This afternoon I went by myself to see a 4pm movie at the AMC Loews theater on 3rd Ave & 12st:
I got there at 3:40 and I took a seat in a row about seven rows from the front. When I sat down there was nobody to the left, right, or front of me. I tried to focus on my Week magazine and block out the advertisements on the screen. Even though the movie wasn’t supposed to start for at least fifteen minutes, the commercials were so loud it was impossible to do anything but watch them.
A few minutes later, a crowd of people descended on my row. Shortly thereafter, an obese woman flopped herself down in the chair directly in front of me, causing her seat-back to slam into my knees. This injustice was a little bit painful but mostly just irritating — what’s worse is that after she settled in, her seat had reclined about two feet into my space. I had no legroom at all at this point.
The only thing saving me was that the seat directly to my right was empty; I shifted my legs over there and got my legroom back. At this point, the previews were over and the movie started. Three minutes later, a man decides to squeeze past everybody in my row and take my legroom seat. So I sat the only way I could: straight back with my legs directly in front of me. Of course, since I was near the front, this meant I couldn’t see the screen without tilting my head back a little bit. I was already thinking about busting out of there when the new guy decides he wants to steal my legroom: he does this by moving his hairy leg so that it was touching mine. That was it — I walked out of there and got my $11 back.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the designers of the seats for AMC/Loews also work for United Airlines! At least UAL serves a purpose… going to the movies is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not stressful and painful! Assuming I have the choice, I will avoid theaters like that at all costs. I’ll stick to the Regal theater in Union Square if I ever go to the movies again.
I walked out of AMC/Loews and decided I’d see what was happening at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. The store was more crowded than I had ever seen it; almost all the isles were filled with people sitting on the floor, using the bookshelves as back rests: