Multiplexes will soon look a little more like somebody's grandparents' basement, as one of the country's biggest theater chains is stripping out their existing theater seats and replacing them with recliners.
Hell, why not. Everybody already flies in pajamas.
According to Variety, the chain is embarking on a five-year, $600 million revamp and has already begun replacing seats in a third of its auditoriums. In addition to reclining like a damn La-Z-Boy, the seats are also 36 percent wider, meaning they can fit just a third as many seats into each auditorium, meaning it'll be even tougher getting a seat anywhere but the first row on Saturday nights. (According to the Wall Street Journal, super-busy markets like New York will get smaller new seats, so they only reduce capacity by half. WELL IN THAT CASE.)
Theater owners are, of course, desperate to make more money off moviegoers, and it's not like they can charge anymore for Junior Mints without its becoming outright robbery. So they're finally trying to upgrade the experience, one analyst told the Journal: "There are no more bodies coming through the door.... So you have to find something to get them to come back more often or pay more."
The revamp also includes plans for bigger, better concession offerings.
The AMC says converted theaters have already seen "strong revenue gains," with attendance jumping 80 percent and revenues 60 percent at renovated theaters. No kidding! Everybody loves a brand, spanking new movie theater, before the seats have grown mysteriously dank and prior to anyone grinding gum into the carpet. Nothing feels so Stephen King as a neglected dark room full of strangers.
But just wait until another chain opens a competing theater across town with slightly better concessions. Then all those deserted reclining seats will meet their true destiny: As impromptu beds for horny teenagers.
Photos via Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.