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Assigned Movie Seating

Pay a premium for the good seats
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
  [vote for,

The other day I somehow found myself almost an hour early for a movie I was going to see. However, when I walked into the theatre all of the good seats were already taken. It occurred to me that I simply do not have the free time to waste to ever see a popular movie from a good seat. Though I lack the free time that others must have in abundance, I may have more money than a few of them.

Enter assigned seating. When I visit the opera or even a baseball game, timing does not choose my seat for me, money does. Charge an extra few dollars for the good seats and a few dollars less for the seats in front and on the sides. You may have to hire an usher or two to help people find their seats, but I'm sure many would pay for a guaranteed good seat.

Worldgineer, Dec 17 2004

Reduced Cost Movie Tickets Inspired somewhat by this idea. [Worldgineer, Dec 17 2004]


       Where these people watching the previous showing?
tiromancer, Dec 17 2004

       There are best seats in a movie house. The public seldom sits in them. There can only be a section of seats where the sound is in sync with picture. As sync was marked on an editing table two feet from the viewer, I suspect finding a seat up close would be good. Every forty feet is one frame out of sync. Two frames out of sync is unacceptable to professionals. The screen brightness might be best there as well. Most theatres save on bulb life by running them at reduced voltage. Best reduced optical distortion is probably two thirds back as the theatre was designed for. In my rambling three pager invention soon to be edited, the audience is standing up.
mensmaximus, Dec 17 2004

       Ever been to IMAX? They have assigned seating.
half, Dec 18 2004

       Most theaters don't have all their speakers located right next to the screen, so I don't know why you'd want to be that close. I also suspect that in most theaters the audio very slightly precedes the visual to allow for sound propagation delay.
supercat, Dec 18 2004

       Baked. At the Odeon in Edinburgh when some friends and i went to see Kill Bill Volume 1 the seats had to be booked in advance and they were graded and priced accordingly. We got average seats. Kind of reflected the movie, it must be said.
[ sctld ], Dec 18 2004

       [supercat]. Dialogue usually comes from a centre mono or left right speaker behind the screen, possibly to suggest it is coming from actors mouths. Nobody advances the sound for you. Remember motion pictures graduated from a carnival side show. Are you saying someone retards all the sound when films are transferred to video cassettes for viewing a few feet from the screen at home?
mensmaximus, Dec 18 2004

       //Nobody advances the sound for you. Remember motion pictures graduated from a carnival side show. Are you saying someone retards all the sound when films are transferred to video cassettes for viewing a few feet from the screen at home?//   

       Movie sound has come a long way since the Vitaphone days, or even since the days of optical soundtracks (some low-end theaters still use them, but high-end ones don't). Many theaters have all sorts of fancy whiz-bang electronics to independently ajust the sound coming out of dozens of speakers to produce the proper aural 'image'.   

       As for adjusting the timing on a home release, the picture timing on video is different from film anyway (30fps vs. 24) so a constant lag would be impossible even if one were trying to get one.   

       BTW, I would expect that perceptually, sound-trailing-picture would not be noticeable even if the lag was 3 frames. Sound-preceding-picture is noticeable at two, but that's because things are usually heard after they are seen.
supercat, Dec 18 2004

       Hey, this sounds like loge seats theaters used to have (the ones at the rear third, had extra thick velvet seat cushions, cost a few bucks extra). I only ever experienced this at a theater in Santa Cruz in my youth. It sucked, because even at a fairly well attended show, most of the loge were empty and the front was packed.
oxen crossing, Dec 18 2004

       Oh good grief. 3 frames out is incredibly noticeable [supercat]. In fact 20 subframes of sync disparity is noticeable and particularly with character animation lip sync. For most people, trailing audio sync is more noticeable than advanced.   

       As for cinema sync, the final sweetening, mixes and sync are done in a suite that is a full projection theatre. The sweet spot is where the engineers sit which is about 40 feet from the screen.
bristolz, Dec 18 2004

       On older optical projectors, the sound advance/delay is controlled by the size of the sound loop in the projector, the distance between the sound track and its sync. picture. Different projectionists make this loop different sizes. Theatres are usually a no-go zone for perfectionists in the business .
mensmaximus, Dec 18 2004

       //Oh good grief. 3 frames out is incredibly noticeable [supercat].//   

       That would be equivalent to sitting 120 feet away from someone giving a speech. I've never noticed any lip-sync problems at such events.
supercat, Dec 18 2004

       It would be hard to discern lip sync at 120 feet. The subtleties of speech--the plosives and other crisp actions of speech that allow a person to resolve a sync innaccuracy--just aren't very evident from more than 30 or 40 feet (unless you are using binoculars).   

       Simplify and up the scale of the thing making the sound: Ever seen someone bouncing a ball from 120 feet away? The ball will have nearly reached its apex after the bounce before you will hear the impact.
bristolz, Dec 18 2004

       // Most theatres save on bulb life by running them at reduced voltage. //   

       This doesn't actually extend bulb life, and only results in a dim picture.
waugsqueke, Dec 19 2004

       [waugsqueke], I think I'm talking about the majority of facilities that are running bulbs that are past their illumination peak and correct colour temperature time in their life. Someone is either checking those two factors daily with a recently calibrated instrument or they are not. To compound the problem, the projectionist is told to squeeze the most life out of the bulbs by whatever way the dim brained manager of the facility can non-technically dream up.
mensmaximus, Dec 19 2004

       I guess this is what I get for creating an idea and wandering off. I guess a few comments are addressable.   

       [tiro], I was envisioning this for peak performance times. Personally, I rarely can make non-peak performance times because, well, I work. Which brings us back to the money concept.   

       [half], yes. That place is always empty. Poor IMAX.   

       [oxen], to solve this, premium seats could be available 10 minutes before the show at the lower price.
Worldgineer, Dec 19 2004

       Yeah, no charge for telling people where to sit to pick up the most indoctrination.
mensmaximus, Dec 19 2004


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