in the day) so I think it's worth it. Only issue is reserved seating so you'll have to be planning trips to the movies ahead of time; which I've managed to get around so far.
They put these in my local AMC about a year ago. They're pretty epic. Before the renovation, my AMC was a dump and the seats were very uncomfortable. Yes, the prices have increased, but they're still pretty cheap compared to everywhere else (7.50 during the week, 11 on weekends, even cheaper if you go earlier in the day) so I think it's worth it. Only issue is reserved seating so you'll have to be planning trips to the movies ahead of time; which I've managed to get around so far.
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5:59PM on 07/08/2014
Less people in a theater is ALWAYS a good thing.
Less people in a theater is ALWAYS a good thing.
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5:56PM on 07/08/2014
Depends: my theater has 20 auditoriums which offers a great selection of showtimes and during busy nights most of these rooms fill up but if much of that seating (which most people don't complain about) is removed for these newer seats, I see a drop in satisfaction. More showtimes will sell out, these seats look more vulnerable to cuts and damages that will take more money to fix than the chairs we have now. I think people care more about service and getting a seat, but again this is my
Depends: my theater has 20 auditoriums which offers a great selection of showtimes and during busy nights most of these rooms fill up but if much of that seating (which most people don't complain about) is removed for these newer seats, I see a drop in satisfaction. More showtimes will sell out, these seats look more vulnerable to cuts and damages that will take more money to fix than the chairs we have now. I think people care more about service and getting a seat, but again this is my theater. Some other theaters could probably get away with these upgrades but I don't think it's right for mine.
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5:14PM on 07/08/2014
They did this to the AMC by me, plus they have 21 and over only showings, AND a bar. The only problem with this is that during the later shows they cut off the A/C midway through the movie, so you start sweating from your head to your ankles due to the pleather seats. Other than that, you can buy your discount tickets at Costco and get in for $8.50 instead of $12-14.
They did this to the AMC by me, plus they have 21 and over only showings, AND a bar. The only problem with this is that during the later shows they cut off the A/C midway through the movie, so you start sweating from your head to your ankles due to the pleather seats. Other than that, you can buy your discount tickets at Costco and get in for $8.50 instead of $12-14.
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5:03PM on 07/08/2014

Absolutely Horrible Seats and higher prices

They renovated my local AMC with these seats recently, and I can say it is the worst thing they could have done. First, you can't just decide to go to a movie anymore. Now, you have to plan 4-hours in advance just to get a seat. They removed every other row of chairs, and reduced the number of chairs per row, and implemented a "reserved seating" policy where you have to choose where you will sit when purchasing your ticket. Now, if you are stuck beside some assholes who won't shut up, or are
They renovated my local AMC with these seats recently, and I can say it is the worst thing they could have done. First, you can't just decide to go to a movie anymore. Now, you have to plan 4-hours in advance just to get a seat. They removed every other row of chairs, and reduced the number of chairs per row, and implemented a "reserved seating" policy where you have to choose where you will sit when purchasing your ticket. Now, if you are stuck beside some assholes who won't shut up, or are playing with their phones all movie, you can't get up and move to another seat somewhere. I've also had to argue with people who bought their tickets late, and instead of sitting on the front row, decided to sit in my seats because they came in before me. They wanted to get into a fight because I told them to move from my seats. Ridiculous! Add at least a $1 - $2 price hike on all tickets and snack bar items, and you are getting screwed over because they decided to put in shitty seats and lose 70% of their seating that could bring in more money per showing. Now for the seats: They are less comfortable, are cheap leather/pleather material that is already ripping after less than a year, and the reclining motors are already breaking so you can't recline. With all this, and having to go to the theater at least 2-4 hours in advance to buy tickets because there aren't enough seats (and then realizing you can't attend the showing), I will never go to AMC again. It makes me sad, really, because it was my favorite theater to watch a movie at before all this went down.
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3:45PM on 07/08/2014
i'd rather be comfortable in a quiet theater with no phones or babies, than possibly getting too comfy in a bed-like chair and falling asleep
i'd rather be comfortable in a quiet theater with no phones or babies, than possibly getting too comfy in a bed-like chair and falling asleep
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3:18PM on 07/08/2014
I would be all for this. It would raise prices for sure, but I wouldn't mind spending the extra couple of dollars to sit very comfortably during a good film.
I would be all for this. It would raise prices for sure, but I wouldn't mind spending the extra couple of dollars to sit very comfortably during a good film.
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3:09PM on 07/08/2014
Anything to keep raising the prices - they will do it.
Anything to keep raising the prices - they will do it.
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3:09PM on 07/08/2014
How about make certain theaters 21 and over. No kids or usage of devices with a screen or light during showings. Make theaters more appealing to adults instead of teens
How about make certain theaters 21 and over. No kids or usage of devices with a screen or light during showings. Make theaters more appealing to adults instead of teens
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3:03PM on 07/08/2014
Oh good, now I can get even more of someone's filth all over me.
Oh good, now I can get even more of someone's filth all over me.
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2:50PM on 07/08/2014
I'd rather the theatres reduce the asshole customers that ruin the experience. Ticket price is the second issue.

Otherwise I'm happy to stay home.
I'd rather the theatres reduce the asshole customers that ruin the experience. Ticket price is the second issue.

Otherwise I'm happy to stay home.
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2:43PM on 07/08/2014

VIP theaters

We've had this kind of seats/theaters in Mexico for years now; they're known as VIP theaters by the Cinepolis chain, and they're more expensive, have waiters and you can order food and beverages (including alcohol). They're all over the country and yes, they're addictive.

And btw, in Mexico when you buy your tickets for any type of theater, be it regular, VIP, 4DX, etc. you get to choose your seats, so you never have to get there early to make any lines. It's pretty cool.
We've had this kind of seats/theaters in Mexico for years now; they're known as VIP theaters by the Cinepolis chain, and they're more expensive, have waiters and you can order food and beverages (including alcohol). They're all over the country and yes, they're addictive.

And btw, in Mexico when you buy your tickets for any type of theater, be it regular, VIP, 4DX, etc. you get to choose your seats, so you never have to get there early to make any lines. It's pretty cool.
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2:37PM on 07/08/2014
My local theater (Freehold, NJ) already has them. They're incredible. Regular seats pale in comparison. Best part is when you buy your ticket you pick your actual seats as if you're going to a sporting event. So now when you're going to see Justice League opening night you don't have to show up extra early to get a good seat. You just have to buy your tickets in advance.
My local theater (Freehold, NJ) already has them. They're incredible. Regular seats pale in comparison. Best part is when you buy your ticket you pick your actual seats as if you're going to a sporting event. So now when you're going to see Justice League opening night you don't have to show up extra early to get a good seat. You just have to buy your tickets in advance.
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2:33PM on 07/08/2014
60 inches wide? That's insane...
Most folks could sit comfortably in half that space.
60 inches wide? That's insane...
Most folks could sit comfortably in half that space.
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2:29PM on 07/08/2014

These seats...

...are the best. They've basically ruined all other movie theater seats for me. I'm in NYC so the added bonus is that you have to reserve your seats. Aka, no lines. No worrying about finding a good seat. That is worth the extra $$$ for me.
...are the best. They've basically ruined all other movie theater seats for me. I'm in NYC so the added bonus is that you have to reserve your seats. Aka, no lines. No worrying about finding a good seat. That is worth the extra $$$ for me.
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2:28PM on 07/08/2014
I was a little sketched out at first, but my local theater got these seats and they are straight up magical. It does make it a little too easy to dose off during a boring movie though. I think the seats pictured above are the newer seats that don't recline as far...With the seats in my local AMC, you're pretty much laying flat when fully reclined. This also now comes with reserved seating, which is also awesome. Reserved seating means not having to stand on a stupid line for 2 hours before
I was a little sketched out at first, but my local theater got these seats and they are straight up magical. It does make it a little too easy to dose off during a boring movie though. I think the seats pictured above are the newer seats that don't recline as far...With the seats in my local AMC, you're pretty much laying flat when fully reclined. This also now comes with reserved seating, which is also awesome. Reserved seating means not having to stand on a stupid line for 2 hours before a midnight showing in order to get decent seats, fantastic.
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2:09PM on 07/08/2014
The only thing I want theaters to fix is to adopt Alamo Drafthouse rules. Talking and texting get you booted and no kids allowed. I'm tired of the guy who talks to the screen, "That's what YOU think, Tom Cruise!" and the screaming baby who the parents refuse to walk out.
The only thing I want theaters to fix is to adopt Alamo Drafthouse rules. Talking and texting get you booted and no kids allowed. I'm tired of the guy who talks to the screen, "That's what YOU think, Tom Cruise!" and the screaming baby who the parents refuse to walk out.
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