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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Do Theatres Ever "Invent" Print Problems? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Do Theatres Ever "Invent" Print Problems?
Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4094
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 08-09-2003 08:11 AM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sure...if you have a mechanical breakdown in one house you're going to shift things around so your best performers stay on screen while cancelling your worst dog. But do theatres ever feign a problem with a given print in order to interlock an extra screen of the one that has been selling out?

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

Posts: 3686
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 08-09-2003 01:55 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes they do. Well, they did anyway. I haven't seen it in a while myself, I suppose because even the horrible films are opening on a billion screens now.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 08-09-2003 02:08 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Seen it happen for quite a long time now. More often though, the "projector is broken" line is used on that movie that lets out much later than the rest of the movies in the lineup. It happens because salaried managers want to go home early. You won't find it near the problem with hourly paid managers.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12814
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 08-09-2003 03:54 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know in the '80s we had numerious "technical difficulties" with slower titles whilst the new hot-lick film had lines whipping around the block that had many more people than one or ever two theatres could hold in the complex. I distinctly remember running one print on all three screens in a triple several times.

There was one theatre...the K-B Studio that had REALLY thin walls between the auditoriums (only a triple but that was a big deal at the time and it was a 2nd floor theatre too!)...anyway when the latest bad horror film came print could and would run on all three screens...if you were in theatre #1 (the last theatre in the line) you could "hear" the scary event before it came to you!


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George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99

 - posted 08-09-2003 09:23 PM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This has happened a lot to me. Managers decide (sometimes only 10-15 minutes in advance) to add an extra screen for a popular film and cancel a slower one. They usually use the broken projector line to the customers.

When I was working for General Cinema, I remember one night when a manager decided shortly before a show to interlock our most popular film. They had already sold tickets for the slower feature they were canceling and the customers were already sitting in the auditorium. So management had to shoo them out of the auditorium with the "broken projector" line to make room for the other patrons. It turned out that the number of extra patrons they got due to the interlock was less then the number of patrons they had to send home from the "slow" movie that was canceled. Yeah...I've worked with some real bright people [Smile]

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Steve Anderson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 168
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 08-10-2003 11:07 AM      Profile for Steve Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Steve Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have seen some small theaters quickly shut down if no one shows up for the last showing. I mean lights off doors locked at 9:31 for a 9:30 feature!

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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

 - posted 08-10-2003 04:45 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's 'cause most salaried managers are wusses.

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John Walsh
Film God

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From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 08-10-2003 05:09 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sometimes, theaters will interlock a popular film, dumping a 'less busy' film from the same studio. Generally in that situation the studio won't complain too much, since they also benefit.

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Nathan Guerriero
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Apr 2002

 - posted 08-17-2003 09:18 PM      Profile for Nathan Guerriero   Email Nathan Guerriero   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I managed at the 600 N Michigan theatre in Chicago this was a fairly regular event. At the time, we seldom were booked with more than two prints of a given movie. Whenever we had a big film, mysterious problems would crop up late on Friday and Saturday to make room for the interlocks.

At my current theatre, the Biograph, I can only dream of a day when we will have a sellout, to say nothing of an interlock...

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John Walsh
Film God

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From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 08-18-2003 06:30 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nathan, is that the same Biograph where John Dillinger saw his last film?

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Chris Hipp
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1462
From: Mesquite, Tx (east of Dallas)
Registered: Jul 2003

 - posted 08-18-2003 01:38 PM      Profile for Chris Hipp   Email Chris Hipp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of course I wouldn't know first hand, but I have heard of some theatres that will cancel the last show of the tear down prints so that they can get the booth guys out faster.

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Nicholas Roznovsky
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 08-18-2003 02:40 PM      Profile for Nicholas Roznovsky   Author's Homepage   Email Nicholas Roznovsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, that's pretty common, especially with small-town Mom and Pop operations. There's actually a theater down the road from me that doesn't run a 9:00 round of shows except on Friday and Saturday during the school year. During the summer, they still cancel the last showings of films on Thursday nights.

That's a guy who really wants to get home.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-18-2003 09:04 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have seen some small theaters quickly shut down if no one shows up for the last showing. I mean lights off doors locked at 9:31 for a 9:30 feature!
We are small, but we never lock up THAT fast if nobody shows up! We wait at least 15 minutes past the published show time before turning off the lights. (And -- yes, I've had a couple of times where people would show up 20 minutes late, AFTER the lites are off, and yup, we'd run the show for them.)

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Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 531
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 08-18-2003 10:45 PM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our local UA sixplex often will have a problem during the last showing of the last night of any given feature. Although they have platters, it seems it is almost policy to break a show down onto 6,000 feet reels for the last show on a shipout night. There is an unscheduled intermission while the second 6,000 reel is threaded. (Gee we had a projector porblem) Then the first reel is taken apart while the second one is running. BUT HEY the operator gets to leave that much earlier.

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R. Andrew Diercks
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 08-19-2003 11:38 AM      Profile for R. Andrew Diercks   Email R. Andrew Diercks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We don't run late shows Sunday-Thursday during school. That's due to incredible lack of business. Often times having 5 or less people for all five screens when we have run them. This change is advertised well and I would never cancel a show to leave early. I have known this to happen on Thursdays elsewhere however. I will say on a teardown print I don't allow my usual 15-20 minutes for late comers. I like to keep it to ten, especially if it ships that night. After ten we honestly start tearing down, so I don't lie to customers, we just tell them it's shipping out and we already started tearing it down. I have even intrigued booth tours for those that didn't know we had to do this and they were fascinated. 19 times out of 20 on a Thurs. late show, if they are not there yet, nobody comes. I have never had a theatre with interlocks so I've never run a movie in 2 auditoriums. Sometimes I would like to.

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