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TOPIC: Venting - I want my $$ back...

Venting - I want my $$ back... 09 Aug 2004 18:02 #20433

  • Alysa
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It has been some time since I last posted to SCREENBIZ but I had an experience last evening (as a patron) that has me venting.

First off, understand that we love movies, so much so that we built a dedicated HT in our home - with a 10' screen, DLP projection, sound, and recliners for movie seats. Our popcorn is always fresh and there is always wine in the cooler. On those occasions when we do go to an indoor theater, more often than not, it's Arclight.

Last night a friend of ours had a birthday so we took her to see "Bourne Supremacy" @ AMC - and, as this movie has been out for a month now, it seemed a good choice. WRONG!!

First, AMC tix were $10 a pop, and, speaking of which, "pop" and popcorn (medium) was another $28. Since we were 15 minutes early into the theater we were blessed by the luxury of SECOND ROW seating (ever watch a movie looking straight up?)

However, wait, in order to make up for our choice seating we were entertained with endless commercials for every cheesy local jerkwater business in the area - remember them?, you bet I will remember them! After what seemed like an eternity, the movie finally begins. Of course, since my face was almost flush against the screen, I could see the grain in the film stock, (like looking at Tri-X prints with a magnifying glass), and, because this film is an endless collection of 1/10 sec. edits, image (edge smearing) was rampant. I won't mention the fact that the speakers were located directly in front of us, within feet. (Once my hearing returns I'll look forward to making phone calls again <smile> )

I have walked out of theaters before because the film sucked. When I did so, the management would ask me to fill out a form asking why I wished a refund, "Because the film sucked", and I have never been denied a refund on the tix.

But this is a new one, what would you do if a patron asked for a refund because the only seats remaining were in the first couple of rows?

Thanks for letting me vent. Moderators, you can put me on "moderate" if you wish...

Alysa
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 00:35 #20434

  • muviebuf
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If the patron asks for a refund because of seating availability BEFORE the movie starts (or soon thereafter) I don't believe that any theatre owner would deny it. In my case we would attempt to find the patron other seats if we could. This of course assumes the patron says something in a timely fashion.

However if you accepted the seats and watched the whole movie and then want to complain I am afraid I would turn a deaf ear.

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited August 10, 2004).]
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 01:28 #20435

  • CharlieBo
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I agree.We don't make the movie,only show it.There were probably people who didn't like GWTW or TITANIC-every taste is different.The seating situation is the patron's choice if the mgmt informs them.
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 07:47 #20436

  • John Pytlak
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Standard SMPTE 196M specifies an optimum viewing distance of 2 to 4 times the height of the image. A good 35mm print supports viewing distances as close as 1 times the screen height before the graininess becomes an issue, but the viewing angle that close is certainly not optimum.

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: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 11:55 #20437

  • puzzlegut
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alysa:
I have walked out of theaters before because the film sucked. When I did so, the management would ask me to fill out a form asking why I wished a refund, "Because the film sucked", and I have never been denied a refund on the tix.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I hope this isn't true. Are you saying that everytime you walked out of a movie because it "sucked", the theater gave you a refund for your ticket? I don't agree with that. A movie theater cannot be blame for if the patron does not like the movie. If that were the case, then anybody would say they didn't like a movie and automatically get a refund. Movie theaters would fail to make any money on a movie. It would be one thing if there were film troubles or something like that that would prevent the theater from showing the movie. But to give out refunds just because a person does not like a movie is just a bad business practice. Do sports stadiums give refunds if a person's favorite team does not win?

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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 12:07 #20438

  • Alysa
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Thanks for your comments and what each of you has said is valid. I would never have the audacity to watch the movie and then ask for a refund, that classless. Had we not been with another person then I would have IMMEDIATELY asked for a refund as soon as it was obvious that we were destined for the second row - for I'm anything but a shy lady <smile>

As for the movie, I understand completely, it is not YOUR fault if the movie is not to my liking. I do not believe, in this case, it would have been a problem had we been able to find seating near the back of the theater (where I can flirt with the projectionist.. :-)

I don't know about SMTPE standards John, but I really could plainly see the grain in many scenes, however, the edge-smearing of images during the 1/10 sec. edits was most probably due to my being a decrepit old bat with bad eyes <smile>.

Thanks for letting me vent and for being so responsive. I don't post here often but I'm usually lurking, trying to learn, and I appreciate the business you folks are into (sorry about the end-of-sentence preposition).

Alysa
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 13:36 #20439

  • Alysa
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Dear Puzzlegut,

I think you and I posted at the same time, otherwise I would have responded to your post earlier.

Please understand, I have not asked for a refund that many times, and when I have, it is because I felt I was deceived and that the film had no intentions of delivering what the "hype" promised. Moreover, "yes", when I have asked for a refund, I have said, "Because the film S***ed". I am NEVER belligerent with the management and always respectful, and I have never been denied. I am one class lady, firm, respectful, but with class (that may explain why I've never been denied).

Might I respectfully disagree with your analogy of a sports stadium? To me this is an "apples" and "oranges" argument. When I go to a sports stadium there is a general expectation of what is going to be presented on the field. Whether my team wins or not is irrelevant, it is the expectation of a professional & credible combat between two teams that is the expectation. If one team did not bother to show up, then I would be right to ask for a refund.

May I propose a different analogy? Although the price is different, the principle remains the same. Assume you saw an ad in the L.A. Times for the sleek, awesome looking new "Stallion" automobile. The photo in the paper looks "to die for", and, to make it more enticing, there are half-naked babes (assuming you are a male) draped all over it. You now have expectations of what this "Stallion" is. You enter the showroom and tell the dealer you want to have one of those new "Stallions". "OK", he says, "but it going to cost you up front before you can see it."

After you lay down the dollars, you find that under it's hood it has a cute little 4-cylinder engine, 3-speed transmission, and no radio. "What is this crap?", you scream. "I want my money back, this is not what I expected". "Sorry", says the dealer, "I just show-em, I don't build-em".

See my point..

Note: I do try to do my homework before I go to a theater, for while it's a no-win for either of us (when I ask for a refund). For I will have wasted my time on this sojourn, (which is valuable to me), and it will have caused you inconvenience.

Respectfully,

Alysa
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 15:07 #20440

  • newtothis
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alysa:
<B>Dear Puzzlegut,

I think you and I posted at the same time, otherwise I would have responded to your post earlier.

Please understand, I have not asked for a refund that many times, and when I have, it is because I felt I was deceived and that the film had no intentions of delivering what the "hype" promised. Moreover, "yes", when I have asked for a refund, I have said, "Because the film S***ed". I am NEVER belligerent with the management and always respectful, and I have never been denied. I am one class lady, firm, respectful, but with class (that may explain why I've never been denied).

Might I respectfully disagree with your analogy of a sports stadium? To me this is an "apples" and "oranges" argument. When I go to a sports stadium there is a general expectation of what is going to be presented on the field. Whether my team wins or not is irrelevant, it is the expectation of a professional & credible combat between two teams that is the expectation. If one team did not bother to show up, then I would be right to ask for a refund.

May I propose a different analogy? Although the price is different, the principle remains the same. Assume you saw an ad in the L.A. Times for the sleek, awesome looking new "Stallion" automobile. The photo in the paper looks "to die for", and, to make it more enticing, there are half-naked babes (assuming you are a male) draped all over it. You now have expectations of what this "Stallion" is. You enter the showroom and tell the dealer you want to have one of those new "Stallions". "OK", he says, "but it going to cost you up front before you can see it."

After you lay down the dollars, you find that under it's hood it has a cute little 4-cylinder engine, 3-speed transmission, and no radio. "What is this crap?", you scream. "I want my money back, this is not what I expected". "Sorry", says the dealer, "I just show-em, I don't build-em".

See my point..

Note: I do try to do my homework before I go to a theater, for while it's a no-win for either of us (when I ask for a refund). For I will have wasted my time on this sojourn, (which is valuable to me), and it will have caused you inconvenience.

Respectfully,

Alysa </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 15:15 #20441

  • newtothis
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Sorry that my reply did not post.

Talk about comparing apples to oranges; however, I will follow along with your comparison. If you come into my theatre and want to test drive my movie, I would be more than happy to allow you to go in, find your seat and watch the first fifteen, twenty, even thirty minutes of the movie. You could then come out and say, "It's not what I thought it was going to be" or even "The seating I found makes my head/neck hurt, strains my eyes". To come out at the end of a movie and want your money back is like buying that car, bringing it back with no gas, mileage on it and the warranty period expired.

It's not that I just exhibit movies, I'm not responsible for their content; it's that there are reasonable requests and there are requests that are not reasonable. I do not find your request to be reasonable.
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 15:26 #20442

  • Alysa
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You said:

“To come out at the end of a movie and want your money back is like buying that car, bringing it back with no gas, mileage on it and the warranty period expired. It's not that I just exhibit movies, I'm not responsible for their content; it's that there are reasonable requests and there are requests that are not reasonable. I do not find your request to be reasonable.”

What I said was, “I would never have the audacity to watch the movie and then ask for a refund, that [is] classless” - (posted August 10, 2004 01:07 PM)

I do not believe we are in disagreement

Alysa

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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 15:36 #20443

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My mistake - I apologize.
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 10 Aug 2004 15:44 #20444

  • Alysa
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There is absolutely no need to apologize. We are just having a simple discussion here and I will be the first to admit that I do not have a clue as to the complexities you folks deal with everyday in the “biz”.

I don’t believe I would have the calming temperament you guys need to have in order to deal with the public as you do. I wouldn’t last more that 10 minutes before one of you guys would fire my ass – (however cute it may be) <smile>

Be well,

Alysa
(back to lurking)
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Re: Venting - I want my $$ back... 17 Aug 2004 12:31 #20445

  • Mike
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If you buy a ticket to Bourne or F 9-11 or whatever it is, it's presumably because you wanted to see the picture. If you come out in a reasonable time and say "this isn't what I thought" or even "it's just terrible" I would refund. But no way would I refund after much more than that. There is a fair presumption that the customer has done their homework to a slight degree and knows that a Bruckheimer film with Nicolas Cage about a prison escape in a plane full of criminals is going to be loud and involve explosions. if they don't like it that is not a theatres problem. Vote by not seeing Cage or Bruck movies. We refund but not as if we were dummies.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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