While theaters where plays and operas are performed charge more for those at the front, movie theaters charge more for people at the back. I remember reading about a certain maid in a movie theater in England who made this suggestion but can't seem to find any proper nouns (her name or the movie theater).

  • 4
    This is strange for me. In Portugal, cinema seats are the same cost everywhere. If you could source your claim, it would help against down-voters.
    – BlueMoon93
    Apr 13, 2020 at 9:02
  • I think citation needed on this one. Of my local cinemas (Wales, UK) they either charge the same for all seats or have some luxury seats - more leg room, comfier seats - that cost more but location is not a factor. One I think charges less for some bean bags that are pretty much right under the screen.
    – Darren
    Apr 13, 2020 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


You're remembering nothing more than an urban myth. Couples seeking a discreet romantic liaison find a movie theatre appropriate for a variety of reasons.

  • It's dark so they are afforded a modicum of privacy. Even a young couple who left their children with a babysitter would be thankful for a little 'alone-with-you' time.
  • In the case of an amorous tryst, the couple can arrive and leave separately after spending some time together.
  • Adolescents under a curfew with no place of their own can meet under the innocent guise of seeing the film together while still satisfying their biological urges.
  • The rear seats have few or no people behind them and seats in front of them are facing forward so their amorous endeavours are not observed by others.

There was never one 'certain maid in a movie theater in England' who had the idea to charge more for the rear seats. This is just an anecdote describing what many disgruntled janitorial staff¹ have voiced over the years. If someone told you differently, then they're taking the piss.

These rear seats should be charged double for what I have to clean up after every show!

I could go on but I've run out of euphemisms for discrete copulation in a public place.

¹ AFAIK, there are no maids in movie theatres. While a full sanitizing of all public areas would be performed by dedicated professionals on a schedule, it is usually up to the ushers to ensure the theatre is tidied up between shows.


They charge more for the seats at the 'ideal viewing distance and angle'.
Those are usually in the middle these days - the rooms are designed that way so the best viewing distance is also the best listening balance. In the UK these days they are often designated as 'Pullman seats' [presumably after the old railway designation] and are usually larger, more comfortable and coloured differently to the regular seating.

The cynic in me says your story comes from the 50's, when the only place to take your girlfriend on a Saturday night was to the pictures.
The back row was particularly popular with these couples - and not because it offered the best view of the screen ;)

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