Dear Crest Theater Management,
Yesterday was my birthday. My tradition is to see films in theaters on my birthday. It’s not the most original way to celebrate, but I enjoy it greatly, and have been doing it every year for as long as I can remember (except once, but that’s another story).
My initial plan was to see Thor at 1:30, come home, have dinner, and then take a couple of my kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2 at 7:30. As I was driving to the theater, I looked at the time and realized I simply wouldn’t make it in time for the 1:30 showing of Thor. Rather than miss the first 10 minutes or so of the film, I turned my car around and went to a different film – one that I was able to make it to on time.
I absolutely hate walking into a theater late. I would rather miss a film than miss the first several minutes. That’s why I turned my car around and caught a different film in the afternoon – I simply did not want to watch Thor having missed the first 10 or 15 minutes.
After dinner, I took two of my kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2, as was the plan, to round out my birthday celebration. We arrived at the theater and purchased our tickets at 7:24. My kids wanted to check out the photographs of the stars on display, a favorite activity to do when attending a showing at the Crest. A couple of minutes were spent doing this, then we went to find our seat. Walking into the theater, we noticed the film had already started. I checked the time, and it was 7:28. The time Kung Fu Panda 2 was designated to start, on our ticket and the time advertised, was 7:30. I went out and asked what time the movie started and was told there was a mix up with the start times, and apparently Kung Fu Panda 2 was started at 7:15 (and the movie that was to begin at 7:15 didn’t start until 7:30).
If I were by myself, I would have asked for a refund and gone to a different movie at a later time. I was with my kids, however, and they were already disappointed at missing the beginning of the film. I decided to not further disappoint them by pulling them out of the theater. We sat through the rest of the film, but I was reminded the entire time why I don’t like going into a movie late. I felt like I was missing something and playing “catch up” the whole time. This is far from relaxing, and certainly not a pleasant way to end a birthday celebration.
While The Crest is a second run theater, and tickets are only $3, this is unacceptable. I assumed the people running the Landmark Theaters chain were as much a fan of movies as I am. I understand mistakes happen, but there was no fix for those of us (and I know my family was not the only one) that missed the beginning of the film. No apology or offer to rectify the situation was made. Will I return to The Crest to see another film? More than likely, but I also might be a little less readily eager to do so.
NOTE: Yes, I printed this out and sent it to the theater.