Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
105.9 FM is currently experiencing a degraded signal due to deteriorated antenna connections. We are working to schedule repairs. You can still tune in to WBAA News on AM 920, online at or through the WBAA mobile app. Thank you for your patience.

Some movie lovers aren't happy about AMC's plan to charge according to seat placement


Almost nobody likes to sit in the front row of a movie theater, and AMC knows it. The cinema chain plans to roll out a new pricing structure. Those willing to crane their necks will get a discount. And, yes, the better seats will cost more, as NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Sightline at AMC is the name of this new pricing scheme.


LILY TOMLIN: (As Lou) It's just a reveal.

SALLY FIELD: (As Betty) Of what?

BLAIR: Of what isn't exactly clear. AMC hasn't said how much tickets will cost, but the prices will be broken down by section - value, standard and preferred. The cost of your ticket will depend on the quality of your seat.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Treat them as our brothers and sisters.

BLAIR: Treating all consumers equally is not what this is about, as far as actor Elijah Wood is concerned. On social media, he complained that a movie theater is a, quote, "democratic space" and that AMC's new pricing would penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN: It may cause a little consternation with a lot of consumers who are very price-sensitive.

BLAIR: Paul Dergarabedian is a senior media analyst with Comscore. The movie industry suffered during the pandemic. It's on the rebound but hasn't fully recovered.

DERGARABEDIAN: I mean, it seems like a time where it would be best just to let it ride and keep traditional pricing because now we're getting more back to, quote-unquote, "normal" box office.

BLAIR: On the other hand, he says there are a lot of big movies coming out soon.

DERGARABEDIAN: "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One," "Indiana Jones 5," "Barbie," "Wonka." I mean, there's - I could go on and on. So there's a really strong slate of films set for 2023. And AMC may feel like, look. We're going to have a great lineup here for you, so we can get creative with the ticket pricing structure.

BLAIR: It helps that AMC is the largest theater chain in the U.S. AMC did not respond to a request for comment. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.