This is an open letter to the suit who happens to be in charge of Cineplex/Famous Players.
Dear Mr./Mrs. Stuffed Shirt:
Hello. My name is Stephenstein (and no, that's not my real name, you jackass) and since I was sixteen years old, I have been a regular movie-goer to your chain of theatres. When I say "regular", I mean I go there at least twice a month and sometimes more. In that time, I have noticed a number of changes that I have found for lack of a better work "disappointing". I will outline these below:
1. Every time I go to the theatre, I run the risk of you having raised the price of admission another 37 cents for no apparent reason.
2. It has gotten to the point where I am now routinely performing armed robbery on an unsuspecting family on my way to the cinema, just to afford your outrageous concessions (I foundly remember paying $4.25 for a small popcorn and pop back in '96...$4.25 would only get me the pop, nowadays).
3. I am now forced to watch 3D or AVX movies...by forced, I do not insinuate that a hairy, bald, large man in a black vest drags me to the theatre and manhandles me until I pay for such...but if I want to see particular movies sooner rather than later, I must pay extra for these formats that I would otherwise avoid as if it were an STD.
That's only counting the things you do have control over...never mind the idiots talking through movies, kicking my seat, coming in late and then standing in front of me trying to decide which of the bazillion seats they want to sit in and my recent all-time favourite, the cell phone light in my face during the movie, possibly the most infuriating thing in a theatre next to loud talking during the movie.
Okay, so that's where Time Play comes in. This is a new feature you have recently started initiating in theatres where people are ENCOURAGED to take their cellphones out and inanely play games on the screen for "prizes" (or sometimes not even for a prize...see below).
Okay, so let me ask you...are you out of your mind? Are you just begging to have someone like me find you and beat the all-living bejesus out of you? What are you thinking? Do you not understand that these morons are checking their cell phones every 3-5 minutes during the film as it is now without encouraging them to pop it open and use it before the film? Oh, that's right. You tell them "please turn off your phone" before the movie starts! YES! That solves everything! They will listen to you because you're asking them to!
No only is it bad enough that you're actually asking people to whip out their cell phones and use them, what they're being used on is inane beyond description. Press this button if you want to see the guy, press that button if you want to see the girl. Who cares? Is the girl coming home with me? Is she scantily clad? Am I going to get any sort of thrill out of this? No. It's a car advertisement. One I can see at home, on the net or anywhere else on Planet Frigging Earth. Good job. Not only are you rallying these idiots to use their cellphones, they're using them for entirely purposeless exercises. Mind you, outside of "if you win this game, you'll win a million dollars" or "you will win private screenings for your friends for the remainder of your life of all upcoming movies", there is no prize worthy of your annoyance.
I have been a loyal customer of yours for years. I love movies. I own a large movie collection. I have DVD, I have Blu-Ray, I follow your industry, I live and die by casting decisions, in short, I am one of your more ardent fans. I want movies to continue forever, I want them to get better and better and I want people to come out, support the movies they love and fill your cash registers. I am not some recluse who lives in his mother's basement and types out hate mail to every person that he feels has slighted him. Why in the world do you continue to disrespect me and people like me when I have done nothing but respect you?
Do me a favour. Get rid of Time Play. I know you're not going to change the concession prices, the admission prices, I know 3D and AVX isn't going anywhere, I've dealt with that. Asking me to deal with this as well...well...you know what they say about the proverbial straw and the camel's back.
Yours truly (in disgust and anger),