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Lord of the Rings Star Elijah Wood Blasts AMC Theatres for Discriminatory Tier-Based Seat Assignment Policy: ‘Essentially penalizing people for lower income’

Lord of the Rings Star Elijah Wood Blasts AMC Theatres for Discriminatory Tier-Based Seat Assignment Policy: 'Essentially penalizing people for lower income'

When the weight of the industry staggered under the mounting losses of the pandemic, stars and invested netizens concerned for the survival of the theatres had spoken out in multitudes. Now, Elijah Wood, the famed hero of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, does so once again to save the moviehouses from becoming a space marked by socio-economic barriers.

A new regulation announced on Monday [February 6, 2023] by AMC Investor Relations looks to establish a new hierarchical system within the company’s theatres – a formative step that, if successful, will be the harbinger of further social divisions in time to come.

AMC institutes a new tier-based pricing model
AMC institutes a new tier-based pricing model

Also read: “Nothing beats the shared experience of being in a theater”: Kevin Feige Begrudgingly Accepts Cinema Needs Theaters After Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2 Saved Industry With Flying Colors

AMC Institutes a New Tier-Based Ticket Price Model

AMC – the world’s largest theatre chain – has now issued a new regulation that looks to strip away all of those factors that make the theatre a place people want to revisit on weekends and holidays. This new stipulation seeks to establish a model of seating arrangement that will divide up the entire map of the auditorium into three categories – “Standard Sightline,” “Value Sightline,” and “Preferred Sightline.” The tiers will outline the prices of tickets based on the seat locations made available at the time of the purchase. But there’s more.

The theatre scene is set to change following new AMC model
AMC theatre

Also read: 21 Movie Theater Moments That Made People Audibly React

While the existing system allows viewers to purchase a seat from a uniformly distributed array within the auditorium, AMC’s stringent new system will divide up the entire theatre into 3 sections – the seats that are placed on the lowest sections closest to the screen, i.e. the “value” tier will be cheaper while the middle and upper sections with the most preferred sightlines will cost higher. This not only incites the audience into opting for front-row seats, for the lack of a better option but institutes, as Elijah Wood has succinctly pointed out, a socio-economic barrier the moment one steps inside a theatre.

Eliot Hamlisch, AMC’s chief marketing officer, said that the policy intends to deliver “experience-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies.” However, these new regulations will only apply to showtimes after 4 p.m. and not be applied on Discount Tuesdays when all ticket prices are lowered to $5.

Elijah Wood Speaks Out Against AMC’s New Regulations

Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood

Also read: ‘You are all welcome here’: Original Lord of the Rings Actor Elijah Wood Decimates Racists Claiming The Rings of Power Failed Because of ‘Go woke, go broke’

The theatre has never been a space of hostility and class barriers, but rather a packed space where its constituent members, irrespective of their identities, are bound for a span of 2 hours in their unified love for the story that plays out in front of their eyes. This shared experience speaks to the incredible authenticity of the movie industry, in its success in bringing love, joy, and entertainment to its audience. Theatres have been the space that harbors and nurtures relationships just as much on the screen as in the closely bound seats of its auditorium.

On Twitter, Lord of the Rings actor, Elijah Wood has been among the first to speak out against AMC’s new initiative, and as such, has made clear his sentiments regarding the new tier-based policy of its theatres.

The company’s acquisition of Europes’s largest theatre chain, Odeon, and UCI Cinemas back in 2016 has increased AMC’s standing to the largest theatre chain in the world. Currently, it operates out of 8 countries all around the globe. Currently, the new system has already been laid out in theatres in Kansas City, NYC, and Chicago. By the end of 2023, this new policy snobbishly titled, Sightline at AMC, will roll out for nearly 1,000 AMC theatres located all over the US.

Source: Elijah Wood

Written by Diya Majumdar

It's 2023 and Diya Majumdar's social life is defined by a 365-day binge-marathon of films and television shows. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, she now has more than 1000 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and hardly anything fascinates her more than painting exact replicas of all their troubled works – in oil, of course.