[Keep up with the "Special Feature" column and Christian Fannin will sit you on his lap and talk to you about whatever movie-related topic he feels like.]
Stadium seating is obviously comfortable and provides an unhindered view of the screen but I don't want it to be my only choice. Why? Because it takes away from the theater experience. Going to the movies is a social function and the more we privatize that experience, the less social we become.
I know most of you think that's a stupid comment but if you truly think about it I believe I can sway most of you. It's my opinion that stadium seating should be an option but not the majority. Kind of like drive-ins (which should be more numerous). You wouldn't want every single movie to be shown only in 3-D would you? You know, variety, spice of life, and all that?
When I go to the theater to see a movie, I don't always go because I can't wait two months to see that specific movie at home. I go because I like the feeling of enjoying a common interest with dozens of other people. I like to look around during The Expendables and see the smiling faces of fans watching their childhood favorite action stars annihilate the bad guys together. I like to see the smiles and hear the laughter while watching a good comedy. I like to see the horror on girls faces as they pull closer to their dates in a scary movie. Even a BAD scary movie. That's what makes the event so great. It can make bad movies fun!
Unfortunately, our seats are becoming more like cubicles and less like a spot among friends. It's okay to get a little close to your girlfriend in a dark theater but that's what the back row is for. Couches and loveseats don't belong there. If you really want that much privacy, watch a movie at home. Or you could find a drive-in or wait until it's over and drive up to "Makeout Point".
There's just something about the moment you stop and look around at the backs of the audiences screenlit heads knowing they're enjoying an experience they may never forget. You share that first date, the first nightmare, the birth of a blockbuster, the joy of sharing emotions with real live people. Ditch the bucket seats every now and then and socialize. You may rediscover a classic that's already waiting in your local theater.
Don't hesitate to tell Christian what you think of his column and suggest a topic by e-mailing him at: email@example.com