Cinema Seat Preview Experiment

An experimental demo where a 3D perspective preview is shown for a selected seat in a cinema room.

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Maybe you are familiar with those ticket booking systems where, at some point during the purchase flow, you have to choose a seat. This is usually done when selling tickets for games, movies, flights or concerts. Wouldn’t it be cool to have some kind of “realistic” preview of the seat, i.e. see the stage or screen from the perspective of the space you chose? Of course it would πŸ™‚ This is the kind of question that resulted into a new experiment which we’d like to share with you today.

Attention: Some of the techniques we are using are very experimental and won’t work in all browsers. Support for transform-style: preserve-3d is necessary for this demo.

So the idea is to show some kind of cinema room where we can choose seats from a seating plan. When choosing a seat, we’ll move to the respective position in the room and allow the user to see the real view from the chosen place. There is also a button in the center of the page that allows to unlock the rotation of the viewer, something that is quite important for a realistic view considering that we can rotate and tilt our heads.

The trailer that we use in the demo is from Sintel, an animated movie by The Blender Foundation. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Initially, we show a trailer box with the info of the movie and the option to choose the seats:


When we choose to select the seats, we’ll move the view to the back of the cinema room and show the seating plan:


Once a seat is clicked, the view moves to the respective position:


The little icon in the center of the screen allows for unlocking the view, i.e. allowing for the viewer to move around. This resembles the free movements of the head that are important for a realistic view.

At any point we can play the trailer and see how the screen is being perceived from that specific place.

Unfortunately, IE does not support transform-style: preserve-3d which breaks nested 3D elements. So this demo won’t work in the versions that don’t support it.

Browser Support:
  • ChromeSupported
  • FirefoxSupported
  • Internet ExplorerNot supported
  • SafariSupported
  • OperaSupported

We hope you enjoy this experiment and find it inspiring!

Check out the version by Sebastian Troć where the real seats are also colored: SebastianTroc/SeatPreview

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  1. I dont believe what my eyes see. Worderfull! awesome! in dictionary there no adjectives to define that.

  2. Holy shit! That’s superb!

    Beta tester Feedback: I couldn’t pause the trailer. My fingers searched for one-click on screen pause.

    Secondly, I click and click over the seats. But then I realized the seat selection section at the right. lol

    Anyway… You’re the goddess of Web Design. You proved it again.


  3. This is really awesome work. Thanks for the inspiration. I bet ticketmaster or some co. will see this and flip out. Fingers crossed.

  4. This is awesome! We recently converted a section of our warehouse to a theatre, so I decided I would make a preview of the seat arrangements and add the location of our top hat heaters. So here it is if you want to take a look: Frone’s Cinema | Super Bowl 50

  5. Woow, woow, just woow. Mary Lou you’re the best woman web developer I’ve ever seen. I follow you couple of years and I really love your works. You have great mind. Awsome work again. I hope all ticket sellers uses this plugin.

  6. Awwwwww… mannnnn… now this is the ultimate level of interaction and user experience… this is so awesome πŸ™‚

  7. I always get inspiration from this website. Keep on the great work you do. This is some useful UX that Cinemas should adopt. One suggestions that i would love to see is to be able to select seats from the 3D view itself. May be you could show the already booked seats colored.