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A lesson from the Cinema

February 19, 2014

A recent visit to my nearest (not local, just easy to get to – my locals have all been demolished for housing) cinema led me to a revelation… it IS possible to have a seat where you won’t be disturbed by anyone else…

To explain. My cinema has “club” screens. 8 seats per row, with a mix of double seats in the centre and singles at the ends. Each grouping is separated by a table area, and every seat has a very high back.

The result is that nobody is closer than 18 inches from the next person / couple. And what a joy it is. You can’t really see anyone using a phone, nobody kicks your seat or rustles a bag in your ear. Pretty much perfect, particularly as the kind of film they screen there isn’t of much interest to the type who think bringing a brewery and chip shop in with them can only add to their enjoyment.

So, 8 seats per row wouldn’t make economic sense in the West End, but there has to be something like it. Perhaps a return to Victorian and Edwardian theatre, where sections of the theatres had different types of seat? You had your regular plush chairs in the stalls, with padded benches in the last few rows for the better off “chav” of their day – safely away from the posher crowd.

Your real posh lot got private boxes at dress circle level. Now, that might work. Solve the often lousy legroom in the seats with the best view by installing “club” seats up there – 2 old rows per row of new seats, over the front three rows.

In the old days, chavs got stone steps in the upper circle. Now, a numb, cold butt for the misbehaving… I’ve just invented the theatrical equivalent of the “naughty step” and solved two problems in one!

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