Movie Theater Seats Have Expanded Drastically Over The Last 20 Years

A Message To The People Of The United States: We are fat. The obesity statistics in America have been increasing for years now thanks to our collective bad eating habits and lack of exercise. Naturally, the fatter we get the more changes are needed in public areas to accommodate. One example of this is movie theaters.

The Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting a study from a company called Theatre Projects Consultants that the average size of movie seats has grown considerably over the last 20 years to adjust for expanding waistlines. According to the report, the average movie theater in 1990 had seats that were 20" wide and had 33" of separation between it and the seat in front of it. Compare this to seats in 2010, which are averaged at 23" wide and have 38" of space. While this might not seem like much, sit down and put a ruler perpendicular to your body. Now imagine that your ass expanded to that width. It's not a good thing.

One could make the argument that the average has gone up because of comfort levels rather than weight gain, but not only are the two related but theaters want to pack as many people as they can into every screening. If you have a row of 20 seats and expand each seat by three inches, you lose three seats in every row. If said theater has 50 rows and charges the average $7.50 that each ticket costs, that's the theater dumping $1,125 down the drain per screening. And that money adds up quickly. There is a plus side in this for all the movie theaters out there, however: fat people love concession stands.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.