We grieve the loss of in-flight dining, blankets, pillows, friendly airline staff, and, of course, legroom. We also grieved the loss of movie theaters, for the loss of big screens, for the loss of a reasonably priced ticket . . . and for the loss of legroom. Yes, toward the tail end of the 20th century, movie theaters became a heck of a lot like airliners: cramped, narrow seats jammed into rooms with tiny screens. Our knees were in our throats. Our neighbors were all up in our faces. In an effort to save money, theater owners had decided to do the one thing that would guarantee their demise: mistreat their customers. Then the tide began to turn. Which brings us to the present-day AMC 84th Street 6, which boasts wide, plush, fully reclining seats with legroom to spare, even for lanky dorks like us. Ensconced in these seats, with a tub o’ popcorn in our lap and a colossal soft drink lodged securely in our beverage holder, we feel not a little like a Wall Street macher, as the lights dim in our own private screening room.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013