The Wonderful Art of Seat Saving
I can’t begin to tell you how much it pissed me off when my buddy told me we’d be saving seats for his sister when we saw “Munich” one Saturday night. Not just his sister but her husband and two of their friends. I didn’t even know any of these people and here I am sticking my neck out, letting them tarnish my perfect opening weekend experience.
To understand exactly the degree to which this bothered me, you have to realize the tradition that was being jeopardized. For years, he and I have seen every Steven Spielberg film either opening night or opening weekend. Crossing state lines, going to the theater on no sleep; nothing ever stopped us from the event. Almost nothing, until his sister had to have dinner.
So we were seeing this film the night after I’d just taken a red eye back from Los Angeles. Exhausted, I went to sleep until just before I had to drive to the theater. We only left time to get to the theater an hour in advance so we could procure the best seats in the house. Then I received the exciting news that we would have to save four prime seats next to us. I hadn’t planned on having dinner until afterwards. Some TGI Fridays chicken strips sounded pretty nice to me too at the time but I sacrificed them for my opening weekend experience. Not them though. Not the people that would end up watching the film from almost as good a sightline as I.
As we came closer and closer to showtime, I became more and more well versed in spotting those eyeing our seats and waving them off. By the end, I didn’t even have to use any words cause I had the hand motions down to a science.
But what are the rules though? Is it a free for all once the lights dim? Are modifications made for opening nights or event films? I couldn’t tell you cause it’s not like anyone has ever saved seats for me. His sister sure hasn’t. I on the other hand got to the theater at 6AM the morning before the last Lord of the Rings film was released. My friend and I even have a deal where we rotate flying cross country each year to visit the other and see the year’s biggest film at midnight opening night. That’s what I call dedication. That’s the type of person that doesn’t show up for a movie opening weekend while the first credits are rolling.
So where does it end and where does it begin? Do you subscribe to a specific set of rules on this subject? At least when it comes to opening weekend or a theater that’s for the most part packed, I think that you should sleep in the bed you make and wait in line. Just my take on it though.
(Thanks to rherring for providing the photo.)
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