How not to sit in FIVE different seats at the movies in under FIFTEEN minutes and make lots and lots and lots of people mad. (Are you listening, Santikos theaters?)


My mother-in-law had wanted to see "The Other Woman" for a while. We finally had the chance to go see it one night at a large theater in the Santikos theater family, which was located not too far away. I was familiar with the theater as we had gone with a large group to see The Lego Movie when it came out a few months ago. We specifically chose that theater so we could reserve seats and not fight a crowd for a good spot.

My mother-in-law had never been there before, however.

We arrived in a decent amount of time. We might have gotten there earlier if there had not been confusion about where the popcorn butter was located and whether or not we wanted any.

(How many calories does it add?)

(Will my stomach hurt if I put in one extra pump?)

(Why is the butter way over here?)

(Has the butter always been way over here?)

(Isn't it weird that the butter is over here when the popcorn is over there?)

We scanned the theater and found a seat in the center aisle and in the center of the aisle. The prime spot.

We nestled into our seats and put our drinks in their little armrest houses.

We got nice and comforta--

"Um, I'm sorry, but you are in our seats."

"Excuse me?" My mother-in-law asked, not masking the utter confusion on her face.

"You are in our seats," the teenage girl meekly announced.

"How are these your seats?"

"They made us reserve them."

My mother-in-law leaned back toward me to find me standing and scooting over already. "Who made them 'reserve' them?"

It hit me right when the teenager spoke up that this was the "reserved seating" theater. It didn't cross my mind before because this theater was pretty small and this movie had been out a while.

We settled back into the seats next to those teenagers without looking at our own tickets yet. Surely, everyone else had already settled into their seats by n--

"Excuse me. You are in our seats," a blonde lady in her fifties told us.

"Okay, now this is ridiculous," my mother-in-law somewhat loudly proclaimed.

"Well, I guess it isn't rea--"


"Well, they're awesome with you arrive late and when you..." 

I stopped myself as I realized we needed to figure out this new problem we had. Where were we supposed to sit?

"Look, Debbie," I quietly said to my mother-in-law as I pointed to our tickets. "We are actually in these same two seats but in the seats directly in front of  us."

The seats where an couple my parents' age had settled in long ago.


I hated to ask them to move, but if we moved to seats that weren't ours, we'd be moving all night.

"Um, excuse me, ma'am," I started out. "I'm afraid y'all are sitting in our seats. I'm so sorry. Moving into your seats will mark the third time we've moved seats tonight. We don't want to keep moving."

"THERE ARE RESERVED SEATS?" The lady said with her face all scrunched up. 

"Well, apparently so. I didn't realize it eith--"


"I don't kno--"








(I can hear her voice playing in my head and for some reason I visualize a goose saying it.)

I was about ready to give up when the lady's husband told her they better move. They were about three rows from the screen, so I can understand their hestitation, but...I didn't want to move again. I'm sure when they moved down there, someone was in those seats.

So, they left and my mother-in-law finally sat down in our seats.



We could enjoy the movie.



"Oh, wait a minute," I said to my mother-in-law. "These aren't our seats. I just had those poor people move and these aren't our seats. These are 11 and 12 and we are in 9 and 10."

I slowly looked to my right at the lady sitting in our official seats.

She looked at me.

I looked at her.

She looked at me.


"Yeah, let's switch. You are actually in my seats. I just didn't want to ask those people to move."


So, after sitting in FIVE different seats in a matter of 15 minutes and encountering many scrunched up and confused faces, we finally situated our drinks back into their armchair homes and watched Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton gang up on their cheating man in the movie. It wasn't Oscar-worthy, but it made us laugh. Honestly, though, I'm not sure it made us laugh more than the whole moving seats fiasco.

Movie theaters with reserved seats need to post this sign below right outside the entry into the theater. Ya hear me, Santikos?