The weekend is finally upon us, which means that millions of moviegoers around the world will be heading to their local multiplexes to see the latest cinematic offerings. While some may have their favorite spots to sit in at their local theater, some new details have surfaced that could make your movie-going experience so much better. Steve Martz, director of global technology at the audio company THX, reveals the absolute best place to sit in any movie theater, and reveals why.
Vulture caught up with Steve Martz for a new series they call "Vulture Hacks," which provides "expert advice" on how to "maximize your entertainment experience." Steve Martz reveals that the best place to sit in any movie theater is roughly "two thirds of the way back, as close to the center as possible." This location is based on how sound engineers calibrate the sound, with measurements taken at several different locations in each theater, which are "averaged together in order to better evaluate what each person hears when they are watching a movie." Here's what Steve Martz had to say below.
"THX designs every seat to be a good seat, but most people would do well to sit near the primary microphone position. And then spread out to other areas as the cinema gets full."
The "bundle of microphones" includes a primary mic that sets playback levels and other measurements. Martz adds that the best way to explore other areas is to grab a seat near the center of a row, and then move down each row getting closer to the movie screen. Moving towards the screen, instead of towards the back of the theater, "increases your horizontal viewing angle," and also "essentially increases your peripheral vision." He does add, though, that if your theater has been upgraded with new sound technology, you won't necessarily have to find this elusive perfect set, because the sound system is designed to deliver sound to each seat evenly, and THX technicians regularly tune each theater. Here's' what Steve Martz had to say below.
"In good theaters, no matter the size or seating configuration, moviegoers should enjoy a good presentation."
IMAX theaters feature permanent microphones that automatically calibrate the theater's sound every day, along with "laser-aligned loudspeakers" that "distribute equal volume to almost every seat." However, if your local theater doesn't have a sophisticated audio system upgrade, the best seat in the house will in fact be two-thirds back, as close to the center as possible. Still, it certainly won't hurt to sit two-thirds back in the center even at your high-tech movie theater. Perhaps this section of theaters around the country will start to fill up first from now on.