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Author Topic: Complaints about San Diego theaters
Tom Hayes
Film Handler

Posts: 21
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2006

 - posted 08-21-2006 07:05 PM      Profile for Tom Hayes   Email Tom Hayes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not sure wheter to put this here, or in general (or jsut to keep my yap shut) but here is;
The list of complaints about movies in San Diego that the theater is responsible for. (Excludes patron issues and movie content):

Recent issues:

1)Clerks II - Misframed : The tops of everyone's heads were cut off. - Pacific Downtown
This wa either the worng lens or the wrong masking . (I walked out)
Come to think of it Clerks II at the Arclight in Hollywood was misframed SLIGHTLY. The bottom of the credits were cut off.

2)Searching for Comedy in The Muslim World - Misframed: Subtitles cut off on the bottom of the screen. You could not read ANY words in two line subtitles. - Pacific Downtown
(stayed , but not happy)

3)Syriana - Sounds and hair in the gate: The first 10 minutes were way, way, way too low. You could barely make out the words. Once that was fixed there was a hair on the screen. Very reminiscent of Bugs Bunny Cartoons. - Pacific Downtown

(Stayed but not happy)

4)Harry Potter - Sub and Rear Surrounds out : Whichever the latest Harry potter was. The subs was off and the rear surrounds were not on. Picture was great. - Pacific Downtown
(Stayed, but not happy)

5)Superman Returns - Sound too low: The sound was way too low. I informed the ushers several times but they thought the sound was fine. When people talked I had to cup my ear to hear. When the space shuttle blew up you could hear a person talking at normal volume over it. I expect that BIG BUDGET Hollywood films to have IMPACT when things like guns are shot, spaceships are blowing up and when people are yelling. When we went to see it on IMAX the sound was PERFECT! - pacific Grossmont
(Stayed, but not happy)

Older issues:

Hellboy - Anamorphic film shown without anamorphic lens. Everyone was 30 feet tall and one inch wide - Pacific Downtown (left)

Monsters Inc - Sound only from Front Center speaker during last reel. Something went very wrong. Pacific Grossmont (Stayed, but not happy)

The Royal Tannenbaum's - Vertical and Horizontal lines appeared sharply curved . I think this is because the theaters are much less deep than needed for screen size so they use a curved screen. VERY annoying in this film. AMC Mission Valley (Left)

Made - Sound went out completely several times . This seemed like an amplification problem. AMC Mission Valley. (Stayed but not happy)

Impostor - Film Scratched to such a degree it looked very old tyme. Looks like someone unspooled the film on the ground and rewound it. AMC Mission Valley. (Left)

Return of the Kings: Lord of the Rings III - Sound way too low - THe sound was so low that you could hear the people behind you breathe. AMC Misison Valley (Left)

Jackie Brown: on opening day and the last reel was projected upside down and emulsion side out, and backwards. We all got our money back, and free passes for another showing. (UA Horton Plaza)

Spy Kids II in Digital: would not play the trailers or the first 6 minutes of the film. We got free passes, an explanation by the theater manager (he came into the auditorium) and had the option of staying and watching what they could project. We stayed. (AMC Mission Valley)

The Musketeer: it was much much too dark. Obviously a bulb issue. Left that one. (Pacific Sorrento Valley)

And on opening night of Fahreinhiet 911 the air conditioner was broken and the sold out audience raised the tempature to 90 degrees at least.

Add these experiences up with walking out of films because they were awful (Starksy and Hutch, Bullet Proof Monk) and Hollywood is lucky I'm go to the theater at all anymore.

Interesting note: For about two years EVERY film i saw at the local, small, art-house theater broke. It was at The Ken in San Diego. But the film 'Spanking the Monkey' broke three times and we were GLAD. That film was so creepy that it helped us decompress.
Films that broke also included several Jackie Chan movies, Pulp Fiction, The original Clerks and some I can't remember.

I *always* leave when I am alone. Most of the other times I am with other people and they will stay thought almost anything. Now I leave and they call me on the phone when the film is over. Thank God for cell phones.

And I won't mention other things like the peopel smokign pot during Charlie and The Choclate Factory, or the 10 kid fistfight (that spilled into the lobby with the security guard) when I saw Finding Nemo.

What can *I* do ?

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-21-2006 09:03 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You should never leave without telling a manager (not a popcorn kid or an usher) about the problem. If you don't get satisfaction, contact the chain directly via their website. Keep griping until they listen, and if you get someone who won't talk to you, ask for their supervisor.

I don't know how well all of this would work, but that's what I'd do. Personally I don't understand how any company could allow this kind of crap to go on, but I know it DOES go on all the time.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 593
From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006

 - posted 08-21-2006 10:20 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed you have to tell a manager when complaining. Something like the film going out of rack or a missed scope change is what should be an occasional and unfortunate occurence that can be fixed within 30 seconds.

Even then it should be the responsibility of the floor staff to check the screen every 20-30 minutes and projection staff on feature and once per reel if time permits. Especially floor staff as that job is so easy most of the time it's like money for nothing. If something simple takes more than three minutes from you getting up to it being fixed you should get a refund.

As for the kids smoking pot, I would rather have that than the little kid who wouldn't shut the f*** up or stop kicking my seat during the show. Looked round a few times the parent didn't care. Should have complained more really, but it was one of our sites and it's always awkward. It's one of the reasons to avoid evenings and weekends at the cinema. Something I strongly suggest doing.

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Eric Hooper
Jedi Master Film Handler

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

 - posted 08-22-2006 04:02 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And the industry wonders why people don't want to go to the movies anymore.... [uhoh]

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Jon Miller
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 973
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 08-22-2006 08:16 PM      Profile for Jon Miller   Email Jon Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tom Hayes
I'm not sure wheter to put this here, or in general
There's a long-running thread on bad film handling and presentation: Hey You, You Suck! (click away!) Even though most of the well-justified criticism arise from F-T members' encounters with poorly-handled and damaged prints, there are quite a few complaints from a moviegoer's point of view.

quote: Tom Hayes
For about two years EVERY film i saw at the local, small, art-house theater broke.
Unless they recently upgraded, the Ken is the last full-time theatre in San Diego still running changeovers with carbon arcs (Peerless Magnarcs behind Super Simplex heads). Not a booth for the faint of heart! [Smile]

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