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TOPIC: Checkers in your house?

Checkers in your house? 10 Jul 2001 11:11 #1840

  • Mike
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To keep movie theatres honest with the reporting of grosses the distribs utilize counters or checkers. People who count how many persons buy tickets to a show. Over the years we've had everything from undercover counters to agency employees who identify themselves. Lately it seems like we don't see them as much as we used to. Do they stop by your theatre?

At Sho West 2 years ago Bill Murray got a huge and slightly sick laugh when he said "Six billion (or somesuch) dollars grossed in one year! Amazing! (pause) And.... that's only what was reported!" A sheepish laugh swept the room.

Ourselves? We have always felt that doing business with the distribs is like working with the mob. There's an immense amount of trust. They give you movies made at the cost of 10's of millions of dollars and the potential for abuse on reporting is real. But. If you get caught? Just like with the mob there is a real price to pay. Such as you may never get a print again. And they all talk to each other. Get a reputation for stealing and you are d-e-a-d. Do checkers visit you?

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Checkers in your house? 10 Jul 2001 11:25 #1841

  • BurneyFalls
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In my three years I have only had one checker who identified herself. There have been other times when I suspected an "undercover agent" in the house--but this town is so far away from anywhere, and since I rarely play on the break, I doubt they would bother with me. I'm truthful in my reporting and quite respectful/fearful of the studios' power. The guy before me didn't even give out tickets, and I don't think my nearest competition does either.
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Re: Checkers in your house? 10 Jul 2001 22:42 #1842

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Ticket numbers are the sacred cow -- never mess with them. I just use the roll-o-tickets available at any Office Max, but if i think i have a checker, i tear off a couple more, just in case.

We, as exhibitors, have a rather strained relationship with those who provide us our fare. I've always felt that honesty with the tickets is perhaps one of the few things that keep a mutual mild distaste between distributors and exhibitors from becomeing outright warfare.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Checkers in your house? 11 Jul 2001 15:02 #1843

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In 18 months we have been open, we are unaware of any checkers. But we are scupulously honest with the money and tickets as well. We are going to be here for a long time. There is no profit in messing that up.
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