Last night I went to see the 9pm showing of 'Inglorious Basterds'. I figured 20-after-8 was a good time to show up, get tickets, and find seating. Actually, no, I didn't think it would be ok, but try convincing 3 other people that you need to be there a full hour early to get good seats for a popular flick on opening weekend.
Of course, I was right.
Entering the theater and turning that corner, it's immediately obvious that it's completely packed, and we stand there like a bunch of autism patients, staring into the isles, hoping to miraculously find 4 seats together in a decent view. But there's nothing left other than the bullshit seats in the very front. (seriously, i can't watch a movie like that; especially one I'm paying good money to see and support vs downloading)
So after insisting that NO, I will not sit in the bullshit seats with my neck at a 90 degree angle for 2+ hours, we go and exchange the tickets for the 10pm show; this bullshit is already fucking up my night. So there we are, with an hour to kill. Between the group of us, we end up pumping money we did not intend to spend into the video games and overpriced shit junkfood, and even then we end up having to get in the rapidly forming lineup for the 10pm show around 9:15. That's at least 35 minutes or so to waste before they even open the doors.
Sadly, this is not the first time I've ended up having to exchange tickets for a later show due to similar situations.
Once the doors open, the goldrush begins: the lineup breaks down and people are running past me to get seats.. in general, it's mild pandemonium, and as I shake my head at the stupidity of this system, I have a flashback to my time in Japan.
While I was living in Tokyo, one of the most immediate and outstanding "gee that's a brilliant idea, why don't they do that in America?" style things was the movie going experience.
Imagine my shock, when buying tickets for a movie, and the teller asks me which section we would like to sit in. The first time this happened, I was pleasantly surprised by the option. She then shows me a digital representation of the theater's seating layout, detailing which seats are sold and which are still available. I pick some good seats, get the tickets printed out, and can then leave the theater, go grab something to eat, kill time, whatever; then return to the theater about with about 5 minutes to spare before the listed start time of the movie. The specific seats are reserved. There's no lineups; no rush to find seating, no hassle, no stress.
in short, BRILLIANT.
It's so simple and straight forward I really think the CEO's in charge (cineplex I'm looking at you) are purposefully ignoring the option, because the current system forces you to enter the theater complex earlier, spend more time and money there. In short, this, is RETARDED.
If any of you would like to take this time and attempt to defend or extol the benefits of this 'free for all' system, let's hear it.
Else, if you agree, take a moment and submit a rant of your own
inb4 personal army...