It didn’t happen to me, but a tale of a botched moviegoing experience in Hollywood.
I was somewhat shocked and disappointed that Mann’s Chinese Theatre didn’t hold a midnight screening of “Rocky Balboa” on Tuesday night, or at the very least put the film in the “big house” instead of one of their inferior, small screens upstairs (aka the Mann Chinese 6).
My feelings were reaffirmed when I saw that a number of Wednesday evening showings had sold out more than a day ahead of time, in spite of online tickets not having been made available earlier than Monday.
After hearing the following story from my buddy Phil, I think the problem doesn’t just lie in a bad call, but perhaps just plain bad theatre management at the Manns Theatres…
Phil had arrived early enough for the first, 11:15am screening of Rocky to ensure he had a good seat. However, five minutes before showtime an usher walked in to tell everyone that they had to switch reels (or something like that) and needed for everyone to move into another theatre. The small exodud walked over to find a new, smaller screen, and a large number of people already seated, leaving Phil to choose from the way back, the way front, or some nasty side seats.
Phil said the film exceeded his expectations, so he couldn’t be too upset at what happened next.
Just as the movie was entering its third act, the screen went black. Apparently, the film broke. A few minutes later, an usher walked in, apologized, and promised everyone a pass to the movie “at a later time”. There was a bit of grumbling, but instead of bitching too much, Phil and a few others took their free pass then snuck into another screening of the movie that had started about twenty minutes later.
For Phil, this came a few days after he had to go to court to be a witness in an assault case that arose from an incident at the same theatre… a story I may have to share another day.