Most of us off and on enjoy the established American pastime of going to see new releases at the local movie theater (or re-releases of classics.) We enjoy them growing up, through adolescence with friends or on dates, then through adulthood, and so forth. Going to the movies is as normal as normal can be in our culture, but going to the movies is unique in the sense that a person’s choice of seat location changes as they get older, or at least I’ve observed this to be somewhat true. I’m going to break down each age group and take a look at how seat locations I’ve noticed tend to change from age to age.
First there are the younger people, maybe ten or eleven years old, perhaps even younger or a little bit older. They get some allowance money and then go to the movies to see maybe a PG show. What they tend to do is go near the very front seats. They like to be close to the action. It might be a form of hero admiration if they’re seeing an action movie. Kids also do that at home I’ve noticed. They like to sit really close to the television. They may like to pretend that they’re in the world of the Teletubbies by sitting closer and taking all outside distraction away from their field of view, but that’s just speculation on my part. So in short, kids tend to sit in the very front rows. It gets them closer to the action and plays to their energy level to be closer to said action.
The next group is the adolescents. They might be high school kids who go with a group of friends or a date, and they sit somewhere usually in the middle or towards the back. They tend to not want to get as absorbed in the action or the goings-on of the movie because they have distractions to the left or right of them and sitting really close to the screen would make it hard to converse (which they shouldn’t be doing during the movie, but they manage.) It would be hard to socialize with explosions or dialogue happening within a few feet. So in short for this age group, the adolescents have developed more focus on their friends aside from the movie, so they try to balance seeing the movie and being able to socialize by not having the movie in their full field of scope.
The next group is the adults. The adults have more or less relaxed and are ready to just kick back in the theater and enjoy the film while realizing that the film is there for nothing other than an hour or two of enjoyment and not to be taken as seriously as some of the younger age groups might take it. For the adults it’s usually just a method of relaxation at the end of the day or something to do during the weekend. It’s not so much about socializing for the adults, although sometimes that is the case. They wouldn’t really want to interact on the level of the kids, so they tend to sit towards the back, and maybe sometimes towards the middle.
So as far as I can tell there appears to be an age indicator in relation to theater seats. A person starts at the bottom and works their way up as they go. Now of course this isn’t always the case, such as in a crowded theater a person might sit at any available seat. Of course theater seat choice depends a lot of personality as well. Some of the adult age group might like to near the screen or some kids might prefer to sit in back. In statistics those are called those outliers. This article is no way a “how-to” guide on where to sit in a theater. You should sit wherever feels the best. These are just some observations of a dedicated movie patron. It might make for an interesting statistical study.