Movie theaters are considering charging more for center seats

While it was widely believed that the best seats were center back, Keogh said the introduction of day beds at the front of some theaters had been so successful that Hoyts would add more.

The executive director of the Cremorne Orpheum in Sydney, Alex Temesvari, expected the AMC film to fail.

“While I agree with charging premium prices for event screenings or a dedicated cinema, charging different ticket prices within the same space seems a bit cynical,” he said. “It’s certainly not something we would ever consider.”

But Palace Cinemas executive Benjamin Zeccola thought AMC’s move mirrored what happened in cinemas before multiplexes, when there were different prices for booths and Dress Circle seats.

“Actually, it’s strange that movie theaters are the only venues that don’t have different prices for different zones,” he said.

Zeccola said Palace would not charge more for a seat except for so-called premium experiences, such as its Platinum cinemas and luxury lounge chairs in the back rows of the cinema in central Melbourne. He thought it was “possibly inappropriate” to charge more for middle seats here, given the more egalitarian culture than the US.

“It’s strange that cinemas are the only venues that don’t have different prices for different zones”: Benjamin Zeccola of Palace Cinemas.Credit:Eamon Gallagher

Benji Tamir, program manager for Melbourne’s Classic, Lido and Cameo and Sydney’s Randwick Ritz cinemas, said the introduction of different ticket prices was “super confusing”.

“During this time, we want to keep things simple and put bums on the seats,” he said.

Tamir also thought it was wrong to charge more for better seats.

“Cinema has always been a democratic place for everyone – for all walks of life – so I don’t think it’s a good idea to offend other people,” he said. “I don’t think now is the right time for her to do things like that.”

Tamir also saw a problem in making sure guests were seated in their less expensive seats.

“You buy a cheaper seat and then just move back,” he said. “It’s a bizarre idea.”

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Email Garry Maddox at and follow him on Twitter at @gmaddox. Movie theaters are considering charging more for center seats

Jaclyn Diaz

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