Seating

How Can UK Cinemas Do Better?

A Finnkino Auditorium

As UK cinemas attempt to get more punters through the door and maximise the spend of each cinemagoer, with gimmicks such as premium seating, 3D and allocated seats, I'm going to look at what     I would like to see from a cinema, and what would get me going week after week.

1. Auditorium Layout

I'm not a fan of stadium seating, unless it's done well.  Finnkino, a Nordic cinema operator get the thumbs up from me on their seating layouts.  While they are stadium arrangements (I've visited their Tennispalatsi, Kinopalatsi, Plevna and Plaza sites), there isn't a bad seat in the house as the steps raise each row enough so that the person in front doesn't detract from the view.  Furthermore, Finnkino seem to have actively acknowledged that no-one wants to sit at the front and leave a respectable gap between the front row and the screen.

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Allocated Seating: Cinema Alternatives?

A digital projector

As the customer backlash over Allocated Seating at Cineworld continues, I thought I'd try my luck at the Empire Cinema in Swindon last night.  

Swindon is a strange town cinematically; when I moved down here in 2000 I used to go to Virgin Cinema, subsequently the UGC in West Swindon as opposed to the Cineworld at Greenbridge.  As a UGC unlimited card holder I used to consume a fair few films, but drew that to a close after a few service issues and started going to Cineworld.  Cineworld later took over the UGC chain which left them in the unusual position of having two cinemas in the town, and ultimately being the only cinema operator here.  Due to our Fair Trading Laws, Cineworld were compelled to sell one of the cinemas to open up competition, however in what I felt was a surprise move, they kept the former UGC location and sold the Greenbridge cinema they custom built and fitted in 1999 to Empire Cinemas.

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