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Which Seat Should You Pick at the Movie Theater?

When you walk into a theater, you’re probably still going to argue with your friends about which seat to pick. But now you know the right answer

(Roey Ahram)

Every Thanksgiving, Hollywood releases a handful of blockbusters. This year, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Frozen, Homefront and Oldboy are all waiting for you on the big screen. But if your Thanksgiving plans involve movie-going, what’s the best seat to pick in the theater?

As Holly Frey explains in this Brain Stuff video, these days theaters are pretty good at giving every seat a passable view. This wasn’t always the case. Theaters used to be build with a much smaller slope in the seating area, so you were simply sitting very slightly higher than the movie-goers in front of you, rather than in stadium seating. But as Frey points out, what you’re really worried about when you pick a seat isn’t the screen or the people in front of you—it’s the speakers.

According to Frey, the audio sweet spot is 2/3 back and in the middle. That’s where audio engineers sit to balance the sound, and where you’ll get the full effect of the chopper buzzing by or the building exploding.

Now, when you walk into a theater, you’re probably going to argue with your friends about which seat to pick. But now at least you’ve got some ammunition to convince your friends your choice is the best one.

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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