|Photo Description: graphic with the words "Living in the MARGINS" with two arrows pointing to the margins.|
We got in and settled. A few minutes later a patron, who was sitting directly behind us, tapped Joe on his shoulder and said, "Could you please move him over to the far side, he's very tall." Joe said, "Ask him." A face turned to me and said, "You are very tall, could you sit over there, and pointed to the seat at the far side. I looked back at a theatre much less than half full. I looked at all the seats that there were for non disabled people to choose to sit. I said, "I'm going to stay here, but I'll get my other chair, I sit lower in it."
Joe zipped out to the car and got my manual chair, I sit 4 to 5 inches lower in that chair. While he was gone I moved my power chair out of the way and parked it. Joe came in, helped me transfer into the manual and then we went back to our seats. We figured that was that and we would settle into our seats.
A face comes forward, "I want you in the other seat, you are too tall."
I was shocked because there was no way that that patron couldn't see over me. The theatre had disabled seating immediately in front of a raised platform, the seats began there. You had to walk up stairs to get to the row behind. I said, "I am really sorry, but you have a lot of choices of where to sit. I don't. I'd like to sit here. If you would like to move up and back, please do. But this here, it's my seat."
A few seconds later we heard the patron move one seat over, behind Joe, closer to the centre of the screen. One seat over. We were asked to move way over to the side of the screen, and all that was needed was a shift of one seat.
When it was over we had to wait until nearly everyone was gone, while we waited, Joe went up to the seat behind me to see if I had really been in the way. He said that, from that vantage point looking at the screen, even down to the subtitles, I was not in the way. "I don't even the that you'd have been in the way in the power chair either," he said. Finally, it was clear enough so that we could get me back over to my chair, help me transfer in, and then leave.
So I wasn't asked to move because of sight lines, I was asked to move to be out of sight, off to the side, in the margins of the theatre.
How telling is that?