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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » No longer allowed to do your showtimes??? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: No longer allowed to do your showtimes???
Timothy Ervin
Film Handler

Posts: 84
From: Oklahoma
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 07-19-2003 04:49 PM      Profile for Timothy Ervin   Email Timothy Ervin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For years, I have always been allowed to do my own showtimes. Now, with this new company their rule is that no manager is allowed to do a showtime scheduel. It is prepared by the advertising department and sent to your theatre every Monday. I also understand that this is something new that most theatres are doing now and think its a good idea. I have to disagree.

Last week I had three movies getting out at the same time. One of the shows was a sell out of 'Pirates'and it was hell trying to get all 3 auditoriums cleaned in 30 min before the next set started. Well, it just so happened that my DM showed up and was jumping thorugh his skin because of the short time allowed for cleaning. If I had been allowed to do my scheduel then this would never have happend.

To me, it just all makes better since that a manager should be responsible for this, because they know better than anyone else how thier building is laid out, how fast and efficient thier staff are, etc. When I asked what the meaning was behind this corporate decision, I was told that "some managers lack in the knowledge of proper show schedueling". Give me a break. True, some may have caused a problem but if a manager cannot understand and learn the importance of preparing a proper showtime layout, then why are they in this business?

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Dino Panagiotopoulos
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 139
From: Windor, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 07-19-2003 05:24 PM      Profile for Dino Panagiotopoulos   Email Dino Panagiotopoulos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thats the big problem with letting people at head office handle things and make your schedule.........theyre not the ones on the front line cleaning these theaters, and running day to day operations so they shouldnt be expected to know about any of this stuff. With that being said, if they want to do your schedule, they should send you a copy and have you verify it to see if there wont be any conflict (this could be a suggestion to your district manager). Im sure they wouldnt really have a big problem with this. I think it makes everyone happier in the long run and allows for smoother operation.

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Nicholas Roznovsky
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 156
From: College Station, TX, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-19-2003 05:39 PM      Profile for Nicholas Roznovsky   Author's Homepage   Email Nicholas Roznovsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I feel for you. Sadly, that's what things are coming to in a lot of places. How can a company expect their management to be capable of handling anything when they don't even trust them with showtimes?

Our company still allows local managers to come up with their own schedules and reviews them to make sure that they satisfy booking requirements and are within the realm of reality (I once had a manager try to get away with no shows after 7:30 p.m. on the weekends [Roll Eyes] ) before they are finalized. Local staff can better determine traffic patterns and staffing needs than someone in an office hundreds of miles away who has never set foot in your theater.

Given the amount of micromanagement that some other companies do, I'm surprised some managers are allowed to determine their own bathroom breaks. Corporate management may think they're preventing problems, but they're really just insuring that their own managers are [sleep] and incompetent.

Trust your employees to do their job. Then get rid of them when they can't. [evil] [Big Grin]

[ 07-19-2003, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Nicholas Roznovsky ]

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Ken McFall
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 615
From: Haringey, London.
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-19-2003 06:58 PM      Profile for Ken McFall   Email Ken McFall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The problem with marketing guys doing the time sheets is that each time sheet on its own may well be fine. But its the mix with films as they are held over that becomes the problem. They only ever look at each film on its own and not the whole cinema complex.

Hold overs are going to be different in each site, number of screens etc etc. Once they have done the times, thats it the film plays that way from week to week. Add a new film with roughly the same running time and the problems start to build.

When the public complain they will complain about film 'X'. The cinema was dirty, it was late starting etc etc.... They cannot be expected to complain that, there were three films all going in at the same time.

I think I know what the answere is... allow each site to do it's own time sheet. Controversial and Radical I know.

One site I worked in the manager did his own timesheets. Every Monday he argued with the film booker, who from what I gather was not really interested in putting in the effort for the site. The manager was very creative in his time sheets and took everything into account to arrive at the best compromise for the site. He was, is, a real cinema manager, a career manager.

Is he respected for his efforts.... no! He feels frustrated and let down at every turn. But he still put's in the effort for no thanks or appreciation. I could always tell when he'd spoken to the film booker... his neck was BRIGHT red! always a sign of stress.

But one thing he has to look forward to is.... there is always another Monday.

It's time for a song...

Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I wanna shooooooo Hoooo Hoooo Hoooo Hooooo oooot
The whole day down.

Thanks to the Boom Town Rats.

What sick mind writes lyrics like this... and how do you spell them?

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Dustin Mitchell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1865
From: Mondovi, WI, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-19-2003 07:09 PM      Profile for Dustin Mitchell   Email Dustin Mitchell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Upper management at theatre companies seem to lack any knowledge of modern management techniques. The increasing trenf of centralization of operations at the home office is something that many companies discarded decades ago for more modern concepts. In the end it all comes down to money, the big chains think they can save money on payroll by making their GM's work ridiculous hours for little pay-as opposed to a more normal schedule with better pay and perhaps even an extra assistant. As a result many theatres are run by inexperienced, inmature morons who couldn't find anything better to do.

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Ken McFall
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 615
From: Haringey, London.
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-19-2003 07:11 PM      Profile for Ken McFall   Email Ken McFall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dustin....

don't hold back say what you feel... Please!

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-19-2003 08:52 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I understand your concern since you probably do the schedule using at least some amount of logic. But at a certain independent theater here in town it would be a blessing if something like this were to happen. The managers enjoy doing the schedule so that there are maximum of 10 minutes between the time the credits end and the next show starts. And usually many auditoriums drop at the same time. Brilliant planning! The ushers are FORCED to begin cleaning as people are trying to enjoy the credits. Each manager complains about the way the others do the schedule, but then right after that they go and do it the same exact way! Highly amusing.

But then again the show schedules must be approved by corporate so maybe it wouldn't be a blessing if they just did it themselves.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1445
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-19-2003 10:25 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm. I bet it is Regal that is starting to have their booking department do the showtimes (or is it the DMs?).

Anyways, I noticed that trend when I left that company a few years ago. I would not be a general manager for a company that dictates showtimes to their managers. I can understand saying that they want X amount of shows a day - however they are not there to clean the theatres when four of them let out at the same time.

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Jason Black
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1723
From: Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 07-20-2003 12:06 AM      Profile for Jason Black   Author's Homepage   Email Jason Black   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dennis,

Don't come to work for the compnay I work for if that's the way you feel. Hell, I'm not even allowed the courtesy of ordering exactly what I know (on weather and demographics and upcoming films) I will need for an order period. Invariably, my orders would be cut and I run, DUH, run out of merchandise before the next order would arrive! Imagine that. WHo takes the heat from the customers? Bet your behind it wasn't the person responsible for scaling the order back, rather it was an underpaid shift leader or manager fending them off.

Showtimes? LOL.. That's another topic all it's own. TWP and Dustin know *all to well* what I'm talking about... or they should..

[eyes] [puke]

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Mike Williams
Master Film Handler

Posts: 255
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-20-2003 08:18 AM      Profile for Mike Williams   Email Mike Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Hmmm. I bet it is Regal that is starting to have their booking department do the showtimes (or is it the DMs?).

It's not Regal.

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R. Andrew Diercks
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 232
From: Marion, Iowa (In the middle of everywhere)
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 07-20-2003 11:01 AM      Profile for R. Andrew Diercks   Email R. Andrew Diercks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My company sets showtimes for us, and I have met many of the managers that would create disasters if they did this. We are small enough (37 locations) however, that I can make a phone call if I disagree and they will be changed. The times are set in the office largely because our advertising manager is responisble for knowing each paper's ad deadline and gets them sent at the proper time. Our ad manager has managed theatres and moved to corporate so he has been in the trenches and is respectful of that. I guess bigger isn't always better to work for.

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Eric Hooper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 532
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 07-28-2003 04:40 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow. The scheduling of programming and showtimes, and setting up the week's advertising... This would be my dream job! Ever since I was a kid I was always facinated with movie theatre operations. I had no idea such a position was even out there!!

OK, embarrasing confession: I 'play' along every week with all the new releases and I set up scheduled showtimes and programming for mock theatres that I've made up. I watch the box office each week very closely and predict and schedule traffic flows for each film at my 'theatres'. (BTW, I always allow ample time for theatre cleaning and schedule the showtimes to best maximize all theatre operations.) Fridays I always analyze the movie listings in the newspaper to see how I did compared to the real theatres out there. I also enjoy all the movie ads too. And after analyzing the weekend box office results, every Monday thru Wednesday are my planning periods for changing the programs (new releases on Friday) and showtimes based on the previous weekend's traffic and ticket sales.

I really enjoy this silly little 'hobby' of mine very much. [Smile] I wish there was a SIMS MOVIE THEATRE OPERATIONS game for the computer. I'd be the first to buy it! But more importantly, perhaps I should start checking into some theatre chains and see what positions are out there... hmmmmm. Any ideas anyone?

Eric

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-28-2003 08:06 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very interesting. I used to do the same thing years ago. I also went as far as to cut out the movie ads and keeping track of different titles and when they opened how long they played where they played and everything. Sometimes I wish I still had all that stuff.

I enjoy doing the schedules at my theater and my manager likes the fact that I take interest in it because it allows him to get other things done. He checks over it and offers suggestions if he sees the need witch is not very often. Plus with me being in charge of projection too I can cover all the bases in reguards to making his job easier along with keeping other things like crowd and clean up under control.

The most evident of outside sources other than management making the schedules is Carmike in our area schedule all 10 of there movies to start within a 15 minute span. Like 4 7:00's, 2 7:05's, 1 7:10 and 3 7:15's. This being a discount theater too. They end up having lines stretch way out into the parking lot.

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Jason Black
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1723
From: Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 07-29-2003 12:17 AM      Profile for Jason Black   Author's Homepage   Email Jason Black   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Daryl,

This is a common practice not just isolated to your local competitor. It's normally a company wide set of times, so, in theory, if you call one of them in your town, you know what time the same feature plays in ANY of their locations. I'll never understand not one bit of logic or forethought put into that decision. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to me. I guess it's an "always been that way, always will be that way" decision process. [Frown]

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1129
From: Marietta, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 08-05-2003 08:29 AM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eric - there is a kind of "SIMS" game for movie theater junkies.

Go to www.movieboss.com to play

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