Originally Posted by Run&Gun
Well... The seats may be fixed in place, but there is a huge range of seats and seating/viewing distances available in your average commercial theater. I'd say the average theater at my 'multi-plex' has at least 15 rows of seats if not more.
And I agree that you should sit where you feel comfortable and looks the best to you.
You are correct there is a wide range of immersion choices in commercial theaters and the most common seats filled run between 2X and 3X the screen height. I tend to disregard the people that like the back row at maybe 3.5X because I think they sit back there for other reasons besides just immersion desires. Same with kids mostly sitting in the very front row once in a while testing out max immersion idea.
I often see a group of 2-4 or so people having a mini conference stopping part way up the stairs. One of them likely liking the closer seats but giving into the groups wishes. Sometimes late comers find their perfect seating location full and thinking closer or farther or more off to the side. I think most people would take back some rather than closer or way off to the sides.
All this is the reason I made my single row HT / Media Room variable immersion. I have one row of seats that do not move but Zoom is the great equalizer in a small space. I have virtual row seating and I can place myself and my guests anyplace any row from 2X to 3.5X in less than 5 seconds, and IMAX up to 1.5X.
When my sister and her husband come over for movie night I might personally like 2X for a given movie, but I know from many years of going to movies with them they like 3X plus. They also don’t like reference level sound and if it is an action movie my subs are a little much for them. They like a passive movie going experience we do enjoy their company so just like if we went to a commercial movie with them we would sit back a ways. On the other hand my nephew loves the full on IMAX experience I can produce he loves the audio full on also. So if it is an IMAX movie like Dunkirk we buckle in and let the immersion fly.
Projectors have one feature TV will never have and that is the Zoom feature, but most people don’t fully enjoy its capabilities.