Monday, May 24, 2010

A very un-enjoyable theater experience....

Dear Santikos Management,

I’d like to introduce myself by saying that I am a movie buff of LONG standing, at the age of 59 I’ve been going to movies most of my life! I enjoy the entire experience, the popcorn, the darkened theater, the surround sound, the excitement and just the escape of the well-told tale. The Santikos Silverado is “in my neighborhood” and it’s the theater that we’ve been going to most often since it was built.

This Sunday afternoon we arrived to finally see a movie that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time, Iron Man 2. The movie itself was wonderful, we really enjoyed the story.  But the movie “experience” was a total downer.

1. We were assigned seats at the theater. This is something we’ve never had to deal with before. We make it a point to arrive at a movie well ahead of the start time so that we can get a seat where we want to sit. Then, as people fill in around us, we move if needed, to avoid the child sitting behind us who’s daddy doesn’t care if they kick our seat backs, spit up on us, drop popcorn on us, cry, whine, etc. We also avoid the inevitable group of unruly teenagers who think going to the movie is a social time to sit and play with their mobile phones and each other. 

As this was several weeks after the opening of this film, we knew it wouldn’t be totally crowded, but we were amazed to find ourselves stuck side-to-side in a bunch in the center of the theater as people arrived, giving us no elbow room, while the rest of the theater remained empty. Totally un-enjoyable, uncomfortable, and two very unhappy people.

2. The concession stand. We ordered the special big popcorn and two drinks, paying $16.50 for this. To our amazement we were handed a bucket of popcorn by the uncaring, very slow young lady who waited on us that was COVERED in burned kernels and blacked “bottom of the bin” popcorn bits. Across the top of the tub! Then when we asked for a new tub of popcorn, the “manager” youngster who was behind her went behind the popcorn bin and brought us another tub. The top looked okay, so we took it.
About half way through the tub in the darkened theater we started to finger small bits and kernel parts again. At this point we put the tub down and didn’t eat anymore. Imagine my amazement to find, once the lights came up again at the end of the movie” that this bucket was half full of the same blacked, bits, kernels and waste. HALF of the tub was not something that anyone could eat. Popcorn is one of the cheapest foods you can sell. And we gave you $16.50 for two drinks and that tub of un-palatable popcorn.

Who is the bigger fool here? The person who continues to be “taken” by the seller, or the seller who drives away their customer?

Needless to say, my husband and I agreed that this would be our last visit to Santikos until these changes to the theater experience were reversed.

I turned the tub of half eaten popcorn bits in to another “manager” at the ticket desk with my comments. I asked him for a comment card, knowing that the only way YOU would know how your customer enjoyed their experience is if you were told. He told me that you didn’t really have any kind of comment card.
I’m hoping that you would like to know of my experience.
Please consider making some changes so that this lifelong movie lover can come back and enjoy a movie again.

Thank you,


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