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Moving Theatre Seats

101 replies

Sorrythatsjustmybrain · 29/09/2022 22:38

Okay I'm prepared to be flamed but otherwise I'm going to be thinking about for the rest of time, so I need some opinions!

Went to the theatre the other day, and noticed the seats were really squashed together (not my specific AIBU but a good topic itself!).

I sat next to a lady and we were immediately touching. There were quite a few empty seats as it was not a well known show. The lady seemed friendly enough and I said if no one sat next to us on the other side, we'd move up to give the two couples more room. She agreed and laughed - all fine!

During the interval I realised that next to that couple were 4 empty seats, whereas on the other side of us all seats were full and again my DP was sat basically on top of the poor woman next to him. The lady went to the toilets and I asked her husband if he would move up a couple of seats so we could spread out and all have a bit more room. He point blank refused. I asked him why and he said "because I don't want to"... I explained that if they just moved up at least one seat it would mean his wife would also have more space so it would benefit them. He started shouting at me that he wasn't moving, so I said I'm not sure why you're so entitled about a seat and left him to it.
His wife then came back and also started shouting at me that if I wasn't happy I should move. I said I am happy, I just thought it would be nice for us all to spread out and it would benefit her. She then started physically elbowing me at which point I shouted at her to stop. The pair of them then both started laughing at me saying I should move and that they can't believe I even asked etc. The wife said her husband was tall so couldn't move up, but by that logic he should have been in the back row?! I also didn't understand why she had agreed we would move to then come back and shout because her husband told her I had asked them to move up one. I just asked them to please stop as it's embarrassing.

In the end the show came back on so they stopped talking about me (loud enough to make it obvious) but she kept elbowing me periodically through the rest. Afterwards I just said to my DP let's go because I really couldn't be arsed to argue more with the couple when all I'd done was ask them to move up one. I could see that they started a conversation with the man sat in front of them so now I'm wondering if it was me being the arsehole. There were a few people still sat in their seats through the interval but no one said anything.

AIBU in thinking they could have easily moved up and it wouldn't have caused anyone an issue?!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

MarinoRoyale · 30/09/2022 09:16

Kite22 · 29/09/2022 22:58


If you aren't comfortable, and there are spare seats, then you move. You don't try and rearrange other people. That's just bizarre.
Can't believe you started a shouting match in the theatre Confused

Yes this, it’s not for you to rearrange everyone’s seats, and definitely not more than once! Their reaction wasn’t acceptable but I can see why they’d be a bit frustrated if a total stranger was insisting they move when they didn’t feel the need to.


Arenanewbie · 30/09/2022 09:26

I think you were wrong in principle. As few people pointed out the correct etiquette at the theatre is to ask usher about moving seats.
He and his wife were wrong to continue talking after the curtains went down, it’s rude and I’m surprised that the staff didn’t intervene.

He didn’t answer you very politely. Maybe he misunderstood you or maybe it’s the way he’s talking usually or whatever, however the main thing was that he said “no” and it was the clear signal to end the conversation. To continue pushing was very rude on your side.I didn’t like people like you very much, sorry, they are very annoying.

By the way I wouldn’t like how you asked him about it, at the very beginning, your very first question sounded a little bit pushy for me and that’s why probably he went into defensive mode straight away,


YellowTreeHouse · 30/09/2022 09:29

YABVU. You were pushy and rude. No means no.

I wouldn’t have moved either - I like to sit where I’m assigned. It’s fine for you to move but not to force anyone else to.


SuperCamp · 30/09/2022 09:29

LOL and you are continuing to keep emphasising how your way was best and why they should have done what you said…

Yes, you were thinking logically, but once they didn’t move the first time YOU NEEDED TO DROP IT.

And just move in a way that suited you. However ‘illogical’ they seemed to you it’s none of your business. You came back at him twice after he refused your first suggestion, and after that called him ‘entitled’.



Plumbear2 · 30/09/2022 09:33

I book early to get the seats In be want. I be wouldn't have moved either. You could have easily switched seats yourself.


TwoLeftSocksWithHoles · 30/09/2022 09:51

NurseInTraining · 30/09/2022 08:38

Wasn't that a dude in a car being shot?

Yes, the dude being Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but had he moved seats world events might have turned out entirely differently.


Corrosive · 30/09/2022 09:56

He point blank refused. I asked him why and he said "because I don't want to"... I explained that if they just moved up at least one seat it would mean his wife would also have more space so it would benefit them

You actually pushed back twice.
You asked then he refused, you asked why and he refused AGAIN then you still continued to badger him.

That's really pushy.


RaRaRaspoutine · 30/09/2022 10:01

And you're telling us no ushers intervened once there was shouting and elbowing? Uh huh.


CB98xx · 30/09/2022 10:48

Why did you make a thread to then just argue about how right you are? 🤨


urgen · 30/09/2022 11:03

This in the the West End and I think you are right - people dont know how to behave. Surely though stuffing your face or constantly moving to try and get one over on the theatre or your neighbour is just bad manners


Womencanlift · 30/09/2022 11:14

As soon as he said no you should have said ok then and sat down or moved yourself

Have no idea why you starting telling him the benefits of moving. That’s when you became unreasonable. Why did you keep pushing the matter?

If they way you are reacting to posters in this thread is the way you reacted to the guy then no wonder he was defensive


threegoodthings · 30/09/2022 13:41

RaRaRaspoutine · 30/09/2022 10:01

And you're telling us no ushers intervened once there was shouting and elbowing? Uh huh.

Exactly. Gives it away as being a load of bollocks. I worked in a theatre for many years and if patrons had started shouting at each other during an interval the house manager would have been there like a shot. It's not like it's a regular occurrence that would just be ignored!


Badbadbunny · 30/09/2022 13:54

I think it's rude to ask other people to move away from their pre-booked seats.

If there were other seats free, why didn't the OP just move to them herself?


Martinisarebetterdirty · 30/09/2022 14:17

I think fine to ask once but to be honest I would have just moved myself and not asked, and I wouldn’t have moved from my seat either (which I will have chosen, sometimes just because I like the number of the seat). I can well believe the ushers didn’t get involved though, I was at the theatre the other week and people were talking next the the usher in a performance and the usher ignored them. People seem to have forgotten how to behave.
If someone elbows you surely you give a death stare the first time and the second time you elbow them back twice as hard?


YumYummy · 30/09/2022 14:30

You were so unreasonable, you
woyod have really pissed me off.


alloutoflunchideas · 30/09/2022 14:37

Everyone = YABU
OP = No

you were entitled and rude, they said no. At that point if you were so bothered you should of got up and moved
their behaviour wasn’t acceptable either but they did that in reaction to you.


iBrows · 30/09/2022 14:46

Depending on the theatre, one seat can cost £100 more than the one next to it, so I wouldn’t move either.


1982mommaof4 · 30/09/2022 14:50

YANBU the man and women sound awful


Mouk · 30/09/2022 14:57

YABU and entitled!


lap90 · 30/09/2022 15:15

You sound like a nightmare to be sat next to tbh.


rookiemere · 30/09/2022 15:30

Gee whizz.Fair enough asking them to move once, but twice is ridiculous.

I wouldn't have shouted or sworn at you, but I would have sighed under my breath and rolled my eyes.

Part of the enjoyment for me of going to the theatre is relaxing and being transported to another world. Not having to play tetris with people I've never met.

Also - and maybe this makes me weird- I'd rather just sit in the allocated seat I've chosen and paid for, even of better ones are available. I realise that probably makes me sound a bit weird and I feel I am getting a bit inflexible as I get older, but equally I just want to be left alone not forced into seat moving and conversations with strangers.


Sorrythatsjustmybrain · 30/09/2022 16:00

Okay I was prepared to be flamed and I got it!

Thanks to those of you who actually have a reasonable comment and tried to understand even though they voted IWB.

I definitely don't think I was being unreasonable by just asking, but I agree I didnt help the situation by calling him entitled. If someone had asked me I'd have happily moved so I guess I just didn't realise how upset people could be about one seat!

Thanks for all the comments.

OP posts:

alloutoflunchideas · 30/09/2022 16:53

I definitely don't think I was being unreasonable by just asking

That wasn’t you AIBU and that wasn’t all you did… If it was you’d of received a different response

but now you know for next time


YumYummy · 30/09/2022 16:59

Next time enjoy the show in the seat YOU booked and let others do the same.


Corrosive · 30/09/2022 17:00

You wouldn't have been unreasonable to ask. It was the rest of it that was unreasonable

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