Major cinema chain AMC Theatres is to trial a new pricing model, one that has similarities with the way sports events, traditional theatres and music concerts have operated for years. They are going to base it on line of sight and position against the screen in the theatre.

“You… down there in the cheap seats…”

This will apply to theatre movie showings after 4pm, and will see theatres divided up into three sections. The most prevalent will be “Standard”, most of the auditorium and the same cost as normal. “Value” will be the front-row seats, or those at an awkward angle. These will cost less. “Preferred” will be dead centre, in prime position, and these will charge a premium. Eliot Hamlisch, Executive Vice President and CMO has released a statement:

“Sightline at AMC more closely aligns AMC’s seat pricing approach to that of many other entertainment venues, offering experienced-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies. While every seat at AMC delivers an amazing moviegoing experience, we know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing. Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments.”

The trial starts soon. This Friday, in fact, at selected locations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. If a success it will expand to all domestic AMC locations by the end of the year.

This is a common response to a cost of living crisis, as many products, services and retailers look to a “Value” offering to keep attracting cash-strapped customers who may be budgetting.

Personally I always sit slightly less than half way back up the banked seats, in the centre bloc, but in an aisle seat for ease of toilet break. It’s an age thing.

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