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Author Topic: Theatre Damage
Brent Mahaney
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

 - posted 08-24-2003 06:35 PM      Profile for Brent Mahaney     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Are there any managers or owners who have suggestions with regard to minimizing property damage inside theaters? We have had the backs of several seats carved up with knives (foam literally coming out of the seats) and candy being thrown and sticking to the screens. We have a security guard on weekend nights, and we do walkthroughs whenever possible. There doesn't seem to be much more we can do. I was reading the post on smoking in the theaters, which we've had some problems with...but this is sort of along the same lines. It's pathetic that some customers have no respect for theater property. Now, how in the world do you catch them? It's tough.

The fact of the matter know who you're going to have trouble with the second they walk through the door. Then you end up having to babysit them the whole two hours they are there. That's just not practical especially when you are trying to keep your payroll to a minimum.

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

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

 - posted 08-24-2003 07:10 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
unfortunatly this is comon in degrees depending on the area the theater is located in. My best advice is to get the damaged seats fixed as soon as possable. I know right now this can be hard but my point is this. If you have seats that show damage then the trouble makers or going to think no one cares and keep damaging things. If you can fix the problems and keep them fixed the damage may become less severe as time goes on because they will notice that their handy work doesn't remain. Same goes for the screens but they are harder to maintain.

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Don Anderson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 312
From: West Bend, WI, USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 08-24-2003 07:19 PM      Profile for Don Anderson   Email Don Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Those kids known they can get a way with murder! Perhaps, you could get someone that you employ (or a few good friends) to sit in the auditorium (wearing street clothes) and keep an eye out for the rascals! I've done that in our auditorium, have been called a few choice names, and then booted their butts out. NO REFUNDS either.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 08-24-2003 07:56 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've done that in our auditorium, have been called a few choice names, and then booted their butts out. NO REFUNDS either.

If you actually catch them in an act of vandalism, PRESS CHARGES. For proof, consider a photo showing them in the act.

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Kyle Caudill
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: Wichita Falls, TX
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 08-24-2003 08:13 PM      Profile for Kyle Caudill   Email Kyle Caudill   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You might to talk to the local police if you are having trouble. Sometimes with tagging and certain kinds of damage, it is the same kids and the police will files on them. It is an easy way to catch taggers.

Also, you might want to try and do announcements before movies. Have a memeber of management get in front and announce if you have problems find an employee or you see something inappropriate please report it. Rewards such as passes or free popcorn could be used. These announcements could be used as everybody's one warning also.

Also dont be afraid to ban people. Carry a polaroid, take a picture of them. Tell them if they come back, it is trespassing and call the police.

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 08-24-2003 09:15 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
Try IR illuminators and security cameras and record their actions. Most all theme parks use this method to monitor their rides and attractions....especially the "dark" rides.

Then when you catch tem, prosecute.

>>> Phil

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Mike Markwood
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Barberton, Ohio, USA
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted 08-24-2003 11:30 PM      Profile for Mike Markwood   Email Mike Markwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many times you can tell who might cause problems when they are in the lobby, find out what movie they went to see. Then just frequently send employees in to check or have someone sit in the back for a while.

We put cameras in our lobby, etc. but decided against putting any in the theatres (mainly a cost issue). We might in the future put cameras above all the screens to monitor the theatres.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 08-30-2003 05:26 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The old video cameras that used saticon tubes (circa 1975 - to about 1980) were very sensitive to infrared light. If you can find a few of them, maybe on ebay, you probably could get them for practically nothing. Mount them inconspicuously in the theatres, a few rolls of coax cable plus and inexpensive infrared light source, and you've got a down and dirty way of monitoring the auditoria from a central location. You see vandalism going on, you press the record button on your VCR and call the police, all at the same time.

The thing is, more than not, trouble-makers usually are small in numbers and they usually "hang" together. The word will travel fast and wide if the police walk down the isle and arrest or evict offenders. It will only take one or two of those arrests or evictions for the theatre to quickly gain a "Don't Tread On Me" reputation. You will find that the trouble-makers will look elseware for less aggressive venues to ply their trade.


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Jean-Michel Grin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 222
From: Geneva & Lausanne, Switzerland
Registered: Jul 2002

 - posted 08-30-2003 05:46 PM      Profile for Jean-Michel Grin   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Michel Grin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've suggested once time to my boss to install IR cameras in auditoriums to fight against vandalism, but my boss said to me: Is too expensive... [Frown]
Sometimes I wanted to have a baseball stick, and kick out these f****ng rascals who damage the seats and the screen "just for fun"

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Michael Schaffer
"Where is the
Boardwalk Hotel?"

Posts: 4143
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Apr 2002

 - posted 08-30-2003 06:01 PM      Profile for Michael Schaffer   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Schaffer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Like Mr Markwood said, the trained eye can spot the little troublemakers in the lobby. If you send someone into the auditorium to check they usually go quiet, because they are also little cowards. But if you seat somebody in the audience you can catch them easily. Then stop the movie, bring the lights up and throw them out in front of the rest of the audience. You will have to apologize to the rest of the audience this one time, but you won`t believe how fast the word spreads that your theatre is not a place to go to make trouble.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 08-31-2003 01:18 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jean-Mitchel said
"I've suggested once time to my boss to install IR cameras in auditoriums to fight against vandalism, but my boss said to me: Is too expensive...
Well the first time he has to replace a torn screen he will realize what the phrase, "spend little now or spend a lot later" means.


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