My cinematic experience โœ‰๏ธ

Posted: April 24, 2014 in โœ‰๏ธ To whom it may concern

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To whom it may concern at Odeon,

On Saturday 19th April I had the unfortunate pleasure of viewing a movie in your theatre. It has been some time since I last attended an Odeon cinema due to the fact that on the last two occasions I attended your establishment the film stopped playing half way through the film. After the second time it happened I made an executive decision to never return to the Odeon.

After a couple of years, a little encouragement from friends and a serious lapse in common sense, I made a bad decision and decided this weekend to return to the cinema that I had once loved as a child. Imagine my disappointment when I ended up leaving before the end of the movie once again.

On this occasion this was not due to incompetence in the projector room, instead I was irritated by other distractions in the room.

Unfortunately you can’t restrict people from entering the cinema but what are the rules on ejecting unruly idiots on the basis of stupidity. Some people have never been taught how to behave in a cinema and in turn they end up ruining the experience for everybody else. I have long been a fan of the idea that people should be trained before being allowed in a cinema. There is no point having ushers if you are not going to empower them.

I think you need to employ real security guards to evict people who do not follow the code. Their is no other public place where people can attend and deliberately stop others from enjoying their experience without consequence. I don’t think that your cinema should be any different.

The following is a short list of a few things that irritate the hell out of me when trying to watch a film.

-Constant Talking
-Lights from mobile phones
-Kicking the back of my seat
-Constant Rustling of sweet packets
-Sticky Floors
-Squeaky chairs
-Adults bringing babies or small
Children to adult films.

The last one on the list is becoming a common problem in all cinemas. I once sat through a film with a small child sitting in front of me. The film had an eighteen certificate and the child couldn’t have been older than five years old. Ten minutes into the film after finishing his large pop corn and his large bucket of fizzy drink he became hyperactive and completely uninterested in the film. He then turned around in his seat and spent the next hour making faces, staring and annoying the shit out of me.

I am not somebody who likes to moan just for the sake of it so I would be happy to suggest some easy solutions to all of these problems if you are interested.

Thank you for your time

I look forward to your response.

Regards,

Sebastian Bowen

Odeon’s Response

Dear Sebastien Bowen,

Thank you for your e-mail that I received today following your recent visit to Odeon Greenwich.

Firstly I would like to apologise for the situation you encountered.

I will investigate the situation you described and talk to the team members who were working that day. Unfortunately it is not possible to police all of our guests all of the time and we have to operate with an element of trust. We do perform regular checks but even then unless you are sat next to disturbance it is not always possible to hear it. If we had been aware of it the situation would have been dealt with very quickly. We do employ security guards and try to operate a zero tolerance on disruptive behaviour. Clearly it didn’t happen on this occasion.

For your information it is illegal to take a child into an 18 certificate film in the UK.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to bring this to my attention and if you could send me your address and your tickets, I will forward you a pass to visit as my guest as this is not the level of service we wish to deliver.

Yours sincerely,

Christian Webber
General Manager
Odeon Cinema

My Response

Hello Christian,

Firstly I would like to say thank you for such a speedy response, to be honest I wasn’t expecting to receive one at all.

After reading your email it would seem to me that we share the same resentment when it comes to dealing with the inconsiderate people of the world. I have never really understood why people go to the cinema to do anything else but watch a film. It would appear that the very core concept of a cinema is not universally accepted.

Regarding the child I was referring to, I am not quite sure how the parents are sneaking them in, but I can confirm I am not the only one who has witnessed this.

Have you ever thought about employing Cinema Snitches. This is an idea I had a while ago. Basically these can be either paid or voluntary customers who assist your staff by sitting in amongst the crowd to weed out any potential troublemakers. Most of the time you can identify the bad eggs before the film has even started. I’m sure loads of people would sign up for this especially if they get to watch the film for free in silence afterwards.
What do you think of that idea??

Unfortunately I did not retain the ticket stub from the other day. If that is going to cause a problem then don’t worry because my reason for writing to you was not to seek compensation. It is far more important that the complaint has been noted and actioned accordingly to alleviate the stress caused by these fools.

However, I am a victim of curiosity like anybody else and I am interested to know what a guest experience comprises of. Please elaborate.

Look forward to your response.

Regards,

Sebastian Bowen.

Odeon’s Response

Hi Sebastien,

Christian is working away from this office until Monday. He will respond to you then if that is ok.

Kind regards,

Nicole Padilla
Operations Supervisor

My Response

Hello Nicole,

Thank you for your response. That won’t be a problem.

Just to note my name is spelt Sebastian. Don’t worry it’s a common mistake to make, no harm done.

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.

Odeon’s Response

Dear Sebastian,

Thank you for your reply. Odeon is currently redefining the guest experience and will shortly be introducing a guest charter. This will cover all areas of the visit, from booking to exit, paying particular attention to screen behaviour. When this is finalised I will forward you a copy of the new charter. I am sure this charter will demonstrate our commiment to guest service.

In regard to your comments re- cinema snitches. I believe this is something that is already in operation in part. If anyone has to leave the screen to report a disturbance to us, will will look to compensate the individual. Maybe something more formal may appear in the charter, but this has always been company policy.

In the meantime, I would like to thank you again for taking the time to contact us and I appreciate you did not keep your ticket, but if you would like to send me your address I will forward you a pass.

Yours sincerely,

Christian Webber
General Manager

My Response

Hello Christian,

Thank you for responding to my email.

I would be very interested to see the charter once it’s completed it sounds very interesting. I had no idea that such a thing existed.

In regards to Cinema Snitches it sounds like your process is slightly different from what I was proposing. What I proposed was for somebody like myself to sit in the theatre and watch all those that enter before and during the adverts/trailers. Before the film begins I could text you the seat numbers of the people that I think are going to be possible trouble makers. These people can them be removed by security before the film starts. That way the people who actually want to stay and watch the film get to stay and watch the film undisturbed.

Plus once the film has begun no late members should be aloud to buy a ticket. It’s one thing having people go to the toilet during a film, at least they already have a seat to return to. However to have people arrive late and have to search for a vacant seat in the dark with a gormless look slapped across their face is way too much of a distraction. Besides If you have missed the start of the film you are clearly not interested in the story. I have never asked anybody to tell me a story that starts in the middle story, it just doesn’t make sense.

I appreciate the offer of a guest pass and to be honest my curiosity has got the better of me. I have included my address at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for your time once again.

Regards,

Sebastian Bowen

Odeon Sent Me
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My Response

Hi Christian,

Yesterday I returned home from work to find a letter from yourself containing my guest ticket. Thank you very much for the kind gesture. In my experience of being a host for any event in the past I have always permitted my guests to bring a plus one. I am not one to go to the cinema alone, and as I was with a friend on the day that my cinematic experience was ruined, would it be possible to get another guest ticket so I can bring a friend?

P.S There are now many different companies that offer multiple flavours of popcorn. Is there any reason why Odeon has not jumped on the new trend and started offering their customers additional flavours.

I look forward to your response,

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.

Hi Sebastian,

I will post another pass.

Odeon offers, salt, sweet, sour cream and chive, BBQ, sea salt and vinegar and caramel flavours of popcorn, and have done for some time.

Kind regards,

Christian.

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My Response

Hi Chris,

I hope it’s ok for me to call you Chris, I feel like I’ve got to know you over the last couple of weeks.

Thank you for sending me the plus one guest ticket, much appreciated. The way this whole situation has been managed is testament to yourself as a manager and your tremendous ability to rectify a messy situation. I will be sure to sing your praises if ever I should be in the vicinity of the Odeon HQ.

I was also happily surprised at the variety of popcorn flavours the Odeon now stocks. I would assume as a guest I will be receiving some of those delicious treats and perhaps a refreshing beverage to wash it all down complimentary of Odeon. Whenever I invite guests to my residence I make it a custom to offer them some light refreshments to excite there taste buds and wet their beaks.

Who will I need to speak to on arrival to arrange this or do I just show my guest ticket at the refreshment counters?

I look forward to your response.

Regards,

Sebastian Bowen.

Odeon’s Response

Hi Sebastian,

Unfortunately my gesture of goodwill offer does not extend to retail as well.

Kind regards,

Christian.

My Response

Hi Chris,

That was a terribly disappointing response to receive. Just so you know, I would be more than happy to settle for a small popcorn and drink instead of a large if that helps you to alter your decision.

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.

Odeon’s Response

Hi Sebastian,

I am sorry that you are disappointed with my response, but I believe my offer to be a fair and reasonable one given the circumstances.

The matter is now closed in my opinion.

Kind regards,

Christian.

My Response

Hi Chris,

No problem I understand. Thank you for your efforts I appreciate what you have done thus far. Never mind I have plenty of quiet snacks at home so I will bring my own.

Thank you once again.

Sebastian Bowen.

PS am I allowed to bring my own alcohol.

Odeon’s Response

Hi Sebastian,

Feel free to bring your own snacks, however alcohol can only be consumed if purchased on the premises, which is a licensing restriction.

Kind regards,

Christian.

My Response

Hi Chris,

Thank you for the info. Do they serve spirits?

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.

Odeon’s Response

Hi Sebastian,

We have beers and wines, but spirits are limited to mixer cans. Jack Daniels and Coke and Gin & Tonic.

Kind regards,

Christian.

My Response

Hi Chris,

I’m not really a fan of those drinks you mentioned. My preferred choice is two shots of full proof rum with mango juice and a touch of lime with crushed ice. I’ll bring my own in a discreet bottle, I’m sure that will be ok.

Thank your for the tickets and your time.

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.

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