Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » "Little person" at the boxoffice (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: "Little person" at the boxoffice
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12392
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-11-2016 08:22 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You'd think approaching 50 years in this biz I would have seen it all, but... tonight a 20-something woman approached the ticket window with a very small girl. The girl looked to be around 5 or 6, and 5-year-olds are a cheaper ticket so (as I do with all kids) I said, "and how old are YOU!" while smiling. The little girl just sort of grunted a response and then the woman said, "She's 13." So I just "Oh! OK, that's $15.50" and went on like usual. She looked a little "annoyed" that I asked the question.

I felt like a dork but at the same time, I don't know what else I should have done. I think I was too surprised to come up with any other reaction. We've had small-stature people before but usually, an older little person will look older in the face; this girl actually LOOKED like a 5-year-old right down to the facial features.

No harm done outside of me feeling like a dork, I guess. (Well, hopefully the lady wasn't too put out....I didn't want to make a big thing out of it just in case she WASN'T really all that annoyed.)

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-11-2016 10:33 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've never had an experience like that with a kid, but I have carded people in their late 20's for R rated movies. When this happens I usually play it off like a joke or say something like "take it as a compliment".

I suspect the girl was annoyed because she gets mistaken for a little kid all the time.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1943
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 04-11-2016 10:51 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some six year olds look like they're fifteen, and some twenty year olds look like they're twelve.

I got rid of my "seniors" ticket price several years ago to avoid hassle like this with older people, and I have also considered getting rid of the "child" ticket price too and going with a single per seat price whether you're 8, 18, or 80.

I haven't done that yet, though: I still have "12 and under" and "everyone else".

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-11-2016 11:01 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
I got rid of my "seniors" ticket price several years ago to avoid hassle like this with older people
Customers would rip us a new one if we ever did this. As it is I get some seniors who are upset they don't more than the matinee discount when they come to mateinees. They feel like they deserve to be cheaper than everyone else no matter what.

 |  IP: Logged

Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-12-2016 05:44 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
I got rid of my "seniors" ticket price several years ago to avoid hassle like this with older people
Good for you. I've never understood senior ticket prices. They don't buy concession. In reality, they should be charged MORE.

I know they are on a "fixed income" and all that but if you can't afford to go see a movie, then don't. Movies aren't something necessary like medical care that is necessary.

With child prices, I get the idea to encourage families to go since it makes it more affordable. Plus, there is a good chance of at least selling a bucket of popcorn to them.

I have a very hard line stance on this having once worked at a GCC in Boca Raton, FL where a huge percentage of the patrons were seniors. We became known as the old people theater. They were so adverse to the concession stand that we tried giving away free popcorn coupons and they would refuse to take them.

 |  IP: Logged

Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 855
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 04-12-2016 07:40 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had this happen to me enough times to give up.

A father and a very obvious 4 year old could come up to me now and say "Two for Zootopia" and my response is "Two adults or....?" So normally they'll say "Oh, one adult one child". Occasionally I'll get an asshole say "Does she look like an adult to you?" to which I'll say something like "I didn't know she's was with you" or something stupid. Dad could come up with a bus full still sitting in the parking lot, how am I supposed to know? If all else fails and they don't even respond or something I'll default to adult tickets. If they notice, they can come back for a refund, when I'll tell them "Please specify ticket type next time"

Just as bad with seniors, where you're REALLY damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you assume they're seniors, they'll bitch. I've had some INSIST on paying full price(get over yourself, ugh) and others that huff and accuse me of stealing when I DON'T assume. So I'll do the thing outlined above- "Two for Philomena" "Two adult tickets?" "Ye- er, TWO SENIORS!!" "Calm down bitch, I'm right here" Again, I WILL default to adult tickets if I can't get an answer out of them. If they come back, "UHH THESE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SENIOR TICKETS YOU CHARGED ME FOR ADULT!!!" "You need to let me know that in the future" "I DID YOU WEREN'T LISTENING!!" "Oh right, it's not like I have a headset on listening EXCLUSIVELY to you while actively WORKING SPECIFICALLY on what you're telling me or anything, I must've been in the other room shucking corn, do me a favor and die already"

But in all seriousness, people have serious entitlement issues and really have no fucking clue what they're talking about AND think they're always right because all "customers are always right!!" Thanks, cooperations.

 |  IP: Logged

Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1826
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 04-12-2016 11:58 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Lyle Romer
I know they are on a "fixed income" and all that but if you can't afford to go see a movie, then don't.
Who isn't on a "fixed income"? My employer is not going to raise my salary just because I can't afford to go out to a movie or buy a Tesla automobile.

Unlike people living on Social Security who are guaranteed a yearly cost of living raise, my yearly raises are based upon my work and how profitable my employer was during the prior year.

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-12-2016 12:27 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Unlike people living on Social Security who are guaranteed a yearly cost of living raise,
You could view the COLA as interest on money previously paid into the system. When you work, you are getting paid for your time within about 2 weeks. Social Security is the repayment of deferred income from decades previous.

 |  IP: Logged

Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 798
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-12-2016 01:36 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Buck Wilson
Just as bad with seniors, where you're REALLY damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you assume they're seniors, they'll bitch. I've had some INSIST on paying full price(get over yourself, ugh)
That's true. I once walked up to the box-office and was given the "senior" price. I did get annoyed although I laughed and said, "I didn't ask for the senior price - I must look really bad today!" The ticket seller replied, "Sir, that's not the senior price, that's the daytime price!" Oh.

There's another nearby theater I sometimes go to that has the same price for children, seniors and everyone else during the day before 5pm. So why post three prices when they can post one?

But I think there's a way around it. If an elderly person doesn't say "one senior", simply say, "Child, Senior or Regular?" with a smile on your face (unless it's obvious that they're above 75). In that case, say "Senior?"

Or, put a sign up that says, "Please tell us how many Child or Senior tickets you would like to purchase - ID will be checked for age."

----
While one can argue that it's discriminatory to give children or seniors a special price, you do what you have to do to get people into the theater. If it works, it works. And while it's true that most people are on a "fixed" income, on average, someone collecting Social Security is earning less than someone who is working.

One could also argue that movies shouldn't be priced the same - that either the price should be based upon the film's budget or that the price should be based upon demand. Although in those cases, people would be surprised when they got to the theater and you'd have arguments when a film that was supposedly in demand has a high price and a near-empty theater.

 |  IP: Logged

Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2319
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-12-2016 02:48 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No senior tickets here. Members and NonMembers. Sometimes they will ask why no senior discount and I inform them, truthfully, we'd have to discount over half the tickets. But they can get a membership and get in for $2 less if they really want to.

 |  IP: Logged

Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8290
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 04-12-2016 04:34 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Buck Wilson
A father and a very obvious 4 year old could come up to me now and say "Two for Zootopia"
I've quickly learned when the patrons says something like this and you pretty well know the age break just by looking at them, I do the quick results were they automatically got the break due to the age. This way, when they do mention the age thing, I've already go it covered where they don't have a reason to come back with some snide remark.

And I do it with the seniors: They come up to the window and want 'x' amount of tickets and I automatically give them the senior break before they can come back at me with what they want.

Plus, if they look borderline of age, reply back, "two adult tickets?" Let them make the correction or answer. This keeps the cashier out of target range with a comeback.

BIG, BIG, thing is that the cashier NEVER asks the senior citizens their age to see if they are in the age requirements for the senior rate. That can cause serious invasion of privacy issues. Once again, this is where the cashier asks, "'x' ADULT tickets?", and the patron will give the correct answer.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12392
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-12-2016 06:52 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have found that the best way to get the correct age of kids is to ask the kids. I've caught many a parent who said "Two kids, 11 and 9" and the one kid says "Dad, I'm TWELVE!"

I never ask seniors' age. I just say, "Are you a senior by chance?" or if I'm in doubt, I'll say "You're not a senior, are you?" so it makes them think I really think they're under 65.

I don't think it's a good idea to "default" to a certain age. If anybody gets testy about us asking the kids' age, we just say, "Just making sure we don't overcharge you!" and that ends it.

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-13-2016 02:25 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If they are borderline on senior age, I will say "Is that general admission"? At that point they will either ask what else there is, or I say "If you're 62 or better we have a senior price".

If they look like they could be under 62 when they ask for a senior ticket, I'll just say "Are you 62 or better"? I've never gotten any grief for this, and it gives them an easy out if they thought it was 55 or 60.

If they get a little testy about not being given the senior price automatically, I just say I don't make assumptions because it's better for my health. This usually gets a laugh and defuses any tension.

Personally I think the onus is on the customer to ask for a discount rather than assume it will be given.

Funny thing is I turned 43 this year and I find I'm having an easier time telling who is a senior citizen than who is old enough for an R rated movie.

 |  IP: Logged

Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1358
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 04-13-2016 03:19 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Curious...in the age of online ticketing and in-lobby kiosks, does anyone have issues with people buying kid or senior tickets when they blatently aren't, and do you proclaim shenanigans when they do?

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 04-13-2016 03:40 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sam
We started on-line ticketing with Star Wars. Although I suspect there were some people who purchased tickets for "children" who were older than 11, it didn't seem to be a serious problem. Left to their own, most people are actually honest. Plus, they have to see a cashier at the theatre to claim their tickets, so we can always catch them there. Same reason we will allow online ticketing for R rated movies.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.