Last week AMC Theaters announced that all Manhattan locations will now be offering reserved-seating options only, marking a major step in the Leawood, Kansas-based chain’s efforts to upgrade its services. It is also a further representation of the steady transition of the movie-going experience continuing to become a less stressful and more controlled occasion.
As of last Friday, the company’s New York theaters will allow customers to book and select their seats online or on any ticket-buying app and site, such as Fandango, Movietickets.com and Atom Tickets.
AMC was already offering reserved seats at 125 locations nationwide, but this marks the first major market-wide implementation of the policy—and more are likely to come. As the second-largest movie theater chain in North America—and soon to be the world’s largest—AMC has a total of nine theaters in New York City alone.
“As we look at markets where we can begin to make reserved seating prevalent, there’s no better place to start than Manhattan, where a trip to the movies often means a subway or cab ride,” said John McDonald, AMC’s Executive V.P. of U.S. Operations. “Reserved seating lets moviegoers pick the exact seat they want when they make their movie-going plans and provides our guests with the confidence that their specific seat will be waiting for them when they arrive at the theatre.”
Reserved seating is one of the many features that exhibitors have added to make the movie-going experience more attractive to modern consumers as the industry faces long-term stagnation in attendance. Theaters have introduced premium screens, recliner chairs, dine-in options and alcohol in recent years.