Theater Shows Wrong Film Repeatedly to Guardians of the Galaxy Fans

Darks63

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Oly J said:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago
When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.
 

laggyteabag

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I had something like this happen when I was watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at the cinema. Most of the way through the film, it had borked up for whatever reason, so they decided to just start the film again as opposed to forwarding it to where it stopped.
 

KoudelkaMorgan

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Imagine going to see Deep Impact and Deep Throat starts up...

Or Angel Eyes and The Hills Have Eyes plays lol

When the first Silent Hill movies premiered we had just seen the preview for the Omen remake when the film burned through. We were sent to another theatre and after the same preview the sound cut out for 15 minutes. Good thing the movies didn't start for another 25 minutes -_-

When I saw The Dark Knight there was no sound at all until after the opening bank robbery. Fun times.

I haven't seen anything in a theatre in the last 3 or so years, because I hate 3D. Also, I don't have $20 to waste on seeing another generic action movie wankfest with people I would actively avoid having anything to do with outside the theatre surrounding me with their bullshit during the same movie I could (if I even found something I wanted to see) watch for 1/4th the price or less in a few months.

I never buy food or drinks in a threatre. Ever. I get the business model, and realize they need to charge 600% and up more than anyone with a working brain would pay for the absolute shittiest versions of real candy/popcorn/sweetened brownish icecube slurry but that is THEIR problem. I don't feel the need to support a flawed as fuck business model that they are bending over and taking from studios.
 

immortalfrieza

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I find myself reminded of a Foxtrot comic strip:



And this was from 1998. To think something like this could still happen 16 years later.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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deth2munkies said:
So here's the thing, I worked in the projection booth of a movie theater for a year in high school and I know how easily this thing can happen.

EDIT: So it was 3-D IMAX which is ONLY a digital projector, so the only possible explanation other than crippling stupidity is that their computer system was fucked and they loaded the wrong movie initially and it wouldn't let them load another or something. Those projectors are typically "Press one button to make movie start", so it's really hard to fuck up otherwise.
I worked as a projectionist at AMC.(After being demoted from Shift Manager/Supervisor along with 5-6 other colleagues when AMC bought out Kerasotes, because AMC would rather have angry customers wait for the 2 or 3 higher level employees to waltz downstairs from goofing off in the office than have someone everywhere to address the issues immediately.) Everyone has done that mistake at least a few times. We've also programmed the wrong movies to play when we got digital systems. It didn't help we were always being distracted by someone shoving an email we already got in our faces about putting a trailer on a certain movie when we already have the original weekly report that said "put this trailer on this feature."

I've accidentally played Ninja Assassin instead of Fantastic Mr. Fox (AKA the stop-motion movie only old people saw, because it had George Clooney in it) the one time a kid actually was in the audience. That was also back when I was in charge of the cash room and vault and no one briefed me on film swaps that night like they normally did so I was too busy to notice I threaded the wrong movie.

We've also gave funny nicknames to prints, even managers that outranked me did it, but we always made sure it was obvious what the prints actually were. I don't think that practice ever resulting in the wrong one playing, at least while I was there.

The thing about that 3D Imax system, though, is it really is a POS (not referring to a point of sale but it looked like one). It's running Win XP with a custom touch screen front-end (That blows, I hated building on that thing.), won't link up to any other system to sync with the other projectors' schedules, has IMAX people logging in remotely to do 10 minute tests that are LOUD and prevent the movie from starting when we have a film scheduled to play within those 10 minutes, and if it froze you couldn't even control the fader volume (Remember those tests? Yeah, with them logged in over us, we couldn't turn them down so the audience could unplug their ears.) Also, it was the fourth digital cinema interface to learn, with maybe 4 people in the building being competent enough to do more then press play and adjust the volume. It did let you add you own pictures in to represent prints, so I usually loaded pictures like Adam West Batman for Dark Knight Rises or a Xenomorph and Ridley Scott starring at you for Prometheus.
Darks63 said:
Oly J said:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago
When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.
I can vouch for that. Two years seems extreme, but doesn't really surprise me considering how disorganized AMC and film distributors' communications were when I worked there.

Sometimes Fedex/UPS would come in with a ticket so ship back a film drive we just got and still had at least 2 weeks of shows scheduled.[footnote]If we lost that drive and the server took a dump, that movie would be stuck on the projector(s) it was loaded on, and I'd have a hard time hammering that concept into management's heads that they gave UPS back a drive too early and with the server down, it's stuck where it is.[/footnote] Many times the distributors wouldn't get UPS to come pick up old drives for months. They also wouldn't send us the new license keys (which unlock a film for a certain date range on a certain projector's serial number) when a film was booked long in advance, so I had to call them and light a fire under their ass to be able to play something Friday morning and beyond.
 

deth2munkies

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Hairless Mammoth said:
deth2munkies said:
So here's the thing, I worked in the projection booth of a movie theater for a year in high school and I know how easily this thing can happen.

EDIT: So it was 3-D IMAX which is ONLY a digital projector, so the only possible explanation other than crippling stupidity is that their computer system was fucked and they loaded the wrong movie initially and it wouldn't let them load another or something. Those projectors are typically "Press one button to make movie start", so it's really hard to fuck up otherwise.
I worked as a projectionist at AMC.(After being demoted from Shift Manager/Supervisor along with 5-6 other colleagues when AMC bought out Kerasotes, because AMC would rather have angry customers wait for the 2 or 3 higher level employees to waltz downstairs from goofing off in the office than have someone everywhere to address the issues immediately.) Everyone has done that mistake at least a few times. We've also programmed the wrong movies to play when we got digital systems. It didn't help we were always being distracted by someone shoving an email we already got in our faces about putting a trailer on a certain movie when we already have the original weekly report that said "put this trailer on this feature."

I've accidentally played Ninja Assassin instead of Fantastic Mr. Fox (AKA the stop-motion movie only old people saw, because it had George Clooney in it) the one time a kid actually was in the audience. That was also back when I was in charge of the cash room and vault and no one briefed me on film swaps that night like they normally did so I was too busy to notice I threaded the wrong movie.

We've also gave funny nicknames to prints, even managers that outranked me did it, but we always made sure it was obvious what the prints actually were. I don't think that practice ever resulting in the wrong one playing, at least while I was there.

The thing about that 3D Imax system, though, is it really is a POS (not referring to a point of sale but it looked like one). It's running Win XP with a custom touch screen front-end (That blows, I hated building on that thing.), won't link up to any other system to sync with the other projectors' schedules, has IMAX people logging in remotely to do 10 minute tests that are LOUD and prevent the movie from starting when we have a film scheduled to play within those 10 minutes, and if it froze you couldn't even control the fader volume (Remember those tests? Yeah, with them logged in over us, we couldn't turn them down so the audience could unplug their ears.) Also, it was the fourth digital cinema interface to learn, with maybe 4 people in the building being competent enough to do more then press play and adjust the volume. It did let you add you own pictures in to represent prints, so I usually loaded pictures like Adam West Batman for Dark Knight Rises or a Xenomorph and Ridley Scott starring at you for Prometheus.
See I never had to deal with that for very long. I worked for 2 summers then a winter while I was home from college, we didn't get a 3-D IMAX until that last winter. That was in 2007-8, and from what you're describing, it's the same damn machine. Luckily, we had a good guy in charge of the digital projectors so my job was mostly pressing start on those and dealing with the actual film projectors. My worst fuckup was brainwrapping Marley and Me and everything went to hell RIGHT as the dog died in the movie. People were pissed and it took me and my assistant manager like 20+ minutes to get everything back on right. I also threaded a movie with the sound strip facing the wrong way more than once...never fucked up a digital one that hard though.
 

Lodgem

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I had a similar experience, but it wasn't at an IMAX screen.

The movie was supposed to be Skyfall, but the movie they started playing was Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Fortunately the cinema handled the issue much better. Once they realised that the were showing the wrong film they appologised and put on the correct film, after skipping over the preivews/ads.

The explanation that I heard was a scheduling error. The projectionist reported that they had received a different schedule to the one that everyone else was using and that they played the movie that their schedule had listed. I would have thought that they would have all been reading their schedule from the same database, but if there is any manual handling of the schedule given to the projectionist I can believe that things will go wrong sometimes, and it was handled correctly in this case.

My question is are there legal obligations on the part of the cinema to the advertisers or movie distributors regarding skipping the pre-show program? Are there contracts in place with various parties that require particular advertisements be shown before a particular film? If so, this may explain why the cinema in the article was reluctant to skip straight to the movie.
 

tkioz

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If it happened to me I wouldn't be too bothered... except for the freaking previews. They are already too bloody long, but an hour of the damn things? I'd flip my lid.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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deth2munkies said:
See I never had to deal with that for very long. I worked for 2 summers then a winter while I was home from college, we didn't get a 3-D IMAX until that last winter. That was in 2007-8, and from what you're describing, it's the same damn machine. Luckily, we had a good guy in charge of the digital projectors so my job was mostly pressing start on those and dealing with the actual film projectors. My worst fuckup was brainwrapping Marley and Me and everything went to hell RIGHT as the dog died in the movie. People were pissed and it took me and my assistant manager like 20+ minutes to get everything back on right. I also threaded a movie with the sound strip facing the wrong way more than once...never fucked up a digital one that hard though.
We had a guy in charge of all projection, until threats of all extraneous management jobs like the maintenance manager's and his being axed force him to resign, become a drone like us and go back to school. Then it was up to whoever working at the time to try and get managers to send email, look up info online, get license keys, and order bulbs(which, being budget priced, loved to go out prematurely, one even exploded 100 hours after the warranty was up when the Christie bulbs Kerasotes bought could go 7000 hours past warranty before being useless). Then it slowly went down to just me and one other guy to program the system Wednesdays and Thursdays and be there cleaning auditoriums on the weekend it case something asploded.

I've dealt with wraps, too. Can't say I miss those but did enjoy them better than having customers give me the stare down while they fixed something upstairs. I've at least caught myself flipping the sound strip around, but my framing sometimes was off to far to adjust since no one replaced the framing lamps in years on a few projectors.

The digital ones are hard to fuck up one you got the cues right, keys loaded, and test play them for a couple minutes. But, the projectors and computers are self-fucking. Plus, management didn't listen to us when moving prints around on the computer, so projectors with permanent 3D lenses that needed 3D cues for both 2D and 3D movies were trying to play in 2D and not working, the 2 projector systems that differentiated 2D and 3D was playing a 2D film in 3D and looking funny, etc. So, I at least had plenty to do. :)
Scrumpmonkey said:
Darks63 said:
Oly J said:
it hadn't even occurred to me that this could happen, the fact that theatres still have Rise of the Guardians to show is surprising, that came out on DVD forever ago
When I worked security for AMC theaters in my area there were hard drives in the back for movies that had been released more than 2 years ago.
They like to keep them around in case something wins an award. Many small/medium size films re-open if they win an Oscar and sometimes that can be a decent bit after their original opening. That might be part of the logic behind it. Also sometimes people/ corporate events book out theaters and want to see a specific film, i guess they want a certain buffer of them to hand.
I know we held on to some drives for a couple months for the Academy Awards every year, but it was so cheap to ship drives around we usually didn't keep anything past its original booking and got the drives shipped back for special re-openings. I don't think the distributors trusted us with 35mm prints for more that a couple weeks without showing them, so we didn't have extras of those lying around waiting for an award show. I do remember rebuilding old, scratched, torn up prints for private groups and this summer kid's movie program we used to do.

I don't get why the theater in the article had Rise of the Guardians(Who would pay to rent out a theater for that?), but I could imagine the guy who named it just "Guardians" and the genius who did not check what CPL(movie file) was on that SPL(playlist) before showing it a third time are now in some trouble.
 

Strazdas

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you know the more stories from people that work there i read the more it looks like a bad horror b-movie than an actual profession. i always though how can somone in management be that incompetent and not be bancrupt. No wonder they are trying to ban anything that isnt showing through them.
 

The Hungry Samurai

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Meanwhile, earlier that day a theatre full of kids were probably traumatized as the oddly colored "Easter Bunny's" pet tree... violently impaled a hallway full of people and gleefully flung their corpses about the room for a few minutes.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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J Tyran said:
It wouldn't have been so bad if they dint keep insisting on putting the audience through the trailers are previews each time, I mean 15 mins worth over and over.
I'm unsure of how the digital projectors work, but the film projectors don't have any fast-forward feature, the film has to be loaded from the beginning only unless one wants to potentially damage the film itself or the projector (which is super-fucking expensive). Since the previews are hard-cut onto the beginning of the film, there's no way to avoid them.
Possibly the digital projectors are locked into the same idea, no fast-forward because there's really no call for it since restarting the movie isn't something common enough to warrant it. I could be wrong though, but having worked in a theater and around the projectors there, there definitely didn't seem to be any way of skipping forward.
 

Saika Renegade

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I want to laugh given that it somehow happened three times in a row (with rather understandable swearing by the end), but somehow it feels like there is a degree of incompetence here that borders on the staggeringly disastrous. I will confess to only knowing cursory details about theater operations thanks to a friend who worked at one, but I understand that the movies require human interaction of some kind to begin, no matter the system in use. This means that someone up there made either very similar or identical errors, thrice, in sequence.

I seriously worry about that person operating a vehicle.
 

ColdinT

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Look. I can forgive someone screwing up the first time. I can even understand the second time. But three times of the wrong movie is just absurd. There's no way that happens by accident.
 

J Tyran

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Imperioratorex Caprae said:
J Tyran said:
It wouldn't have been so bad if they dint keep insisting on putting the audience through the trailers are previews each time, I mean 15 mins worth over and over.
I'm unsure of how the digital projectors work, but the film projectors don't have any fast-forward feature, the film has to be loaded from the beginning only unless one wants to potentially damage the film itself or the projector (which is super-fucking expensive). Since the previews are hard-cut onto the beginning of the film, there's no way to avoid them.
Possibly the digital projectors are locked into the same idea, no fast-forward because there's really no call for it since restarting the movie isn't something common enough to warrant it. I could be wrong though, but having worked in a theater and around the projectors there, there definitely didn't seem to be any way of skipping forward.
I have no actual practical knowledge but as far as I know the movies come on hard drives not film so its not a single reel its a collection of files, the projector do have restricted diagnostic functions that you can connect other equipment too. Its restricted to stop staff creating scans of the movies, I don't think that its infeasible for a technician or manager to use those functions or another computer to remove or edit out the file with the previews.
 

youji itami

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How do USA cinema's keep there films? In the UK the studios themselves keep the films and stream it to the cinema over here if they fuck up on their end we just get refunds since it's all automated and unmanned once it's set up.