Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood is speaking out against AMC Theatres’ new ticket price change that introduces a system that charges more for the best middle-row seats.
“The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income,” Wood said in a tweet on Monday.
What’s Changed With AMC Ticket Prices?
This week, AMC introduced a new ticketing initiative called Sightline, which upcharges for those lucrative middle-row seats — now called the “Preferred Sightline Section” — and discounts less-desirable seats in the front row, which it calls the “Value Sightline Section.” The rest of the theater, including the back section, is referred to as the “Standard Sightline Section” and will be priced as usual.
In AMC Theatres’ announcement on its website, the theater chain described the move as a “value-based program” that will give movie goers more seating options depending on preference.
“We’re excited to introduce Sightline at AMC, a value-based program that provides moviegoers with multiple seating options to meet their viewing preferences. Now, you can choose to reserve seats in our Standard Sightline Section or see the same movie for less in our Value Sightline Section (front rows). For the best viewing experience, upgrade to our Preferred Sightline Section (mid-center rows).”
However, there are some exceptions to the new rules, which will begin rolling out on Friday at select theaters in New York, Kansas City, and Chicago, according to Vulture. AMC Stubs A-List members can sit in the middle row at no extra charge, except for specific showtimes that don’t give priority to A-List members.
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Also, the Sightline system only applies to movies after 4 p.m. and won’t be in effect on Tuesdays, which is when AMC offers discounted $5 showings.
AMC Theatres executive Eliot Hamlisch defended the new system, calling Sightline “experienced-based pricing.”
“Sightline at AMC more closely aligns AMC’s seat pricing approach to that of many other entertainment venues, offering experienced-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies,” Hamlisch said in a statement.
“While every seat at AMC delivers an amazing moviegoing experience, we know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing. Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience, so that every trip to an AMC is a great one.”
See Wood’s full tweet below.
Main Image: Elijah Wood in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring courtesy of New Line Productions