Performance. Drama. You're right there in thick of it. There's no one else there but you. You get lost in it and for me, that just makes it a greater experience. Everything you've mentioned is cosmetic, and all I'm interested in at heart is the performance. When I sit further back or high up, it's really easy to feel disconnected, like a spectator. There's a truth being up front can bring that just doesn't work at the back. I like to watch more than just the delivery of a script - I want to see that they mean whatever it is they're doing in their eyes - and the best actors can do it.
But it's just my personal choice - I have a background in TV/film production which is probably to blame.