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Line Party Lessons

December 30, 2002 at 5:48 pm by Demosthenes  - 

Mr Cere checks in …

While a vast majority of TORnados had great “Line Party 2002” experiences, there were some exceptions. Tulsa Oklahoma has checked in with a report that not all things went well. Those responsible have left the names of the guilty out, but the horrific details in.

With only 353 days to go until “Line Party 2003, The Return Of The Line Party” there are some lessons to be learned:

#1. GEEK POWER! Remember that line party or not, geek or not, fanatic or not, we are all consumers spending OUR money. Merchants of all kinds should be fair and honest. Those who treat us well should be rewarded, included locals who sponsor line parties. Those who don’t should be avoided. TORnados will see this movie twice, thrice or many more times and if theater managers can’t see past the price of a single ticket, well, spread the word at TORn.

#2. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY! The world still underestimates us. In the report below it is obvious the theater was overwhelmed and had more than they could handle. Despite over $300 million in sales for Fellowship Of The Ring, despite numerous film awards, despite a film with longer box office legs than any since at least “Titanic,” despite two versions of a DVD that sells like hot cakes (the extended edition at my local Wal Mart doesn’t stay on the shelf more than a day – they “just didn’t know it would be in demand”) some folks just don’t get how popular Tolkien’s books and PJ’s movie is. Line party leaders might find theater mangers receptive RIGHT NOW when talking about “Return Of The King.” A POLITE inquiry about a particular theater’s interest in hosting a TORn event next year might be well received.

Read on in amazed horror the account as delivered to TORn staff:

TORnado Mozone wrote:

Hullo!

I wanted to mention something about overbooking causing Filmgoer Angst. I guess you could call this a “Line-Party Report” but as the party itself was great, the theatre in which we participated caused A lot O’ Angst. This is the Line Party for Tulsa, Oklahoma and I was not the coordinater, I have spoken at length with her about this (she is every bit as angry as I was). She had organized lasts year’s event and the theatre management (at the time) agreed to do it again this year.

Then on the night of the Premier, they backpeddled for whatever reason to say that the Line Party was NOT going to be admitted first (which is what had been arranged) and that it was if fact NOT “in line” for admission (this was at about 8:00pm and the ‘other’ general
admission lines were already getting long) So of course after much debate with management, they agreed to admit the first 50 members of the Line-Party (we had close to 80 members present – I know that is still small but…) So if that was the best we could get then we would
just have to compromise. But come showtime, they broke our party into three lines for three theatres. We were told that there would be 15 people admitted from each line (15+15+15 = 50??)

I was the fifteenth guy in line for the first line. They cut me (and three of my seven companions off) They said that they had 15 already from my line and that we would have to wait to be seated. We were ESCORTED to the box office and told to wait there for further instructions. The took three people out of the next line one of which was the Line Party Leader. She looked angry. I was angry. The management wasnt able or willing to figure out what they were doing well enough to seat everyone so they just decided to open general seating to ALL theatres at the same time. One of the theatres was still showing the last 30 minutes of Star Trek Nemesis.

Imagine watching a movie and then 30 minuted before the end you have a hobbit in your lap! The next day I called the theatre to speak with the manager and asked if I could recieve a refund for the poor service I had recieved. I didnt ask at 3:30 in the morning for good reason. But the assistant manager (the same one who had detained some of us in the Line Pary) said he wasnt willing to hear my complaint and that it was MY FAULT for being in the Line Party instead of the ‘Real’ line. So I spoke with his manager and got told AGAIN that I was WRONG for expecting to be seated with the Line Party and that they did NOT recognize the Line Party as having any prearranged agreement with the theatre (even though they welcomed all the free advertising on the Radio that the Line Party had generated).

He also told me that since I had seen the movie that I had no right to refund. I explained (very nicely too) that I did not wish to receive a refund for the movie, but for the shabby service I had received. He was quite rude on this point and told me to leave. That he was not going satisfy his customer. So I had to cal HIS manager. The District Manager for Dickinson theatres. He was extremely nice about it and agreed that I should not have recieved this kind of treatment. He also apologized for the Line Party not getting seated. He let me know that my ticket money would be refunded.

I have never asked for my money back before and I didnt want to ask for it back from THIS movie especially, but I felt I was right in asking for it back. I have seen the movie three times since (at another theatre) and have been both pleased with the movie AND the service. I guess theatre management at the theatre I first went to doesn’t feel obligated to do any more than shove you into a seat and tell you shut up and watch.

Posted in Old Special Reports on December 30, 2002 by

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