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TOPIC: water

Re: water 22 Jun 2004 19:00 #26671

  • BurneyFalls
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Just the other night some teenager walked into my lobby from the street and went directly into the restroom. When she emerged she went straight back out, not saying a word. I followed her out and told her I didn't have a public restroom and next time she could at least ask to use the facilities.

This has never been a problem before and probably won't be again. It just irritated me at the time.
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Re: water 23 Jun 2004 23:17 #26672

  • RoxyVaudeville
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My theatre still has its original 1933 marble drinking fountain in the lobby about 8 feet from the refreshment stand. As far as I know it is still required by law that all theatres in Pa. must have a drinking fountain. Above the marble sink is the stainless steel bubbler. They are not allowed to be used any longer except where still original due to the cup design. It is possible for people to put their finger under the drain and allow the cup to fill and then drink from it. I can't imagine why people would do that, but I have seen kids do it. YUK! Last year some of the internal metal parts rusted away and it fell apart (gee... after only 71 years), so I had some one at a machine shop duplicate the pieces and I put it back together as good as new. Had anyone known that it had failed I would not been allowed to replace it with that design, but rather would have had to put in a modern one that would have looked out of place in my historic theatre.

We sell bottled water for $1.00. So between the reasonable price for our bottled water and the free water at the fountain we seldom get requests for a cup unless it's for taking a pill, or someone is having a coughing fit. However, on those rare occasions when we are asked we usually do give a free 14 oz. courtesy cup with ice.

The rest rooms are another story. They are for paid customers ONLY! As we are an old single screen theatre, tickets are collected before you enter the main lobby, and the rest rooms are upstairs acessable only through the main lobby. Therefore, one must pass the doorman to get access to the rest rooms. The only way you get past the doorman is with a ticket. Occasionally, someone will come in and ask to use the rest room. The doorman politely tells the requester that they may enter if they have a ticket. At that point the person will usually say: "Oh, I don't want to see the movie, I just want to use the rest room". The doorman then says:"I'm sorry, but no one is allowed past this point without a ticket". Obviously some people are not pleased with that policy, but I feel that it is necessary or we would become the public restroom for the entire neighborhoor. As I have had this policy for the past 34 years and have not seen any negative effect upon my business due to it, I have no intention of changing it.

[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited June 24, 2004).]
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Re: water 24 Jun 2004 10:08 #26673

Back when the exploration for water on Mars was in the news, I saw this great cartoon. Two Martians are standing by this little pool of water. One turns to the other and says,"We can bottle it and sell to the earthlings." The other replies, "I don't think so, their not that stupid." Gee, I guess their already here, and I guess we are!
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Re: water 25 Jun 2004 05:42 #26674

  • jimor
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SilverSpider's cartoon may be more right than he knows! It has been brought out on TV that the National Sanitary Foundation has disclosed that bottled water need NOT meet the sanitray standards of fresh drinking water that most municipalities in the country must for their tap water! It has also been brought out that the plastic bottles they use DO leach chemicals into the water, besides the fact that there are no universal legal standards for bottled water, and that such rarely contains fluoride which is beneficial to harden the teeth and forestall tooth decay. Of course, the money grubbers quickly seized this opportunity to gyp dumb 'earthlings' of their money and make big bucks for themselves by denying public tap water and selling bottles instead. What do they care if the bottles emit poisonous chemicals? There is always another sucker born every minute, as P.T. Barnum said, and therefore someone new to fleece before they die.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: water 25 Jun 2004 06:18 #26675

  • outaframe
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Another little publicized fact is that several brands of domestic bottled water turn out to be nothing more than filtered tap water from the location where they are bottled... Ah, the power of advertizing!...

As we speak, I am working towards putting together a marketable boxed fresh air... There will be two varieties at first: cool for Summer, and warm for Winter, but after we get rolling, I plan to add Spring and Fall air to the lineup... We will be offering both the regular and theater size boxes... Anyone who wants to invest, and get rich quick, please contact me... ;-}
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Re: water 25 Jun 2004 08:10 #26676

  • leeler
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We sell Aquafina for exactly the reasons outlined above. It, at least, has a "purity guarantee" on the label. It costs more but not too bad. In any case, is it really unreasonable to ask for a quarter for the cup, lid, straw, ice, water and time? I've had shows where I hand out a dozen of them.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: water 25 Jun 2004 08:46 #26677

  • coryray
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Leeler, there's always two ways to skin the preverbial... For the sake of the discussion, say your charging a buck for the bottled water. Raise the price of the bottled water to $1.50. Say nothing of the paraphenalia you mentioned, just the bottle of water. When they ask for the rest of the stuff, just give it to 'em and your already covered. And for those who don't want it, well, you made some money. It's like a restaurant pricing something all inclusive vs. ala carte.
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Re: water 26 Jun 2004 07:26 #26678

  • jimor
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Outaframe has a cute reply re "Boxed Fresh Air", but I hate to burst his bubble of air, because, you see, that was actually on the market a few years back (but evidently didn't do too well -- I wonder why????) They had "Mountain Top" and "Summer's Day" and the like 'flavors' with slightly scented air! I guess any novelty or gag gift will sell a little in this country; seems good ol' P.T. Barnum was right.

And I say again: Why grouse about charging for water in any form when you can simply install a drinking fountain (it need NOT be refrigerated which costs electricity)? With that on your wall, you should get very few requests for water, and you can simply point to it when someone asks for water. Most regular pill takers have learned the trick of taking pills from a bubbler, so it shouldn't be that much of a cost/time problem for your staff. Maybe a little simple, black and white sign on or near the concession counter like this would help (make it up on your computer printer): FREE DRINKING WATER IS AVAILABLE FROM THE DRINKING FOUNTAIN LOCATED ______.

For those of you with an artistic bent and the willingness to provide so basic a service as a bubbler, Why not arrange to create a tiny alcove in a suitable wall (near the restrooms creates shorter, less expensive plumbing runs) made of GLASS BLOCKS? Not only are they tough and easy to clean, but you can put lighting behind them (Neon? which is cheap enough to leave on 24/7) so that the drinking fountain is not hiding in some shadow, it is decorative if you choose a patterned block, and it can be classy enough to enhance your decor!

[This message has been edited by jimor (edited June 26, 2004).]
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: water 27 Jun 2004 12:43 #26679

  • BECKWITH1
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As I mentioned above, we have a drinking fountain in the lobby directly across the lobby from the ticket window doors. It doesn't stop people from asking for glasses of water at the concession stand in significant numbers. Whole families sometimes get a glass of water each with a bucket of popcorn to share. I appreciate the value of at least charging for the cup/lid/ice when this happens. As I said before, this is not a profit center for us. It doesn't even cover the concession staff time in preparing the cups but it is just a fact of life.

At least I don't have to give out hundreds of free cups to those who have successfully concealed their outside drinks and are now ready to get comfortable with them. We are a discount first run theater and we don't give away free cups as part of the low ticket price. Evidently this is not a problem for anyone else? Perhaps a regional difference. It is not unusual to screamed at when we politely ask people to finish their outside drinks/food before going into the theater. I've had people resort to all sorts of subterfuge to get stuff by us after we have asked them to finish them up outside the theater. Once you have asked someone to finish up their drinks/food outside the theater, it becomes a necessity to enforce that request or they will respect you even less, so I frequently resort to checking trash cans for the offending items. I often can't find them in the trash cans but have no difficulty finding them in the theater with the stuff in their hands. I then ask for the items and throw them away myself. We are not frisking people or playing food cop but people have gotten the idea that they can openly take their dinners and anything else they choose into our theater without regard to the signs posted on our theater doors. We have had to crack down on this out of necessity.
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Re: water 27 Jun 2004 19:07 #26680

  • BurneyFalls
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Two "out-of-towners" came to the matinee today and said, "Can we bring Peaches in with us. She'll sit on my lap and be quiet." Peaches was a small poodle! I told her I was sorry, but the Health Department would not allow me to let Peaches in. She then said she knew she should have brought the back pack with her.

I told her there was some shade outside and I could provide some water. She left and came back inside a few minutes later with Peaches in her arms and wanted to buy two tickets and pay for a cup for her dog. I again told her she had to get the dog out of my building. I sold her the tickets and found an old plastic pumpkin in the back that the dog could drink her water from--no charge.

She was happy, the dog survived outside, and I sold my two tickets.
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