Changing sizes of movie theater auditoriums
In the December 6th issue of In Focus magazine, the “Secrets of Size” article details why movie theater auditoriums have dramatically shrunk over time, but also explains there is a renewed construction of bigger auditoriums.
An accompanying chart provides examples of existing and former movie palaces. A graphic shows the typical seating layout of a megaplex. A seating chart of Radio City Music Hall is also provided.
They weren’t called “palaces” for nothing. The average American cinema auditorium used to be a lot bigger. In their 2004 book “Cinema Treasures,” Ross Melnick and
Andreas Fuchs lay out a clear chronology of the birth and heyday of the largest.
Muvico Theatres' soon-to-launch Xanadu megaplex in New Jersey’s Meadowlands, just four miles west of Manhattan, is expected to contain 500 more seats than Radio City Music Hall – but the Xanadu will spread its 6,500 seats over 26 auditoria.
The difference between the two facilities' utilization of the same number of seats is emblematic of how the exhibition industry has evolved generally over the last seven or eight decades. The average number of auditoria per site has been going up every year for decades, and cinema sites today average more than six screens, an all-time record.
To read more on this story, go toIn Focus Magazine.