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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » To thank or not to thank (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: To thank or not to thank
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12445
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-08-2000 04:38 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's your policy regarding stationing somebody at the door to thank patrons on the way out?

I personally hate having somebody standing there like a broken record saying buh-bye! buh-bye! buh-bye! like a flight attendant. I have found that with some movies, people are just not in the mood right afterward to be greeted by some smiley-faced person.

Example: Perfect Storm...that movie has a very somber ending. Some people are pretty choked up when they leave. Others are ticked off because they don't like sad endings.

Titanic was the same way. Also, Saving Private Ryan comes to mind.

Other movies just suck... any Pokemon film, Titan AE, Big Momma's House, etc. People are so ticked off that they've wasted their money on this crap that they're likely to be hostile on the way out. If anything, we should station somebody there to apologize!

If a movie has a happy upbeat type ending then people are happy/chatty on the way out and it's much easier to talk to them afterward.

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-08-2000 04:45 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We take any chance we can to talk to our customers. When we can, we hold open the auditorium doors and say thank you. Our fire marshal will not let us put door stops on our auditorium doors.

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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 07-09-2000 06:02 AM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ian, our fire marshall takes fifty bucks and we can light the customers on fire for all he cares.

My policy is to ask people who come out what they thought of the picture, how was the sound, light, seating, etc. You pick someone that doesn't look in a hurry. You really connect that way and the other customers see it. Great service that comes from a desire to make people happy can be felt financially, given time.

Dave

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"If it's not worth doing, I have allready been there and done it"

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Ky Boyd
Hey I'm #23

Posts: 314
From: Santa Rosa, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-11-2000 01:44 AM      Profile for Ky Boyd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I'm with Ian on this one. I regularly make a practice of thanking customers for coming as they exit the building, especially when its the end of the night and I'm monitoring the lobby. Most patrons appreciate it and being owners it gives us great face time with the customers. Of course many of our customers know Ian and I by site since we try to introduce the movies as often as possible. However, I don't require my staff to stand at the auditorium door and thank everyone. If they do it and it sounds sincere then that is great. But I don't want anyone doing it with an attitude of I'm just thanking you cause my boss told me to.

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Christopher Barahona
Film Handler

Posts: 19
From: North Conway, NH, USA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-18-2000 11:56 PM      Profile for Christopher Barahona   Email Christopher Barahona   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have told my ushers to listen to what customners have to say about films as they're leaving so they can assess how a film is and give an accurate account of what genreal audience think of a picture if they ask us "how is that?".
It all comes with customer service and how the staff treats people as they leave. In your face is never any good, but nonchalante conversation is great to build a positive repoire with your regulars.

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Lance C. McFetridge
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Penn Yan, New York
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 07-19-2000 10:36 AM      Profile for Lance C. McFetridge   Email Lance C. McFetridge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We tend to thank people as they leave the theatre, particularly if they make some kind of eye contact with us. It seems natural to do, and my employees just get a kick out of talking to the patrons as they leave. In my opinion, makes most feel good when they leave and good last impressions are as important as good first impressions.
lance

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 07-19-2000 12:51 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree that greeting patrons and encouraging conversation with them is a good way to get valuable customer feedback. Asking if they enjoyed the picture, how was the image quality and sound, what improvements they would like to see, etc. helps correct minor problems that may have bothered them, that they might not otherwise complain about.

Having a suggestion box, and encouraging audience comments, is also a good idea. But be sure to follow-up personally on every suggestion.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Scott Magie
Film Handler

Posts: 73
From: St. Albans, VT USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-31-2000 12:48 AM      Profile for Scott Magie   Email Scott Magie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I like to talk to customers when they come out for their mid-movie treats/pit-stop. As I'm filling their drink or directing them to the clearly marked bathroom (that they walked past to get to me) I just ask how the movie's going. Is the sound good? Picture in focus? Etc. People seem to genuinely appreciate my concern even though it is rarely necessary.
I've also been known to get into long discussions with patrons about the movie on their way out, but I try to be open to initiation without initiating myself... this way they can escape by me without feeling awkwardly socialized if they wish.

Funny story:
A lady recently came out of Perfect Storm midway thru the film (she was getting seasick). We talked for about a half hour while she waited for the rest of her family to finish watching the movie. In the course of our discussion, we discovered that her nephew was my roommate for two years in Montana. (this took place in Vermont and my roommate is from Seattle) How we ever met and discovered the connection is beyond me. So when her family came out of the movie, she introduced me to my good friend's cousins and uncle... "this is your cousin's roommate from college in Montana". Needless to say, they were a tad bit confused.

In other words, we all know being friendly is good for business... but you also never know who you're talking to. That next customer could be your future mother-in-law or something... so be nice (and compliment her shoes!)

------------------
Scott A. Magie

scoooot@hotmail.com
"Anybody wanna peanut?"

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Wayne Cope
Film Handler

Posts: 25
From: Micanopy, FL, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 09-26-2000 06:50 AM      Profile for Wayne Cope   Email Wayne Cope   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am surprised to read about Ian's fire marshal. I understand the reason for stairwell doors not ever being propped open and that's a serious reason. But I don't get the problem with the auditorium doors being propped open.

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Richard C. Wolfe
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Northampton, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 09-26-2000 07:52 AM      Profile for Richard C. Wolfe   Author's Homepage   Email Richard C. Wolfe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always station myself between the two sets of doors leading from the main lobby to the outer lobby and achknowledge my patrons existence as they leave. What I mean by that is, while I rarely ever say thank you I usually say "good night" or just smile or nod or say "good to see you again", or "how ya been". I just want to let them know that I know they were there and I appreciate it. This allows them the oppurtunity to open a dialouge if they want and often someone does. I feel this is not as mechanical looking as saying thankyou to everyone and is appreciated as it is changed to fit each individual. I also as the owner who has been here for over thirty years am known by most of my patrons, so they know that I'm not an employee that has been ordered to stand there and repeat the same thing over and over.

The customers seem to really appreciate it.

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Richard C. Wolfe
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Northampton, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 09-26-2000 09:20 PM      Profile for Richard C. Wolfe   Author's Homepage   Email Richard C. Wolfe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh...and one more comment.

Tonight as I stood there at the end of the show I was reminded of what I had forgot to mention in my previous post.

Even though I don't say Thank You...it is amazing how many of my patrons say Thank You to ME.

That certainly gives me a good feeling as I know then that they appreciate that we are here for them.

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Chad Souder
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 962
From: Waterloo, IA, USA
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 09-26-2000 10:25 PM      Profile for Chad Souder   Email Chad Souder   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our fire marshall doesn't allow door props either. The idea is, if a fire occurs in the theatre, it won't be allowed out into the lobby, or vice versa.

Our ushers stand by the doors as people leave, but we only say 'thanks' to those that bring their trash out with them and throw it away for us. You gotta be appreciative for that.

------------------
"Asleep at the switch? I wasn't asleep, I was drunk!" - Homer Simpson

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1573
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-26-2000 11:12 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I came up with idea that like one show each weekend someone should stand at the door and give passes or some sort of coupon to the people who bring out thier trash this way people will

A.be rewarded fo rdoing a good thing
b. promote the good thing
3.encourage non food buyers to pick up someone elses trash!!!!

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Chris Trainor
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 161
From: Greenville, RI, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-27-2000 12:24 AM      Profile for Chris Trainor   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Trainor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sean, I do that at my theater generally on weekends.. We give out 50cent concession stand coupons as patrons throw out their trash.


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Chad Souder
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 962
From: Waterloo, IA, USA
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 09-27-2000 03:41 PM      Profile for Chad Souder   Email Chad Souder   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So what happens when dad takes the popcorn bag, mom gets one drink cup, son gets the empty milk duds box, sis takes the napkins or the courtesy tubs they got to split up the popcorn. At $.50 per coupon, you could give away a lot of free food. I still say thanks is plenty. McD's doesn't give free fries for throwing your trash in the box on your way out, but most people do anyway.

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