I’ve just about had it with theaters.
We tried to go see the new Superman movie this evening. I bought tickets on Fandango a few weeks ago. We arrived at the theater about 45 minutes early, which would have been plenty of time, except that the machines for some reason couldn’t find my ticket. After being shunted around to three desks, I finally arrived at the Guest Services counter, where they told me I could just use my printed receipt (which I’d thoughtfully brought) as a ticket. Of course, by this time, it was only 25 minutes before the show, and the theater was already getting pretty packed.
There were plenty of empty seats, but they were all “saved”. Normally, I expect that a few seats will be saved. Maybe even half. But we’re talking several rows of more than 12 seats. Saved. I approached a manager who seemed to be guarding them, who simply told me that they were saved. He “informed” me that there were plenty of places where we could get two seats together, and he couldn’t release any of the seats. I asked him where, and he pointed out two of them. I went to check it out. Saved. I went back and told him that, and he pointed out two more. Saved.
Saved, saved, saved.
Sorry, AMC IMAX theater, but no. Just no. I came expecting some competition for seats, and I arrived early. But I didn’t expect to be denied seats by your staff for actually being there, and told that I was just shit out of luck. For as long as I’ve been going to the movies, there have always been rules about general seating. One of them is that you can’t save more than two seats, three tops. But twelve?
I got a refund and was given two free additional tickets, but I still feel shafted. After all of the complaining about how people aren’t going to the movies anymore, the theaters should be falling over themselves that there’s actually this excitement.
I wanted to go to the movies to have some kind of shared experience, and instead I encountered a complete lack of any hospitality whatsoever. To be honest, I’m still kind of confused by the whole situation. I don’t know if I encountered some kind of special VIP situation, or just incompetence. But I do know that my time was wasted in going to the theater and going through all this, and the whole thing was pretty frustrating and unpleasant. I suppose it’s naive of me to expect them to recognize that their business lies in providing pleasant experiences.