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Author Topic: How late is 'too late'?
Thomas Pitt
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: May 2007


 - posted 04-05-2008 01:44 AM      Profile for Thomas Pitt   Email Thomas Pitt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most of the time when going to see a movie, I see a lot of customers enter the auditorium while the advert reel is playing, and some entering during the trailers. I even see people coming in during the opening scenes, up to 10 minutes into the movie!

What's your opinion on lateness? How late do you leave it before you shut the doors and don't allow people to buy tickets for that showing?
Also, if someone showed up 'late' with a valid ticket for that showing, what would you do - let them in, or offer to change the ticket for a later showing?

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Chris Slycord
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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 04-05-2008 02:46 AM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Honestly, I've never heard of anyone telling someone that they can't buy a ticket because they're late. Sure, the person entering could be a distraction to people in the auditorium already seeing the movie, but the fact that people get up to use the bathroom will make that point moot. Plus, I've had plenty of times in box office when someone would show up late and I'd say "You've missed a bit of the movie itself by now" only to have them say they have friends in the movie.

And if someone showed up really late with a ticket they had already purchased earlier I'd tell them they could exchange it but if they still wanted to go in I don't see myself telling them they can't.

Now the final show of the night is different; most places I know close down 15-20 mins after they had the very last auditorium start.

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Geoff Jones
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From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 04-05-2008 09:56 AM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Geoff Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Heights Theatre has this notice on their website:

quote:
PLEASE NOTE
Please note that unlike chain or multiplex theaters we DO NOT run any advertisements or multiple previews before our features. The feature usually starts no later than 5 - 10 minutes after the posted start times.

ALSO, for the comfort of our patrons enjoying the show we DO NOT sell tickets or seats for any performance 20 minutes after the posted start time. So please plan accordingly. Thank you!

As a movie-goer, I find this very appealing. If I lived in MN, I'd go out of my way to go there.

Geoff

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Ron Funderburg
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From: Chickasha, Oklahoma, USA
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 04-05-2008 12:41 PM      Profile for Ron Funderburg   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Funderburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I worked for one group of theaters that wouldn't sell a ticket for a show 15 minutes after the show started (preview's started). I call it a group because it was all in one city about 5 theaters and about 15 screens so not a chain but a group.

It seemed to work pretty well. I have seen a lot of posting that the first show tickets begin sales 15 minutes before first show time and that sales end for the day 15 minutes after the last show start. I like that one I have people all the time come in 30 minutes or even later on the last show of the day. I have to then take the money and put on the next days sales. I'm thinking of adopting that one myself if my owners will agree.

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James Westbrook
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From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 04-05-2008 02:25 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some ticketing computers will delete a show time 30 to 45 minutes after the scheduled time, making it impossible to sell tickets to that feature then.

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Galen Murphy-Fahlgren
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From: Canton, MI, USA
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted 04-05-2008 04:58 PM      Profile for Galen Murphy-Fahlgren   Email Galen Murphy-Fahlgren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I run three trailers, four tops if one is a short teaser. I instruct floor staff to tell customers arriving after the start time that previews run 7 minutes on average. Half of the time, customers skip on it if you tell them they have missed some of the movie, but many will still go up to 15 minutes or so into it. Our point of sale software cuts off ticket sales a half hour after the start time, requiring a manager to log in to override it after that.

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Deborah Longoria
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From: olney, il usa
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted 04-05-2008 10:21 PM      Profile for Deborah Longoria   Email Deborah Longoria   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if it's because we're in a small town or what, but about half to a third of our audience arrives either right on time or 10 minutes late. Most of them are herding kids in, so I'm assuming they are trying to get them all organized...but not all.

Part of it is because the previous manager had been known to hold a movie for people to arrive, now we are right on time...with a no later than 5 minutes start (in case of difficulties).

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Ed Alvarado
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From: Fort Worth, TX,usa
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 04-06-2008 10:15 AM      Profile for Ed Alvarado   Author's Homepage   Email Ed Alvarado   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
where I work we have the 15min rule. to me thats too long so I do the 10min thing but there's alot of people who show up late because they think OH ITS OK WE JUST MISSED 20mins OF FILM. not knowing that I start films 5mins early when there's only 12mins of trailers and then there's just the ones who buy tickets and kick back in the lobby to talk with friends and since nobody's in the auditorium I dont start the films. but I guess to answer your question ill have to say 15mins is too late.

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Chris Slycord
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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 04-06-2008 10:50 AM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Ed Alvarado
since nobody's in the auditorium I dont start the films
[Confused] If you've sold tickets and the movie is supposed to start at a specific time this makes no sense. Or do you only do this at the end of the night? Because if I start a movie late waiting for people to enter, the next show could start late.

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-07-2008 11:35 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All the Brandt theatres along forty douch street in Manhattan, when they were still standing...old vaudville houses with weird shapes, some with very short throws and three balconys with booths 6 stories up, putting the projection angle so steep that special brackets had to be fabricated so the takeup magazine didn't get crushed into the floor or the top magazine rammed into the front wall. The screens were typically severely angled toward the booth and still there was terrible keystoning.

These theatres had what they called "continuous run" policy and it distinguished thems from the theatres on Broadway which catered to the more affluent clientel and only seated patrons withing a short window after starting time. On 42nd Street it was much less restricted.

On 42nd Street you could come in anytime you wanted and unlike the Broadway theatres where you only got a single first run feature, paid a higher admission and ate much more expensive popcorn, on 42nd Street you got le cheapo admission (half during the day) and you got cheap popcorn. Sure, you might have to sit a few seats away from a wineo, but you got the same first run feature as the Broadway houses plus catoons and attractions as well as the B feature which was usually an older title.

No matter what time you wandered into the theatre, you could buy a ticket. The last show was the only one which had a cutoff time and that was 30 min into the A feature, which always played last. If you slipped the ticket taker a coupla bucks, he'd let you in no matter if the box office was closed.

I can't imagine how studio counters could keep track of these houses, but they certainly must have had a way because those Brandt theatres did very good business in their hayday. In the early 80s it all began the downward spiral. To survive, some switched over to porn, some went to badly dubbed kung-fu titles, but in the end Disney and Warner Brothers and Ghoul-eani turn a block that once was teaming with color and personally, marquees with huge multi-depth cutouts, into a kind of tacky, antiseptic tourist meca with every Disney animated feature turned into musical extravaganzas on stage and block long stores where you can buy huge stuffed likenesses of Buggs Bunny and Daffy Duck....clean, but no different than 1000 other malls in the USA.

Anyway, there was no cut-off time at the Brandt Theatre's "continuous run" operations; you would be sold a ticket at any time from opening to near closing -- no computer to stop them from selling those roll tickets as long into the movie as there were customers willing to buy.

[ 04-08-2008, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: Frank Angel ]

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James Westbrook
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From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
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 - posted 04-08-2008 01:17 AM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank,
Didn't these theatres also run into the wee hours of the morning, close a few hours for clean-up or whatever, and reopen like...at 9AM?

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-08-2008 07:52 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
James, yah, I was going to say from 12n to 12m, but that was before the area went to seed. When they started running porn, yes, I believe they stayed opened until like 2-3am. They essentially became flop-houses. Quite a shame. The Times Square renovation recovered some of them -- the New Amsterdam and I believe the Victory are now legitimate houses and restored quite beautifully. I believe the New Amsterdam is currently running Mary Poppins -- the stage show, of course. Neither of the restored theatre show movies.

There are only two movie theatres on the block now (Brandt ran at five on the north side of the street, four I think on the south side. Now only two on that block are movie theatres. The AMC Empire was constructed on the site of a Brandt Empire Theatre -- it was the last one on the south west side of the street. I think only one interior wall of the original was preserved.

The Loews Ewalk on the north side of the street, which now is the Regal No-Name -- at least I couldn't see any name on the marquee the last time I passed -- is not on the site of any of the original Brandt chain. I've never been in it since Regal consumed it. I think that was a totally new construction, and if memory serves, it is on the site of what was an SRO hotel.

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Martin Brooks
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From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
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 - posted 04-08-2008 09:52 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
but in the end Disney and Warner Brothers and Ghoul-eani turn a block that once was teaming with color and personally, marquees with huge multi-depth cutouts, into a kind of tacky, antiseptic tourist meca with every Disney animated feature turned into musical extravaganzas on stage and block long stores where you can buy huge stuffed likenesses of Buggs Bunny and Daffy Duck....clean, but no different than 1000 other malls in the USA.
There's nothing wrong with Disney taking over the New Amsterdam. Lion King was actually an excellent show (although Mary Poppins got bad reviews) and the renovation was so spectacular that Disney gets a complete pass in my book no matter what they do there in the future.

The Disney store is closed and has been for some time. Not sure about the Warner store. Wasn't that in the old Times building? If so, that's becoming a drug store.

People blame the "Disneyfication" of Times Square for the demise of Times Square culture. But in my opinion, it's the mallification (as you state) of 42nd street that's the problem. What is the point of having chain stores on 42nd street that are the same as the tourists can get back home? Seems to me they come to NYC, spend a lot of money in these horrible places and then go back home and say, "what did we do that for? The same stores and restaurants are here." They should have populated those places with New York based stores and restaurants.

The truth is that most people who claim to miss the old 42nd street would never walk down the block. The idea of the old 42nd street sounds great and it's great to read about. But the reality of it was not so great. It was seedy and filled with drug dealers, hustlers and desperate souls seeking a quick buck for quick sex in the back of a movie theatre. I always lived in the city and felt comfortable in midtown even when the city was in decline, but I would never have gone into a 42nd street theatre.

Meanwhile and although I've never gone in, I like the idea of Ripley's museum and Madam Tussauds on 42nd street. While it is touristy, it also has the feel of the old Broadway, which used to have a Ripley's museum (except it's a lot more expensive now.) And B.B. King's is not a bad place to hear music (although the food sucks.) I don't mind the other theatres, although most of the ones that are left actually have the rear of the theatre on 42nd street and the primary entrances on 43rd street.

Hopefully, the current bad economy will kill off the chains and local stores will have a chance to come back if the real estate barons would be a bit less greedy. The reason why there are all chains on 42nd street (and more and more throughout the city) is not because of Guiliani or any mayor - it's because only the chains can afford the ridiculous rents -- it's because of the greed of the real-estate industry. And it's also because the stupid tourists are afraid of anything they don't recognize.

If I could design 42nd street, it would have a branch of Katz's, an Island Burger, a local decent Chinese restaurant, a Totonno's brick oven pizza place, a branch of Eddie's ice-cream and a few other New York only places. I'd also close 42nd between 7th Avenue and 8th avenue to traffic and get lots of street food from selected vendors out there (not dirty water hot dogs, but real hand-crafted food.) Then I'd create a retail store where local designers could show their goods and I'd get Shakespeare and Co. to open a bookstore and J&R to open a music store there.

Then they just need the 24 screen AMC and the 9 screen Regal (nee Loews) to program a little more creatively and they'd have something. Guess it's too much to ask that someone open a revival theatre on 42nd street.

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Bill Gabel
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From: Technicolor / Postworks NY, USA
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 - posted 04-09-2008 09:13 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
Regal No-Name
quote: Martin Brooks
Then they just need the 24 screen AMC and the 9 screen Regal
The Regal is called the Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 (not 9) and the AMC Empire has 25 screens.

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
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 - posted 04-15-2008 07:54 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree Martin -- the restoration of the New Victory and the Amsterdam are wonderful and I applaud those. Also agree with your critique of the current state of affairs on the any-mall-USA feel for the place. And great ideas about Made-Only-In-New-York-City shops, just like they have in Portland and other towns to great success.

One of our staff left to work in marketing at the New Victory and she says it's a wonderful operation with very creative people. Of course, no one of right mind would expected that those 9 (or 10 -- I wish I could recall exactly how many) single screen Brandts would be preserved -- that's a time gone by. And you are right, my girlf wouldn't come with me when I did go there. We had a friend who worked as the block manager of the entire chain and I used to hang out with him going from theatre to theatre and she hated that's I'd go. But I do remember the way that block looked and felt before the drug dealers, hustlers and hookers. Boy, it was a fascinating place for a movie fan.

Here's my GREAT 42nd Street/MIDNIGHT COWBOY story. If you've heard this before, forgive me....it now takes me a good 20 min into a movie to realize I've already seen it. I guess in a few years I won't ever have to rent or buy another DVD....I'll be able to watch all of them over and over. But I digress. No matter, I'll tell it again just cause I love this story.

I had gone to The City (what we outer borough dwellers, me from Brooklyn, call Manhattan) to see a few movies, typically I'd make a day of it when I was off from school -- I'd go to three of the Brandt houses on 42nd Street, one right after the other and I'd be able to see six movies, cartoons and lots of attractions and eat stale popcorn, the Brandt's gawdawful, shrivled up hot dogs -- Bon Bons for desert. It was a movie-lover's wet dream.

I exited the subway on the north-east side of the block and strolled past the theatres heading west, taking in all those gawdy, fascinating cut-away displays in front of every theatre --3-sheets that they kind of made into the equivalent of standees, cutting out images and the title lettering, gluing them to plywood and then gluing them over another 3-sheet as the base so they stood out in bas-relief. They sprayed them with lots of glitter as the finishing touch. These were fitted around around the theatres' entrance ways. It was part honky-tonk, part Hollywood showbiz, totally NYC glitz.

I was most interested in seeing MIDNIGHT COWBOY, the hottest title on the block. I past the other theatres and headed into the Selwyn about midway down the block. I entered the lobby, bought my ticket, grab my food for the day and settle down to see a double bill of MIDNIGHT COWBOY and some other forgotten title. Very soon into the movie, there is John Voight, new to NYC, and he's strolling down the very same route I just did less than a half-hour before. And there, to my utter amazement, he stops in front of the Selwyn, pauses and, DAMN, he's coming right into the theatre....the very same theatre where I am sitting WATCHING HIM! I swear, it was so surreal that I actually turned around as he walked down the isle on screen and for a split nano-second, actually expected to see him coming down the isle. Talk about your Twilight Zone/Suspension of Disbelief moments -- but one great, SPECTACULAR movie moment!!

And it can never happen again.

And, by the way, if anyone wants to get a feel for how the street looked pre-sleeze or maybe just on the sleeze cusp, there's is a very good shot of Voight walking down 42nd Street in that film.

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