Sunday, November 09, 2008

In Which Cinemark Messes With the Wrong Bee-yatch

You know I love me some movies. I've blogged before about how particular I am about my seats, how I can't miss the previews, how a loud nose breather can ruin the movie for me, etc etc. I'm even particular about the theaters I go to - there's a certain one that I refuse to visit because of the terrible seats and leg room. In other words, I'm a total movie snob, and I'm OK with that.

Last Friday, Nicole and I decided to check out the grand opening of a new theater nearby. I'm a fan of Cinemark theaters, so I thought it would be a nice change of pace to drive the extra few miles and see how well New Theater measured up to Favorite Theater. Favorite Theater is less than two miles away, has covered parking, and is part of the mall. It was going to be tough for New Theater to woo me.

We bought our tickets and commented on the distractingly bright carpet, but otherwise it was so far so good. New Theater was stacking up well against Favorite Theater... digital marquis outside each theater, memory foam seats, "new smell" in the lobby. Nicole and I got our favorite seats - front row behind the railing, middle of the row. Ok, New Theater, maybe you have a chance.

Correction. New Theater had a chance until about halfway through the movie when an usher came in and stood directly in front of us. She said something to me, and being fully invested in the movie, since, you know, it was still playing and it was right in the middle, I didn't understand what she said and asked her to repeat herself.

Usher: Please take your feet off the railing.

Blink. Blink.

Bone Junior: What??

Usher: Please take your feet off the railing.

Bone Junior: Why??

Usher: It ruins the paint.

Oh hell no.

I slowly took my feet down and narrowed my eyes at the usher. At this point in time, I didn't fully comprehend what had happened, because I became too distracted by the usher as she made her way around the theater and asked everyone who had their feet up on the seat in front of them to put their feet down.

Yes, really. She went around to each and every person in that theater who had their feet up on the seat in front of them. If no one is sitting in front of you, when do you NOT have your feet up? I couldn't believe what was happening.

For the rest of the movie, I sat there and stewed about it. Never in my life have I been told to take my feet off the railing. What is the point of the railing if you can't put your feet up? Isn't that the whole reason for its existence - to create the highest level of comfort for me at the movies??

I couldn't even concentrate on the end of the movie. That snooty usher had managed to completely ruin the movie for me, and I planned on having words with the manager afterwards.

Which I did, and which did not have the desired effect that I had hoped. Said manager was a young guy with a fancy ear piece that he kept messing with as I was talking to him. Thank you, manager, I realize you're sooooo important at the MOVIE THEATER that you need an earpiece.

I asked if it was Cinemark's policy to have ushers come in and rudely interrupt the middle of the movie by disrupting patrons and telling them to take their feet off the railing and seats. He said, "Sometimes."

Sometimes? Sometimes they're anal about the paint on their railings? It's not like I was wearing baseball cleats or tap shoes and scraping away on their precious railing. Although next time I think I might do just that.

Extremely Important Manager was extremely unimpressed with my complaint, which I'm totally not used to. Just ask Yanaj - usually if I raise a fuss, I get what I want out of it. She's been aparty to many embarrassing episodes of my shaking fist that more often than not result in discounted meals, movie ticket rainchecks, or chocolate syrup in my water ice / custard combo for only twenty-five cents more instead of the advertised dollar more because there's no way I'm paying a dollar for a squiggly little ribbon of chocolate syrup!

My point being that Extremely Important Manager's Extreme Lack of Interest in my dissatisfaction was making me even more irritated. So I decided to pull my final card.

I looked him square in the eye, pointed my finger in his face, and said in a low, threatening voice, "I am never coming back to this theater again!" Then I turned on my heels and marched out of there with my head held high and said confidently to Nicole, "I think I made my point."

And just in case I didn't, I emailed the owner of the theater and gave him an earful about my Extreme Dissatisfaction with his New Theater. In my email, I told him that I was a writer for a "popular entertainment outlet", and that I was going to tell all my readers to never patron his theater.

So, readers of this "popular entertainment outlet", never go to the Cinemark University Mall in Orem Utah.

Now I think I've made my point.


Kelsey said...

Hey, it's Kelsey from work! Ha I found your blog through Emily's. Oh my gosh I went to this theater on Wednesday night, we got free tickets to a showing. That is SO sad you had such a bad experience...that's seriously? You can't put your feet up? I think next time I go I'll put mine up just to see what happens. Lame.

Scratch Subtle said...

I hope no one was seriously injured, what with all the head bobbing and finger waving that must have been going on.

Andi Mae said...

I have noted it in my "Places-to-not-frequent" spiral notebook. Thanks for being on the lookout. Did you stick your gum under the seat for spite?

lil-mil said...

If I send you enough buttered popcorn, do you think you could single-handedly sticky up the floors of all their theaters?

What about sneaking Chinese food in? Or stink bombs?

Once Mr. Important Manager with Earpiece gets a little perspective with all these new problems, he'll personally install foot rests on every seat.

Which I'm actually surprised no one has developed yet. Maybe that's your calling in life. You'd probably make a killing.

$teve said...

That's certainly not the Ritz-Carlton way. You would never be treated like that at the Cooliseum...or whatever I'm going to name my new home movie theatre. You could throw your feet up on pictures of their mother...and the only response should be, "Perhaps a pillow would make your feet more comfortable. Let me get one for you." Then again, I'm not important enough to have an earpiece. :)

I can't believe that the bazoombas didn't work either. Those combined with Rocky-like should've owned that place when all was said and done. :)

The Mad Scientist said...

I just prefer never go to Orem.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

WOW! You talked to the manager, sent a letter to the owner AND blogged about it! Impressive. I don't suppose I could convince you to join me in my battle against Daylight Savings, could I?

Mrs. B. Roth said...

WOW! You talked to the manager, sent a letter to the owner AND blogged about it! Impressive. I don't suppose I could convince you to join me in my battle against Daylight Savings, could I?

Toots said...

Those are my favorite seats in the world! I would've done the same thing, minus the confrontation and more crying. I don't do well with strange people correcting a so-called faux pas. YEEESH. That SUCKS! People are stupid.