So I went to the movies last week to see “The Descendants” and got quite a surprise. Apparently Ward Theaters at Ward Center is doing something called “reserved seating.” My first thought was…what!??? Then I came to my senses and realized that Ward Theaters doing “reserved seating” is a horrible idea.
I love going to the movies. It is arguably my favorite thing to do. My wife and I venture out to the movies a lot, and we go to several different theaters, depending on what else we are doing. I enjoy Ward Theaters sometime because they play movies (like The Descendants) that other theaters in Hawaii don’t. I have to say though, after dealing with “reserved seating” I am going to find it hard to venture back out to Ward Theaters.
So what is reserved seating? Well, it is exactly what you think it is. The problem is, they charge an extra fee of $1.50 per person on movies that they are running “reserved seating” for, which apparently is a lot of their movies now. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy.
We all know that going to the movies is not cheap anymore, even the matinees are pushing $8-$9 per person sometimes in Hawaii. Therefore, when I found out I was having an extra fee tacked on I wasn’t very happy.
Here is my main gripe: When you go to a movie you pay for your ticket (overpriced of course) and then you go into the theater and pick your seat. Once the theater sells out, then that’s it, no more tickets are sold. Everyone has a seat, so reserved seating is pointless. Not only that, but you pay for your ticket, then you pay and extra fee to pick a certain seat?? Why? I have already paid my fee to see the movie, why do I need to pay an extra fee to pick a seat? I don’t need to pay more money to look at the computer screen and pick a seat, I am already paying for a seat, just let me in the theater and I will find an open seat.
It is just silly. Even the workers at Ward Theater were stumped for conversation when we my wife asked them about it. Here is that conversation.
My Wife: What is this “reserved seating” thing you guys are doing?
Theater Ushers: it is something new we are trying, it helps when movies are crowded.
My Wife: Is it something you guys are going to start doing for all the movies here?
Theater Usher: Not sure yet, we have only been doing it for a couple of weeks. It helps when a movie is crowded.
My Wife: Why do we have to pay an extra fee on top of the ticket to pick a seat? Why can’t we just pay and come in and sit down as usual?
Theater Usher: It helps s sit people down and it helps when the movie is crowded.
My Wife: Yes, you have said that three times now. My question is why are you doing it? There are enough seats for everyone, if a show sells out, there will still be enough seats for everyone.
Theater Usher: Yes, your right, but it helps when the show is crowded.
My Wife: Seriously?? How exactly does it help?
Theater Usher: Ten seconds of silence…. Followed by, the show is going to be crowded, can I show you to your seat?
My Wife: No thanks, there are 300 seats in here, I can find one.
Theater Usher: Yes, but this is reserved seating, so I need to show you to the seats you picked, you don’t want to take anyone else’s seat.
My Wife: Seriously?
As you can see, this new “reserved seating” thing that Ward Theaters is doing did not go down well with my wife, and I have to be honest, I didn’t like it either. It is arguably one of the worst ideas that Consolidated Theaters at Ward has ever had. The employees have obviously been coached to say “it helps when the show is crowded.” Or something along those lines.
I can honestly say that I probably won’t go watch a movie at Ward Theaters for a while, at least not until they stop doing this “reserved seating” thing. We already pay enough for tickets, food and drink, there is no reason to tack on another fee and call it “reserved seating.”
We don’t need reserved seating at the movies. Let us buy our tickets at your horrible ticket prices, and let us go into the movie theater and pick our seats like we have been doing for our entire lives.
Ward Theaters “reserved seating.” A horrible idea!