If you have not been to the movie theaters in a while, there has been a lot of changes. If its been over 10 years, the “classic” style of seating in a large auditorium with rows of seats are fading, and have been replaced by “stadium” style of seating, which is like going to a sporting event with inclined rows of seats, where short people can see over the seat in front of them, and the arm rest lifts up, so you can snuggle up to your date, or plop a purse in between.
In addition to stadium style seating, many places are offering a way to reserve your seat beforehand, so you don’t have to wait in line for hours to get “a good seat”. Big cities like New York and LA have been offering this for years, with prices ranging $15-$20 for this convenience.
Now, the new trend is adding dining service to your movie watching experience. Bringing food to my seat is not something new. I first experienced this about 10 years ago when I went to see a movie in Mexico. The “super” cinema in Guadalajara offered crepes and beer to be enjoyed in my leather recliner.
AMC is now combining both in-seat dining, and reserve seating, for about $14 a ticket. However, some auditorium do not offer in seat dining, so the tickets can be as low as $10, and you still can reserve your seat. Currently, Fullerton and Long Beach (Marina Pacifica) are the only 2 California locations.
How does this work?
The process is quite simple, log online to AMCtheaters.com, and select Fullerton. Click the show you want to see, in this case it’s The Hunger Games at 6:10 PM. Before checking out, the prompt will ask you to select seats. In an auditorium with just 5 rows, it is best to get the last few rows for maximum comfort. I chose E1 + E2 and was pleased with my viewing comfort…. not too far, and not too close.
After you select your seats, and you pay by credit card or AMC gift card. If you are a STUBS loyalty member, they’ll waive the convenience feel. You will receive an email confirmation (or text message) with a bar code to claim your tickets at the theater. You don’t have to stop at the box office. Simply show the employee your bar code and they’ll issue you a hard ticket.
The movie theater we went to had seating consisted of five rows deep and 8- 10 seats across. There is a food and beverage menu, with items starting at $4 and up. To place your order, you simply push the red button located behind your chair. A waiter will come momentarily.
Karen and I ordered the shareable snacks menu, which were five chicken strips and a basketful of french fries at $8.00 each, plus a soda (one size) at$3.95 each. The sodas included complementary refills, which were brought by the waiter.
The food came to our seats within 10 minutes, and they were piping hot. Of course the prices were inflated, but considering they brought the food to your table, it’s all about the convenience. Unlike a traditional movie theater where everyone is relatively quiet, you do hear the clanking of dishes and flatware.
The leather chairs do recline all the way back, a true La-Z-Boy experience! I was surprised the were $12.99 each, compared to $20 in LA. I would say it was well worth the experience.