Is the cost of movie tickets too high? AMC Theatres is hoping to change the way we think about movie pricing with their new Sightline program.
The Sightline program, set to be implemented at certain theaters in New York, Chicago, and Kansas City on Friday, is a three-tier pricing system that will charge more for better seats at the movies. The Preferred Sightline will include the most expensive and popular middle seats, the Value Sightline will be offered at a cheaper price for wheelchair-accessible seating and the front row, and the Standard Sightline will cover all other seats in the theater.
The new pricing structure has been met with a lot of criticism, including from celebrities like Elijah Wood and Seth Green. Wood tweeted, “The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all. This new initiative by AMC Theatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.” Green echoed this sentiment, writing, “This is absurdly stupid & only creates unnecessary classism. [AMCTheatres] clearly focused on squeezing new profits anywhere possible. Trying to get people back into theaters? Don’t penalize folks with less to spend.”
However, AMC Stubs A-List loyalty program members won’t be charged extra for Preferred Sightline seating, plus they’ll get a discount on Value Sightline seating. Plus, the new pricing initiative won’t affect Discount Tuesdays, where all seats are $5.
Many social media users have argued that AMC is following standards previously established in similar industries. One person replied to Wood’s tweet, “Wait till you hear about broadway theatres, concert venues, and just about every entertainment hall. What they’re doing isn’t anything new.”
AMC Theatres is hoping to give moviegoers more control over their experience with the Sightline program, but the jury is still out on whether or not the new pricing structure is fair for everyone.