Back in February, AMC Theaters announced an interesting and unusual new pricing strategy: They were going to charge different amounts for different seats in a theater. A prime seat in the center of an auditorium would cost a couple bucks more than a seat on the sides or in the front. The idea seemed inspired by the way airlines price their seats; you pay more for extra legroom or on some carriers for a seat closer to the front of the plane. (Obviously first class seats cost even more than that.)

Perhaps making movie theaters more like air travel — a thing people famously and notorious love wholeheartedly and with zero complaints whatsoever — was not the best plan. Because now AMC appears to be shifting away from this variable seat pricing idea. They announced this week in a press release that after their “pilot” program trying out what they had dubbed “Sightline at AMC” they are already discontinuing it. In theaters that had tested the pricing plan, seats will all be the same price no matter where you sit once again.

AMC Movie Theaters
Corbis via Getty Images

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Instead, AMC says it will not try out its “next innovation – enhanced spacious front row seating with extensive seat recline. Beginning in late 2023, AMC will begin testing its newest seating concept. Large, comfortable lounge style seating areas will allow guests to lay all the way back and relax. The angle of the seats will also make it more enjoyable to watch movies from these front row seats closest to the screen.” Or, y’know, to take a two-hour nap.

Even if you offer me the chance to lay down in a huge bed, nothing is going to convince me to sit in the front of the theater; I am a middle to back of the theater kind of guy. (If I want to lay in bed and watch a movie, I have a bed in my house, and I don’t need to pay $20 to lay in it and watch Gymkata, thank you very much.)

Still, recliners elsewhere in the auditorium are a nice amenity. The real story here, however, is that AMC is ditching the in-theater variable seat pricing, which I did encounter once or twice when going to see a movie. It was definitely frustrating. I will not miss it.

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