Why don’t we see wheelchairs at the movie theatre?


I recently visited my favorite Knoxville Theatre. Regal’s location within West Town Mall. Since I am a major movie buff, I sit in this theatre at least once out of every two weeks.

I’ve often noticed the handicapped seating and never thought anything of it. I’ve never actually seen anyone using the space. It’s one of those things you see but don’t really pay any attention to, similar to a Democrat.

On this one occasion, however, a middle-aged lady in a wheelchair happened to roll in just before the opening of ‘The Sum of All Fears.’ After watching her make her way, and do an excellent job of it, through the theatre I realized just where the handicapped seating was located – near the front of the theatre on the right side of the screen. The view would have to be horrible, you could get the same view walking though the mall with a magnifying glass in front of your face.

I’ve always shown up thirty minutes early for movies so that I could guarantee myself prime seating. I would be more than happy from now on to show up early and sit eight seats to the left or right. It’s time to open up the prime seats to create a ramp to the middle and locate the handicapped seating in a better location. Why aren’t people in wheelchairs attending the movies? It isn’t because you lose the ability to enjoy movies when you sit in a wheelchair, it’s because movies cannot be enjoyed from the places that wheelchairs must be located within theatres.