Overheard at Angus: Volume VIII

There was an interesting article in the business section of the Times a week or so ago about a new airplane seat that debuted at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade show (and yes, that is a real convention, which further demonstrates that there is a convention for every subject under the sun).

The seat wasn’t really a seat. It was a stand-up seat that put the traveler in a sort-of-squatting position, which allows for more seats in smaller spaces.

Well, from what I overheard last week, it looks like I wasn’t the only theater guy who read that article:

Theater Guy #1:  Did you hear about that standing airplane seat?

Theater Guy #2:  No.

Theater Guy #1:  It’s like a crouching-tiger type of seat, with a lot less leg room, so you can fit more people in the plane.

Theater Guy #2:  That’s nothing new.

Theater Guy #1:  What?  You’ve seen them before?  What airline?

Theater Guy #2:  Not on an airline.  I’ve seen them in every theater on Broadway.

I laughed, of course, because I thought the same thing when I read the article.

And, then, I started thinking about our consumers and other live event producers, like movie theaters and sports franchises.

Movies have gotten more comfortable over the years, with seats that lean back, cup holders, etc.  Sports stadiums have been demolished and rebuilt, and places like Citi Field have become attractions even without the baseball.

We, on the other hand, with the need to become more financially solvent, have stuffed more seats in theaters of all different shapes and sizes, and we still don’t have enough bathrooms.

Not much can be done about most of this, because our theaters are too historical to demolish, and too expensive to rebuild (I don’t see The Palace moving to Flushing anytime soon).  The cost of keeping them the way they are has to be pretty dang steep.

But it made me think . . . how can we continue to ensure we can put butts in seats, if those butts are more comfortable in seats at other venues?

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.