Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Poll: What’s on Wayne - is allocated seating at Cineworld Ipswich a good idea or a bad move?

13:06 29 July 2014

Cineworld in Ipswich

Cineworld in Ipswich

Archant

Allocated seats? No thanks say Cineworld customers.

shares

The chain says the move, introduced a few months back, offers advance bookers peace of mind because they can arrive knowing their preferred seats are reserved.

Not good if you’re a spur of the moment type of cinema-goer like Ashley Maw who had an unlimited card for years but tells me: “It’s hassle having to plan when I enjoy just turning up.”

Asking what you thought of allocated seating - dubbed allo-hated seating by one person - only one of you Tweeted in favour of it.

David McAusland was just one person calling for it be scrapped immediately, going as far as saying: “I now feel unwelcome in my local cinema.”

However, a Cineworld spokesperson says the decision to introduce allocated seating was made following extensive consultation with cinema users.

“While we recognise this has not been a popular decision with some customers, the overall and majority of feedback from customers visiting our cinemas has been positive.”

Many of you though felt the chain was reluctant to listen and share evidence showing support for the switch, accusing it of having a policy of not recording social media feedback.

Chris Rand writes: “Management had a choice to acknowledge the massive objections or get defensive. Sadly they’ve chosen the latter path.”

Some of you, like Teresa Chandler, thought it was a good idea in principle but adds: “Not so great in practice when people ignore their allocation and sit anywhere.”

I just about remember the days of cinema ushers who policed the aisles with nothing but a tiny torch and a steely glare. Perhaps we need them back? The last time I politely told somebody they were in my seat the response would’ve made Quentin Tarantino blush.

Neil Marwood raised a good point, writing: “When buying a ticket you can’t see where the seat is, you only get told the area it’s in.”

Clearer info than “back, middle or front” would help. I know where I like to sit in the IMAX screen so I don’t leave with my eyes and ears bleeding but I haven’t memorised the lay-out of the rest.

Some subtle stair lighting would help those who come in after the lights go out too.

A lot of you just didn’t like the fact you couldn’t choose where you can sit or who you’re sat with. It’s that feeling of when the house next door goes up for sale, who knows who’ll move in?

Personally, I don’t see the point of a dozen people forced to huddle together surrounded by space you could stretch out in either; although there’s nothing to stop you moving once it’s obvious row q isn’t filling up any time soon.

Long-term unlimited cardholders were particularly unhappy. Several were rethinking renewing, adding if another chain ran a similar monthly scheme they’d jump ship.

Cassandra Holmes writes: “I hate it (allocated seating) so much I no longer recommend the unlimited card to people.”

Playing devil’s advocate, you seem to agree allocated seating is understandable for IMAX screenings and other new films if it’s supported correctly and if it’s relaxed after a week.

It does benefit families and those who can’t arrive early enough to get their favourite spot. There’s nothing worse than being disrupted by late-comers stood in the stairwell or mid-row looking for somewhere to sit after the film has started.

“It also means groups can ensure they sit together and customers can choose where they sit when booking online or in person,” says the Cineworld spokesperson.

Take heart allocated seating objectors, the spokesperson adds: “We are aware of the problems which some of our customers have experienced so far and are currently working on solutions to resolve these. We are, and will continue to listen to customer feedback and investigate how we can ensure we improve customers’ experiences when booking seats.”

For the full Twitter conversation thread follow @WhatsonWayne.

shares

7 comments

  • As a training TV and film Producer, I have to disagree with the decision to allocate people seats. The whole point of films and cinemas is to allow people the chance to escape. All films regardless of their genre are designed to allow their audiences a chance to get away from the lives they have. 2 and a half hours of horror, fantasy, rom-coms or action are there to entertain. However the notion of allocating seats takes away that freedom, having the choice of where to sit without having to book or plan it is much easier. I fear that allocating seats may have an influence on the numbers of those who visit the cinema. This will damage showings and effect the filmmakers. For cultural reasons I would have to say this is a bad move on Cineworld's behalf.

    Report this comment

    CharlotteB

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • In a theatre yes people expect it and stick rigidly to their seats and they usually have enough staff to show you to your seat. In a cinema no it is not a good idea as it is generally to dark to see the numbers and nobody available to show you. Also people are used to sitting anywhere and will do so and would be unwilling to move. You get a different type of audience in the theatre and cinema it just will not work. Bad idea.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • I'm not fussed, but what I have noticed is that the seating plan on the online booking screen bears little resemblance to the actual layout, so you have gone to the trouble of booking a seat that is nowhere near where you expected

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • Totally against, I like the freedom to get up and get away from those fools who sit and snuffle and crunch their way through snacks.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • Seems a bit pointless to allocate seating if there are no staff to enforce it or if the cinema isn't full. However I don't think it's any big deal: theatre tickets are nearly always allocated, and I've certainly been in cinemas on the Continent where this is usual practice.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • I agree with all the negative comments here; the system simply does not work and is counter-productive. It serves no constructive purpose and should be scrapped. But my main issue with this article is that you are criticising a business when you do NOT allow criticism of your own business. Those of us who try to tell you via these comments' pages what we think about your problems are censored; did you give Cineworld the option of censoring this article or any of the comments? I doubt it. So really, 'people in glass houses etc.' .... when you are willing to allow polls on your own business (although I expect they will be 'adapted' to fit your intended results!) then start asking your readers to answer polls on other businesses. if you can't take it then don't give it out.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • There are bigger issues involved, what a shame you didn't bother to check those out. https:www.facebook.comNoAllocatedSeating

    Report this comment

    Say No To Allocated Seating at Cineworld

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Andrew Fleming, playing Wishee Washee in Enchanted Entertainment's 2015 pantomime Aladdin

Impressionist Andrew Fleming’s Britain’s Got Talent dream may be over, but he’ll be back to wow Ipswich audiences this Christmas.

John Barrowman, coming to the Ipswich Regent Tuesday

Stage and screen star John Barrowman talks to entertainment writer Wayne Savage about what’s wrong with Saturday night telly, Captain Jack Harkness’ return and why he has the best fans in the world.

The company of Slice of Saturday Night

There was an Emile Zola quote on the front of the programme for West Suffolk College’s production of 60s musical, A Slice of Saturday Night: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Sunset Boulevard Publicity Photos
Please note all rights remain with the Photographer b

Sunset Boulevard is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest pieces of musical theatre.

The Business of Murder by Richard Harris at the New Wolsey Theatre Joanna Higson and Paul Opacic as Dee and Detective Superintendent Hallett with Robert Gwilym as the strange and creepy Mr Stone.

Set in a London bedsit during the early eighties Richard Harris’s psychological thriller gets off to a slow and somewhat plodding start.

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society stage Sunset Boulevard at the Ipswich Regent this week. Photos: Lucy Taylor

Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society turned 60 this year. Unlike the subject of its latest production, Sunset Boulevard, its star shows no sign of fading. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage talks to director and choreographer Mark Connell.

Frozen Light, in association with The New Wolsey Theatre, present The Forest - a multi-sensory adventure for teenagers and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their companions. 
Al Watts, Amber Onat Gregory and Lucy Garland. Photos: Lucy Taylor

Theatre company Frozen Light invites teenagers and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities to join them on a mythical quest, with a bit of an unusual romance thrown in. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage talks to co-artistic director Amber Onat Gregory and even gets serenaded.

Bromance, a circus-skills performnace that opens this year's Pulse theatre festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Pulse, the New Wolsey Theatre’s annual celebration of inventive fringe theatre, is launched onto the world at the end of the month in a blur of limbs and inspired thoughts – some of which may have escaped from wartime codebreaking HQ Bletchley Park.

George Monbiot will be appearing at the Suffolk Festival of Ideas.

The inaugural Suffolk Festival of Ideas is set to launch in Bury St Edmunds tonight ahead of a weekend of performances, talks, debates and film screenings.

NRG Theatres’ artist director, Vince Rayner, with Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, NRG Theatres’ chief executive, Ray Anderson, and Suffolk Coastal’s Leader, Cllr Ray Herring.

Community leaders have explained the rationale behind the decision to sell a seaside theatre for £1.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages