Thursday, February 16, 2023

Charging More for Good Seats

When people wait in line for something, that's an inefficiency in the economy. It's a cost the consumer pays that the seller doesn't profit from. 

One example is waiting in line for movies to try to get good seats. I remember waiting in line for two hours to see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in Seattle. I still got lousy seats because, apparently, I didn't start waiting in line early enough. 

My idea to reduce this inefficiency was have movie theaters charge more for opening days and then have the price of tickets reduced as the film was out more. That would mean people who really wanted to see it early would pay more to do so, and not have to wait in line as much if at all. 

Now, AMC Theaters is trying another idea: charge more for good seats.

This has met with universal derision on the news programs I've watched. Nobody seems to like this idea.

But I do. I'd gladly pay more for a good seat so I didn't have to wait in line for two or more hours. (Full: disclosure: the last time I waiting in line for a movie was Return of the King.) This would eliminate an inefficiency in the economy. To me it's a win-win. You don't want to pay more for a good seat,  you can sit in a not-so-good seat.

I would change this a bit, though. I would stop this pricing once the movie has been out for a while and there are no longer lines. When I show up for a movie and there's almost no one else there, I wouldn't want to pay more for a good seat.

What do you think of this idea? Good idea or bad? Let me know in the comments below.

(I put this under "science" because economics is called "the dismal science.")

1 comment:

  1. I like your idea even better of the cost going down past the release date. When I'd visit my sister in South Carolina, we would go to dollar movies...which were older movies with cheap tickets.

    I would also be fine with paying more for nicer seats. Or in my case because I am frugal, I'd be in the cheap seats. They need to do something or theaters will go the way of the drive-in...with no one missing them until they are gone.