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TOPIC: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one

How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 01 Mar 2006 23:10 #17078

  • puzzlegut
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If no one shows up for one of your showtimes for a movie, do you still run it or do you only run the movie if the customer comes within a certain amount of time following the start time? And if so, how long do you wait before you tell customers that it's too late to start the movie? We normally don't play a movie if no one shows up 5-10 mins after the start time (depending on how much of a space there is between showings).
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 01 Mar 2006 23:57 #17079

  • Mike Spaeth
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Run it ... kill the xenon/sound processor.
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 02 Mar 2006 01:34 #17080

  • RoxyVaudeville
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During the 35+ years that I have operated this theatre, I have never had a show when no one showed up. Once I had only two show up, and when they offered to leave I informed them that the show would go on as scheduled as the building had already been heated, most of the power consumed, thanks to our huge marquee, and that the staff being there would have to be paid anyway. It was the best decision that I could have made, as those patrons sent a wonderful letter to the editor commending us for our dedication to our customers.

Twice I have had only five people, but usually on a very slow night I get at least 15 to 20.

Being that I'm a single screen, and my poilicy is to close the boxoffice 15 minutes after the last advertised showtime, I think that if no one arrived by that 15 minute point I would not start the show at all. The decision to start late or not would depend on whether there was another show scheduled behind that one and how much time was planned between the shows. If no one showed up for the first show and there is another scheduled behind it I would start at the scheduled time and shut down after 15 minuts. Since I run reel to reel (6k reels), it would be no problem to remove the 1st reel and rewind it to the beginning. If I had a platter it would depend on whether I could get the show finished in time to start the next one on time. Of course I would leave the lamp and sound system off while it ran.

Even though the boxoffice stays open between shows, no one comes in during the show as most people believe, thanks to the policies at multiplexes, that you have to leave at the end of the show. In the old days patrons could stay as long as they liked, and therefore people often came in during a show and stayed to see what they missed. It was the policy back then that if no one was there at starting time, the show still was begun on time without the lamp or sound. When someone came up to the boxoffice and bought a ticket, the cashier called the booth and informed them of such, and by time the patron had made it through the lobbies and into the auditorium everything was on as though it had been so from the very beginning.
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 02 Mar 2006 02:38 #17081

  • outaframe
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In the 36 years that I've owned this theater I can recall only 2 nites when we had no one show up... The movie starts on time whether there are customers or not, and the boxoffice stays open 15 minutes after the movie starts... Amazingly, there are certain people who evidently WANT to be late, so mid-week especially, we often have MORE customers who come in late, than on time... I once ran the movie for 2 customers (although I let the rest of the crew go home after half an hour) because I believe that IF you advertize you'll be open, you owe it to anyone who makes the effort to come, and you're honor bound to do what you advertized... Good will is more important than the small amount you'll save by refunding a few tickets and closing up... And as ROXY says, per usual we're on the same page...

> PS < I run 6k foot reel-to-reel as well, so it's no problem to stop the projector, hand rewind the projected portion and re-thread... This is but ONE of the advantanges over platter systems...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited March 02, 2006).]
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 02 Mar 2006 16:20 #17082

  • John Pytlak
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I agree that a good policy is to start the film on time, and run it without the lamp on. Turn on the lamp if a latecomer arrives. The only cost is the electricity and wear on the projector/sound system, and the time to rethread the projector for the next show.

The power and high cost of running the lamp are worth saving.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
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Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 04 Mar 2006 23:28 #17083

  • Dominic
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On dead nights I usually motor the film so as not to keep us late and if someone arrives late strike it up.
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 05 Mar 2006 14:50 #17084

  • Mike
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I love the idea of running without light or sound. Why not? We are in the 15 minute rule. We got into trouble when we had people come who wanted to see the last half of the movie and it was Thursday night and we'd never started.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 06 Mar 2006 14:48 #17085

  • dsschoenborn
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We do 20 minutes of keeping time. Even if we only have one show if someone shows up late this keeps you from staying late. Even with platters we can after this take take the film off the projector and just run it from platter to platter to speed up the time. Since we have a 3 screen normally we are playing another movie anyway so the projectionist dosn't bother and just lets it run.
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 12 Jun 2007 22:50 #17086

  • rufusjack
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What about when it is the last show of the night?

We often (especially during the third week + of movies)have no one show up for late shows (9:30 or so). Last night I had 1 person show up for Pirates 3 10 minutes late and I glady ran the movie.

Tonight, no one showed up and after about 12 minutes I turned the lights off in the lobby (we have a twin and both screens were empty). Then 2 cars showed up and quickly turned around when they saw the lights were off.

So should I have run the movie and stay there for 3 hours just in case someone shows up?

I use a platter system.

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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 13 Jun 2007 12:45 #17087

  • Mike
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we will run any movie for anyone who shows up/ but if it was 9:42 for a 9:30 with no one there yet we would have been out of there.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 13 Jun 2007 16:41 #17088

  • cft
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As an avid movie-goer, I must say that I am extremely thankful when I'm among the few seated in the theatre. I like matinees because my schedule is so busy. Me and two of my friends were the only folks in the theatre at Napolean Dynamite. It rocked. We laughed like the geeks that we are and didn't worry about bothering anybody else with little comments. Though I always try and get there to see previews, it's really nice of theatres to wait up on their customers even if only a couple of people show up!
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 15 Jun 2007 08:08 #17089

  • Pieman
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We vary it with what time of the day or night it is and what is on after it..sometimes we just run them through, sometimes we have a cut off of 10 minutes. We always run for just one or two if they are on time. I have heard of places near here to offer one or two a ticket to come back another night, which is bad as next time they will hesitate to go incase it happens again. We have 3 screens and only once since I have been here (13 years!! ekkk) have we had all 3 not run for the late shows and we got to go home early.
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 15 Jun 2007 14:05 #17090

  • LanceC
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15 minutes
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 23 Dec 2007 19:05 #17091

  • theBigE
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I'm reopening this topic with a twist - what to do with inclement weather? Do any smaller theatres shut down - just not bother to open for evening shows when the weather is really lousy?

Some relatives in a small town went to see a kids' film recently in the midwest during the middle of a snowstorm. Despite the weather, people were out Christmas shopping, and stores were open. The downtown theatre was closed, however, completely dark. There were several other carfulls of kids and adults waiting to get in, but the theatre never opened. Eventually all of the vehicles left.

What do you folks do if the weather is really nasty?
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Re: How long do you wait before not running the movie if no one 23 Dec 2007 19:35 #17092

  • sheri6363
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We live 6 blocks from our theatre so we show all our movies. Some nights it seems not worth the effort but we decided we were not going to get caught up in the small town unreliable thing,that has worked for us.
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