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MPA Research Question 20 Apr 2004 09:02 #8097

  • WGA
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Concerning the MPA U.S. Movie Attendance Study, does anyone know why they focus on ages 12 and up as opposed to a lower age?
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 09:29 #8098

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ok, I guess I was wondering why above 12 because I know a good bit of kids below that age go. Is there a cutoff point where kids get in free for most of you, or is it as long as they take up a seat they pay?
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 09:44 #8099

  • leeler
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I know in my case it's "if you take up a seat then you pay". Our ticket prices are $3.50 so we don't do discounts of any kind for any age group. If you want to sit on mommy's lap then fine but otherwise get your wallet out.

"What a crazy business"
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 10:04 #8100

  • outaframe
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The reason for the concentration on the 12 and older group is because by that age they are old enough to pick and choose what they want to see, and are old enough to attend without needing a parent along...

Like Lee, my prices are below average and are all seats, one price... If they walk in, they are charged: if they are carried in by Mom or Dad, they are normally N/C "guests" with the admonition that if they get noisy or restless, they MUST be brought out to lobby... However, in the situation where there are several small "walkers" brought in by an obviously none too affluent family, I have been known to "overlook" the smallest... I don't feel right about making going to the movies something that means they have to eat beans all week, just to afford... Guess I'm an 'ol softie, especially when there are some cute and polite little folks involved!...
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 12:51 #8101

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Sorry this is completely off original topic but I just had to share this one. We have some customers who come in fairly often with children. However, we think that we are being taken advantage of when they always arrive at the boxoffice carrying one or two of them and tell us that they are "sleeping." I don't usually charge for little ones carried in as they usually turn out to be under 3 years which is our cutoff. However, we have later seen these particular kids standing up and running around the theater. Funny, but they stand head and shoulders above the seats making them more like 5 years old. We have also noticed that they are only "sleeping" while they are being carried past the box office and concession stand. They miraculously wake up once they are in the theater. We have since made a pointed effort of charging for these particular kids. I still don't know which theaters don't charge for "sleeping" kids but only age is a factor here. (PS - they also bring in outside food which we then have to clean up.)

[This message has been edited by BECKWITH1 (edited April 30, 2004).]
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 13:15 #8102

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Yes, BECK, in the real world someone is always going to try to take advantage... Just another reason that the manager's duties HAVE to include policing the auditorium(s)... If the kid gets noisy or restless, I remind the parent that the kid is a "guest" and has to be brought out to the lobby until he cools his jets... If that doesn't do it, I INSIST that one of the parents take him to Grandma's, or Aunt Suzy's and then come back, OR they get a pass (to the SAME picture) for another showing... You need to be tactful, but firm, and you have to be consistant... Not always pleasant, but allowing this crap to go on will drive away your other customers!...
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 15:28 #8103

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Does anyone post signs on the door to forewarn the parents?
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Re: MPA Research Question 30 Apr 2004 17:05 #8104

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Forewarn the parents???... Common sense and common courtesy suggest that when someone pays to see a performance (movie, stageplay, athletic event, etc) he should be entitled to see it without undue interference from ANY of the other patrons... If he can't, then he has reason to complain to whoever provided that performance... He is renting a space, or seat, and that assumes an obligation to also provide an atmosphere in which he CAN see it, as intended... I do have posted a list of common courtesies which patrons are expected to adhere to, and parents of small children are expected to have them under control... Anything more would be like some of the nonsense warning labels on many of today's products!...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited May 01, 2004).]
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Re: MPA Research Question 02 May 2004 12:48 #8105

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Fortunately for most of us, very young children are usually taken to movies where the rest of the audience is composed of families with children who have more tolerance. Therefore, we allow more latitude in disruption for these films. We also issue passes to those who miss the show by doing the right thing and removing unruly children of any age from the auditorium. Our passes are not limited to that show. Anybody who gets stuck watching a child running around the lobby for an hour or so while the rest of the family watches the movie deserves to get a pass for any movie that they they want to see. After all they have paid to see a movie that they are not watching because they are being responsible. If they really want to come back later and see Home on the Range (or equivalent) without the rest of the family (who have already seen it) that is fine with me but I suspect that most of these passes will be used to see another film either with just the spouse or with the rest of the family. That is good for business as I have repeat customers who are happy. They may even bring the same kid who gave them the problem the last time but kids do not always behave the same on every visit. I've had parents tell me that they brought the kid to some other movie and it worked out fine but they had trouble the next time.
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Re: MPA Research Question 02 May 2004 13:44 #8106

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BECK, your points are well taken... Yes, we also cut the kid a LOT more slack IF it's a kiddie picture, and there are also several more like him already in there... They have to be really out of line before we (essentially) toss 'em out... Where we do NOT cut 'em slack is those RARE occasions that an un-thinking parent drags a potential time bomb along to a picture that is otherwise populated by interested involved adults... Bringing a roudy kid along to something like that is nothing short of uncaring and rude... Some people seem to feel that their kid's antics are cute and acceptable, no matter what... These are the ones I have little tolerance for, and hopefully they get the message, and don't bring the kid back in a similar situation... But some folks seem oblivious to the fact that their rights END at the point where they encroach on everyone else's... The number of these occurances is much less than it used to be, thankfully!... But when it happens, it is usually more flagrant, and there is no question as to when you need to get involved, and do something about it... The ticket they bought is for the picture they came to, and issuing a pass to another distributor's film brings up a lot of issues... I would rather just refund their money (which I have done) than open that can of worms... It's a discretionary issue you have to deal with on a case-by-case basis... Common sense and seat-of-the-pants judgement are what you have to rely on when this comes up...
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Re: MPA Research Question 02 May 2004 23:25 #8107

  • RoxyVaudeville
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It need not be a can of worms. If you give a refund to get the noisy child from the theatre who cares what movie they come back to see. Simply stamp, or write on the pass, REFUND, and when the person returns for their next movie with that refund pass, simply have the cashier punch up a regular ticket (afterall it has already been paid for). The film rental will then go to the proper studio for the film that they are actually seeing. As far as the film that was playing when the refund was given, simply record it as a cash refund, not a pass.

In 34 years of running this theatre, I have never had a distributor question a cash refund.

There is even an easier method. However, if you are a manager working for someone else, whether an independent or chain, you can't do this or you'll get fired if caught. But, if you are the owner and manager, the simplest thing to do is give a cash refund, collect the next ticket from the next patron coming in and take that ticket out to the box office and resell it to the next patron. Now there is no missing ticket and the money comes out right at the end of the day. Is this allowed by contract. NO! Of course not. It doesn't cheat anyone out of anything... so what's wrong with doing it this way? The reason why it's not allowed by contract is the fact that it could encourage palming by staff members. That is the practice of the ticket taker keeping untorn tickets and returning them to the cashier to be resold, at which time they split the money brought in by those resales. This could very well be done by an owner/manager as well as a way to cheat the film distributors out of film rental, and of course that is why it's not allowed. But sometimes it's the easiest way to handle a situtaion of a refund without all the hassels and paperwork needed to report the refund, as required. The bottom line is that no one gets cheated out of anything, and the whole process becomes simply. I would only suggest that you do this if you are the owner/manager and you do it yourself.

[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited May 04, 2004).]
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Re: MPA Research Question 03 May 2004 02:20 #8108

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Yes, ROXY, I too have used both of thoses methods of handling a refund/pass situation... If the boxoffice is still open, reselling a ticket to balance it out is the easiest, but I wonder what might happen IF by some wierd circumstance a blind checker would show up before you had a chance to "re-take" that resold ticket... Usually, the refund has to be made AFTER the boxoffice is closed, so yes, you have to mark it as a refund on that day's BO report, then you have the problem of what to do with the money IF you don't give it back, but instead issue a pass for the future... You can stick it in an envelope in the safe to hold until the pass shows up (fine, if the pass is for the picture he actually bought the ticket for) or you can hold it in a "cash items over/under account" like we did when I worked in a bank... Either way, it's a pain in the neck if an open-ended pass doesn't show up for the next 6 months... Considering the small amount involved, and how seldom this comes up, in my situation I find it best to just make the refund and mark the BO report to reflect that... If it were an everyday thing, I might re-think how we handle it...
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Re: MPA Research Question 05 May 2004 23:08 #8109

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[quote: Usually, the refund has to be made AFTER the boxoffice is closed, so yes, you have to mark it as a refund on that day's BO report, then you have the problem of what to do with the money IF you don't give it back, but instead issue a pass for the future...]

What do I do in a situation like that... I DEPOSIT IT! Regardless of when the pass comes back (next week, next month or next year), a ticket will be punched up at that time and the money will be credited to the film the patron views and thus the film rental will go to the appropriate distributor. What is the difference whether the money is being held against a refund pass or was collected for a Gift Certificate? In both cases you get the money today, deposit it, and the patron comes back at a later date to view a film of their choice. The money is in the bank waiting for that day.

I always try to make things as simple and uncomplicated as possible, and have never had any problems crop up due to these procedures.

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Re: MPA Research Question 06 May 2004 09:42 #8110

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Guess it's a matter of proceedure, then... I have the boxoffice set up just like a bank teller's station: I have opening cash, then ticket sales are accounted for in CASH, and anything like refunds, passes due to refunds, pre-sold tickets, etc. have to be either added to, or subtracted from SOMEWHERE in cash... To do this, I keep a "cash items" folder (manilla envelope) in the safe (just as a bank does)... I make a balanced deposit slip for every day's business, but actually deposit the money once or twice a week... There are as many methods for doing this as there are individuals doing it, and whatever works best for you is the way to go... I try to keep as few pending items in that envelope, as possible, as that's what works best for me...
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