Yesterday I went to the movies to see the Dark Knight Rises. At the ticket desk I had a weird dilema; in England you buy assigned seats in the movie theater, not just tickets. In order to sit with your friends, you must make sure you all buy seats together. For an extra 1.60, you can upgrade to premium seats, which look a bit more comfortable than the regular priced seats. The premium seats are positioned for most optimal screen viewing. I understand the principle of buying preassigned seats; often groups of people sit with gaps in between them in order to avoid sitting next to strangers, making it difficult to find seating in very full theaters, like one would expect to encounter in the early days of the release of the Dark Knight Rises. Yet it was weird having to sit right next to a stranger when there were plenty of open seats that had not been purchased in the movie theater.
I found the phenomenon of buying assigned seats in a movie theater very interesting because I have never encountered this in America before. However, I have only ever been to movie theaters in Alabama and Georgia. Has anyone experienced this in America? Would you pay extra to make sure you got a premium seat in America?