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Author Topic: Worst Cinema experience
Robert Crewdson
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1031
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013

 - posted July 11, 2013 06:49 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My worst cinema experience was at a cinema named The Phoenix, in Walton Street, Oxford. I don't know the history of it, but I think it was probably earmarked for closure and became privately owned. It is still around, now known as the Phoenix Picturehouse. I went there in 1969 to watch 2001: A space Odyssey , I sat near the front and was surprised to see a tripod screen standing in front of the stage where the main screen was. I remember thinking, as it was approaching the time to start, that someone will have to come and remove this screen. Imagine my surprise when the lights went down and we watched this long film on a 60 inch? screen. It was my first and last visit.

Have any of our UK members been to Broadstairs?, I was there in the 1990s and saw Arnie in Twins, this was shown at a privately owned cinema, as all the chain owned cinemas had gone.

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Vidar Olavesen
Film God

Posts: 2232
From: Sarpsborg, Norway
Registered: Nov 2012

 - posted July 11, 2013 07:12 AM      Profile for Vidar Olavesen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mine is when I saw I am Legend ... Awful picture, pixelated and sound that hurt the ears. Just about every digital cinema experience has been awful for me

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

Posts: 3063
From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
Registered: Jan 2012

 - posted July 11, 2013 07:18 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds like a very interesting experience there Robert, I've
never come across that before. I think my worst was when "The
Omen" appeared at our local, and to a packed house, I was
seated behind an elderly couple, the lady of which had a very large hat, not wanting to create a fuss, I resigned myself to viewing half of the 'scope picture.

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Ernie Zahn
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Greenwich, CT, USA
Registered: Oct 2004

 - posted July 11, 2013 08:09 AM      Profile for Ernie Zahn   Author's Homepage   Email Ernie Zahn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I went to see the movie Supernova in 2000. The theater had all the exits propped open for some reason and it was then dead of winter.

The movie took place in then icy cold of space and the theater felt like it.

Though it wasn't a surprise to me that the movie was no good. I went in expecting that. I did not expect a lack of heating in the venue when it was 20 degrees F.

Check out the trailer for my feature length Spaghetti-style Western:

Six and Bisti

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted July 11, 2013 12:57 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, the very last time I qwent to the movie theater! It was (gasp, that long?) when STAR WARS: Revenge of the Sith was in the theater.

There were screaming kids running all over the bloody place that would only pause long enough to watch something explode on the screen and then run around screaming some more. I didn't want to punch the kids, but I was severely close to "joining the dark side" beating the living hell out some ignorant damned parents who thought they're brats behavior was cute, (and the damned pqrents were too busy chatting on they're fu**ing cell phones to notice they're kids in the first place.

If it wasn't for wanting to see the film, I would have walked out halfway through,k but stormed out as soon as the credits started to roll and bagdered and yelled at the idiot maganer as to why they didn't do anything about the parents and kids. They came back with lame excuses about criminal negligence and potentail lawsuits if they would dare bother the "customer" into curbing they're children.

I could have found a "curb" reel quick!


"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Robert Crewdson
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1031
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013

 - posted July 11, 2013 01:14 PM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can imagine Osi, I used to get annoyed at kids screaming on a bus while the parents seem deaf and blind to what's going on. My father used to tell me that in the town he lived in before the war, the cinema often had to be evacuated when the film caught fire.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 11, 2013 07:58 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At least you can leave a cinema Osi. A couple of years ago I was stuck on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London for 10 hours, while "the little darlings" played hide and seek up and down the aisles for the whole trip, while the parents slept in their seats or had earphones stuck on watching the movies. The flight attendants just threw their hands up at the situation, not wishing to offend the kids or the parents. After all, going to Disney World is supposed to be fun, right? [Mad] [Mad]

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Jonathan Trevithick
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 569
From: Gold Coast Australia
Registered: May 2012

 - posted July 12, 2013 02:08 AM      Profile for Jonathan Trevithick   Email Jonathan Trevithick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it must be a tie between the Empire 4(?) Leicester Square where I paid top prices to see "The Untouchables" on the tiniest screen ever.... or a drafty cinema in Swansea converted from a church where I saw "Amadeus". The latter used a periscope system with projection room above, so the picture was never very sharp. The staff walked in front of the screen regularly which didn't help, either.
I am also reminded of the ABC Cardiff when on the opening night of "Indiana Jones and the Crusade",they lost the sound and were unable to get it back. They gave us the option to get our money back or watch the rest without the sound!
When the Warner Brothers multiplex opened in York a year later, most of my college skipped lectures in order to see lots of free films the day before it opened officially to the public. There was a choice of about 6 old releases. I chose that same Indiana Jones film (mainly because it was supposedly in 70mm)and the fire alarm went off. We had to wait outside for 15 minutes with the film still running. I'm sure I could think of more experiences!

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted July 12, 2013 02:47 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

You are right, the management did give you a lame excuse. At the cinema that I last worked at, any complaints were firmly dealt with,I remember one school holidays the assistant mall manager dropped her kids off to see a movie, she told them...see that man "me" he can see everything from the projection room and any problems will phone me direct OK [Mad] she put the fear of God into them...needless to say they did not play up.

The cinemas were checked around three time each session and I must say the kids were pretty good.

As for my Worst Cinema experience, it would have to be when I was watching "True Grit" at Reading Cinemas when the February 2011 Earthquake struck. Thank goodness the building held up but was badly damaged, it went through "very violent shaking"..and it was a long time before I felt comfortable to go back to Reading again after the place was fixed up.


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Allan Broadfield
Master Film Handler

Posts: 452
From: Bromley, Kent
Registered: Nov 2010

 - posted July 13, 2013 04:04 AM      Profile for Allan Broadfield   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Broadfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was a projectionist at the Forum Fulham rd in the late fifties/early sixties and one saturday morning while we were running the kids matinee, the manager told us to take off the film as there was a riot going on (not rare). He went on the stage and told them that mr projectionist was very annoyed and wouldn't continue until they behaved.
Needless to say when we re-started so did the riot.
The manager just gritted his teeth and gave up. I seem to remember a big clean up operation before the adults show...

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Mark L Barton
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 621
From: Bristol, South Glos, England
Registered: Mar 2009

 - posted July 13, 2013 04:35 AM      Profile for Mark L Barton   Email Mark L Barton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On the same topic, but not quite. About 15 years ago one of the smaller multi screen independent cinemas in Bristol gave me a call. I had bought earlier some super 8 films from the projectionist so was on chatting terms etc. Any way this guy called me up and asked if I had a 16mm projector, yes i did. Then could i possibly pop over to the cinema tonight with my kit. The reason being he had a premiere of a skate film, the cinema thought they were getting a 35mm, but instead were sent a 16mm print. So i popped along with my kit but there was no way I could project through the portholes etc etc. I ended up with the projector in the aisle near the back with a full house of energetic skater dudes. My set up would have shamed most of you, but once the film started (and i wasnt filling most of the big academy screen) the audience were glued to the screen. Phew!
Worst cinema experience for me....The Old Gaumont Cinema, Baldwin Street,Bristol. Watching the Incredible Melting Man as rats scurried between the seats...awful and one of the last film shown before it became a night club.

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Trevor Adams
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 763
From: Auckland,New Zealand
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 13, 2013 05:47 AM      Profile for Trevor Adams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Worst experience?Well,once upon a time I visited the Ostend Theatre on Waiheke Island.Half the audience were standing and all of them were drinking and shouting. The film was "The French Connection". I watched it through but was surprised to later find it was in English....could have sworn it sounded French????
Another time.I attended a theatre in Suva,Fiji.The film was Tora,Tora,Tora!. Think I was the only white chap there and a quarter way through the flick I became aware the whole audience was cheering for the Japs!!


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