I know sometimes people get tired of me saying, “in Hong Kong we did it this way.” I try not to make too many comparisons between my former home and my new one in Winnipeg. But honestly when it comes to movie theatre seating Hong Kong is way ahead of the game compared to Canada.
Last night we went to see the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln with a Hong Kong colleague who happens to be living in Winnipeg now. He had brought along a friend. We arrived at the theatre a good twenty minutes or so before the movie, bought tickets and went inside to find that the only location with seats still available for the four of us was in the third row. We slid down into our chairs and angled our heads back, an awkward way to watch a movie. Luckily the film is mostly interior scenes where the characters aren’t moving around too much. It would have been positively dizzying to watch an action packed show on the screen from such close proximity. As it was I had a crick in my neck by the end of the movie.
We three former Hong Kong residents explained to the other person in our party the benefits of that city’s system of theatre seat sales. When you purchase a ticket at any movie theatre in Hong Kong you are asked to look at a diagram of the auditorium and you pick and reserve your actual seat. You can do this online in the days leading up to your visit to the theatre or at the front kiosk if you purchase your ticket on site. You know precisely where you will be sitting which means even if you arrive just before the show, or during the previews you still get exactly the seat you reserved. If the only seats left are right in front when you are purchasing your ticket; you can opt to attend another time and reserve a suitable seat for a later show.
There are critics who say that reserved ticket sales for movies will ruin the spontaneous movie going experience option for people. Could be. But the crick in my neck did little to add to my movie going experience last night.
By the way Lincoln is a good movie. I learned a great deal about Abraham Lincoln’s personality, his family life, the process of the passing of the 13th amendment to abolish slavery and the Civil War. I especially enjoyed Sally Field’s performance as Mary Todd Lincoln. She gave us real insight into the First Lady’s complex character.
My husband mused that nothing much has changed in the United States really. After the recent American election all the pundits commented on how the country seems pretty solidly divided in half as far as its political views are concerned. It was exactly the same in Lincoln’s day. I enjoyed the movie despite the crick in my neck.