Where’s the Best Place to Sit in a Movie Theater?

I’m Holly Frey, and I absolutely
love the moviegoing experience.
But I have often experienced
that awkward moment
when you walk into the
movies with friends
and you all kind of have a quick
discussion that can sometimes
get heated about where you want
to sit down to watch the film.
Everybody has their preference.
Some people like the
sit towards the front,
some people towards the back.
Like, I like to be a
little closer to the front,
because I don’t want to
watch people coming and going
when they get up to
go to the bathroom
in the middle of the movie.
The good news is that
most modern theaters
are built in such a way
that almost anywhere you
sit you’re going to have
a pretty good experience.
And it actually starts
with the seating,
because it’s a way more
plush than it used to be.
If you go to an older or a
discount theater sometimes,
you’ll still feel the
hard seats that fold down,
and they’re just not
super comfortable to spend
two hours in.
But most modern theaters
have really plush seats.
The backs are higher.
The armrests can
fold down or up.
You have all of your
accoutrement arrangements
sitting there so you
can put your cup there.
Some even have trays
that slide out.
Stadium seating has
really changed things.
Because theatres used to be
built with a grade of about 15
degrees from the front to the
back to theoretically give you
a good view over the
heads of other viewers.
But now it’s
actually terraced so
that it’s a rise of about
12 to 15 inches per row.
So no matter how many fools
are coming in your theater
and sitting with giant hats or
big hairdos in front of you,
you’re still going to be
able to see pretty well.
But aside from comfort,
the really big thing
that you want to take into
consideration is the sound.
We live in a time
when theater sound
has been amped up to
super digital magic.
Really the best place is
going to be about two-thirds
back from the front
and towards the middle.
The sound engineers that
balance out a theater
will sit in that position and
they’ll balance out everything
from that spot.
So that if you’re sitting right
there, it’s completely balanced
and you almost get
a neutral sound.
But if you shift just a
seat or two left or right,
you’re actually going to get
a more dynamic stereo sound.
But if you just want to
sit wherever you want,
that’s cool, but just
know you might not
be getting the best
possible sound experience.
So pick your seat.
Don’t pick your friend’s seat.
And have a great
time at the movies.
Feel free to leave a
comment or subscribe just
by clicking below
and doing your thing.

100 thoughts on “Where’s the Best Place to Sit in a Movie Theater?

  1. Had to give up movies, mostly begause of deficiency of my hearing as age increased. Theater sound became simultaneously too loud, painfully so, and unintelligible. It's like someone ramped up the background soundtrack and reduced the speech track. When i rent a DVD, always hae to turn captioning on. If therr was a theater complex that displayed captions, I would try it.

  2. Just tell me where the sound is going to be the best, and from where would the viewing angle be most comfortable. How hard is that..

  3. In theaters with a small area close to the screen in front of the side entrance, and then seating behind a sort of promenade to the back, I generally sit in the front row behind the entrance promenade as close to the center as I can. I get excellent legroom, it's near the center of the room, and very few people actually pass by during the movie.

  4. I use to sit in the very back but the screen's small so i decided to sit in the very front one time and i actually liked it because theres no one in front of you and i can rest my feets on the bars. But i will try the dead center the next time i go see a movie.

  5. I am a 'Stuff you missed in history class' listener and it was really fun to watch you speak Holly. I wish I could search for videos by presenter. I just love your style.

  6. The best seat in the house is, well, IN THE HOUSE! With the DVD/BluRay. That way, you can PAUSE the movie at any time to get up and go to the bathroom or whatever and not miss anything. Costs about the same too after you factor in a drink and snack…

  7. Actually, the same goes for concert sound. You may see them better in the front row, but the best sound is right in front of the FOH guy ("front of house" guy, aka the sound man). They use white noise, microphones, and a computer algorithm to balance it for that particular spot.

  8. I usually if its a 3d movie choose the left or right side because in middle you can't see very good the 3d effect.

  9. AMC theaters (at least the ones near me) have electronically reclining seats that go from sitting straight up to almost flat back with leg rests. Super comfy.
    You have to choose your seats at the register first though. You can't just walk in and sit wherever like a normal theater.

  10. I can answer this without even watching, 6 rows up from the front and center is the sweet spot. If it's not, then the sound system was not set up right.

  11. In my local theater I like the top row center. Its a smallish theater so the sound is good any where. Plus the chairs recline and have foot rests. Very comfortable and the view is awesome.

  12. I am booking for 'kong: skull island', and I don't want to compromise anything, and with your advice now I can choose the best seat for me, thank you BrainStuff – HowStuffWorks .

  13. i always sit in front i look up with pillow around my neck and it works gonna go movie theater on tuesday to watch despicable me 3 thanks for the help

  14. This is an interesting one! My main priority in the movie theater is to choose the ideal seat which gives me the best audio visual experience, the same as I would with my own home theater. I always try to sit towards the center of the screen so that the left and right audio is balanced. As of which row I sit on, I normally aim for the middle too, however I find that the smack bang in the middle two rows are where the VIP/Premier seats are, which I purposely choose not to sit as I cannot justify the extra cost for the small benefits that they have over the Standard seating, so I normally choose the row that is either in front of behind the two VIP/Premier rows.

    I find that sitting in the seats that I have described above gives me the best experience for the audio portion of the movie and the 3D in applicable theaters (as for IMAX, I am not too sure as I have never been to an IMAX theater, however I would guess the same applies here). I don't like sitting towards the rear of movie theaters because that is normally where the big bunches of noisy teens sit and the occasional fight can kick off, where as I equally don't like sitting towards the front as I find myself having to have my head tilted up, thus causing neck strain and most theaters screen their movies using 2K Digital Projectors (which is 1080p in a nutshell), so it makes such good films look like trash from a visual perspective.

    Hope this helps many of you guys out! 🙂

  15. You didnt even answer the question because you did not tell us where to sit and how are supposed to know exactly where to sit.Just saying that kind of doesnt help because you did not answer the question that you were answering so it kind of does not make sence I am probably confusing you and you probably do not get a single thing I am saying.But what I am saying is that you didnt even answer the question .Just saying the back is the best because you can see the screen perfectly and no one is in your way cause if your at the front half of the theater you are gonna be way way to close so yeh. By the way your shirt is amazing also sorry tor this long comment I just had a load of stuff to say to you about that video you made so yeah thats all i am gonna say.

  16. Frequenting movie theaters truly is your first passion !😊 How much I have enjoyed this video ! Madam, you truly are following your fate when you talk of such matters that are so entirely yourself as this topic !😊 You have proved by this very video that there is such a thing as following your fate or your destiny, and, especially, that one can be inbelievably, ineffably good when he or she is treating of subjects that are so himself or herself !😁 A thousand thanks and bravos !😊 And pray keep treating of subjects that are so yourself !😁

  17. I'm very particular where I sit. I sit in the same seat every time. it has to be the exact center of the curve of the row of seats. Although with Dolby Cinema the row isn't curved.

  18. I always thought the dead middle because you are not too close to the screen and not too far, and you are not too far on one side and you aren’t too far on the other side

  19. Asshole that set behind me at the last movie snored the entire film and woke up last 5 minutes what a jackass ! Slept thru an action movie ! Should have stayed home probably afraid his girlfriend would screw around on him!

  20. I sat in the exact middle of a vmax theater with dolby atmos sound, it was SEAT SHAKING, I ACTUALLY FELL OFF MY SEAT!

  21. My movie theater has recliners so there are less seats available. People often arrive extremely early just to save a seat. I'm going to the movies today and we are gonna be one on the first groups of people to get there. Even before the previews start lol

  22. Image at 1:40 shows a 14 row theatre. 2/3 of 14 is 9.3. Wouldn't the best seat be the middle two of the ninth or even eighth row??

  23. I’m Arabic and I’ve experienced movie theater or cinema once and it was good but when I watch a video about it I see a lot of comments talking about annoying and disturbing people is it true ? And why don’t you fight or ask security or something I surly won’t take it for a whole two hours even if he’s a big guy

  24. I'm surprised the question didn't arise regarding picture distortion. If I'm sitting closer, then I want to be more toward the middle. If I'm off to the side, I'd prefer to sit further back. Sitting too close and to the side often leaves a very distorted view of the screen, especially in bigger theaters. Then there is the question of whether it's better to be more to the left or the right. I have found that I tend to gravitate more toward the left side of the auditorium because action tends to move from left to right. Again, it doesn't matter so much if I'm further back. Just kind of funny how perception can really effect how a film is perceived.

    As for this video, it seems like the ideal solution is directly in the middle, at least for sound. As for distance, I prefer to see all of the screen from where I am sitting but I don't like to be so far away that the screen feels distant. I've become less picky over the years, but I used to really care where I sat! Now I just find a spot that is easy to see the everything from without feeling extremely close or far away.

  25. Wow ig my theaters modern then we have cup holders and the chairs are recliners u can lay all the way back if u want and u have to choose your seats online or before u get your tickets and anywhere u sit u get a pretty good view ig

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