AMC Theatres’ 3-tiered system that would charge moviegoers extra for better seats is getting walked back after competitors failed to hop on board with the plan.
The company announced Thursday that it will abandon the controversial pilot program implemented in three locations in the coming weeks and keep prices the same for all seats at the cinema to keep prices competitive with rival companies.
The plan, first announced in February, will not be rolled out nationwide as initially speculated.
AMC THEATRES GETTING PUMMELED FOR THEIR 3-TIER SEAT PRICING: ‘CORPORATE GREED’
“To ensure AMC’s ticket prices remain competitive, the Sightline at AMC pilot program will come to an end at participating locations in the coming weeks, and the initiative will not roll out nationwide,” a statement from the company read.
The Associated Press reported the chain instead has plans to create a more relaxing moviegoing experience for anyone headed to theaters to catch a new flick, eyeing more spacious and reclining front row seats at some U.S. locations.
The outlet also reported the chain saw little change in moviegoers’ seat preferences at the three locations testing the tiered seating, writing that “three out of every four guests who previously sat in the preferred sightline section continued to choose seats in that section, even with a slight up-charge.”
TEXAS MOVIE THEATER WORKER BECOMES ONLINE STAR FOR HIS POPCORN-SPINNING SKILLS: ‘LOVE MY JOB’
The locations did not see an uptick in the number of people buying cheaper front row seat tickets.
The plan that proposed an upcharge for seats in the middle of the theater with lower costs for those near the front caught flak from customers and stars alike, with some slamming the rollout as a “perfect example of corporate greed” shortly after the chain’s announcement earlier this year.
Actor Elijah Wood joined in the criticism chorus, blasting the move tweeting that the change would “penalize” lower income moviegoers.
“The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income,” he wrote.
AMC’S NEW SEATING PRICE ARRANGEMENT DRAWS OUTRAGE: ‘NOBODY WANTS TO GO BACK ANYWAY!’
Actor and director Stephen Ford chimed in with, “Me: An avid movie theater go-er. Me now: You know what waiting for streaming ain’t that bad.”
Others, like NPR and PBS correspondent Ian Saint were concerned that rolling out the plan would pose new challenges for AMC employees left to enforce the policy.
“I’m also thinking about the exhausted low-wage employees who will be tasked with trying to enforce this new tier-priced seat assignment policy,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read the full article here