As a regular movie-goer, I am devoted to Vista for two reasons: they're within walking distance of the abode and, the point of this post, the viewing aspect ratio in their auditoriums is much better than at Major. The latter has a bum tendency to build its theater auditoriums wider than they are long, so that spectators are forced to scan the screen from side to side if they want to see the entire picture. A major pain in the neck, I tell ya! The only seats offering palpable aspect ratios are the last two rows at the back, seats which conveniently cost about one-fourth more than the already inflated standard. In other words, we've been duped! We have to pay a premium to enjoy a viewing aspect ratio that a well designed theater has for all seats, save for those way up front. But Thai movie fans are not the only ones getting swindled by a greedy theater chain.
Author Luke Holland has written a piece ("One man's rant: the soaring cost of going to the cinema") about how theater chains around the world are very slyly employing similar price gouging schemes; ones which entail actually detracting from the cinema experience rather then improving it. He cynically calls such practices 'Less-Product-For-The-Same-Price-Or-More-Product-For-A-Premium-Even-Though-You-Didn't-Ever-Want-It' (L.P.F.T.S.P.O.M.P.F.A.P.E.T.Y.D.E.W.I, ©). Here's an excerpt:
"The other day my missus and I decided to go and see Russell Brand being paid handsomely to pretend to be Russell Brand, but in a film, and we bought our tickets, a tub of popcorn and a fizzy beverage. Didn't see much change from twenty-five pounds, there, but no worry.Read the entire article here...
Then we go into the cinema and sit down, only to find the drinks holders have been surreptitiously removed since our last visit. Not only this, but either my legs are prone to spontaneous structural erections or there is decidedly less legroom than when I last visited not two weeks ago. It didn't take long to find out why.
The three rows in front of us have been refitted. "VIP SEATING", a sign says. Huge chairs that each take up the space of two original pauper stools, soft leather armrests with two drinks holders and a slot for popcorn. And, oh yes, there's all my legroom, right there billowing about in huge, superfluous clouds, as each and every one of these seats remained unoccupied for the entire duration of the film, while all the cheap seats (now sans legroom and holders) were filled with an increasingly exasperated gaggle of irate Northeners who'd just spilled another glug of icy Sprite right across their genitals.