Theater Chains Upgrade To Attract Homebodies

Photo by Topher Forhecz

Photo by Topher Forhecz

Versions of this story appeared on WYNC and NPR

AMC Theatres is trying to bring more customers to their locations with one thing that living rooms at home have always had cornered: comfort.

The company is installing large, leather seats that recline with the push of a button in theaters across the country.

The move comes as movie attendance is sliding downwards, especially amongst younger audiences. As those numbers decline, AMC is taking a calculated risk. The seats are comfier but there are fewer of them in each theater, according to spokesperson Ryan Noonan.

“We reduce seat count anywhere from 50 to 70 percent,” he said, depending on the size of the auditorium

In Manhattan, AMC’s location on West 84th St. was renovated this summer. By the end of the summer, 25 theaters across the country featured the new seats.

The company plans to spend $600 million on converting more theaters over the next five years.

Other theater chains like Regal Cinemas has also installed more comfortable seating in California, Colorado and Georgia.