There’s a wide variety of seating quality, I’m not going to dispute that. I’ve led with a photo of London’s Electric Cinema, and though I haven’t been there, there are plenty which are similar around this town, obviously in the more affluent areas. I’ve even been to some, and enjoyed the comfort and quality (if not the price: that’s a whole other post).
However, whatever the quality of the seating (and for the most part there never feels like there’s enough legroom), you probably have a preference over where to sit in the auditorium. I never quite get why some people, having paid the increasingly ridiculous sums of money required and cleared out their evenings to enjoy a movie in the cinema, would want to sit near the back. Surely it just reduces the whole experience to something akin to TV but with more people between you and the screen?
I admit, some films demand a bit of distance. I found myself feeling a little too close to Now You See Me, if only because that film seemed to use a lot of swiftly-moving camera set-ups and close-ups on faces (it got a bit dizzying). Some cinemas also have the front rows practically under the screen, and if you’re having to crane your neck back to see, that can get unpleasant. And if there are subtitles, it can help to be a bit further back so you don’t have to move your eyes around too much (yet always trying to avoid having anyone’s head in your way in those cases).
But personally I like to have as few people as possible between me and the film; my ideal is centre of the third row (depending on the auditorium; I’d estimate I prefer around three metres from the screen). Mostly it’s just a matter of wanting to get lost in the entertainment. But does it matter, or am I just being superstitious?