[Lost Cause of the Week]: Here's an email I just sent to Regal Cinemas.
My wife and I went to an evening showing of "The Bourne Identity" at the Crossroads cinema in Bellevue, WA. The sheer amount of advertising we were subjected to has convinced us to avoid Regal Cinemas for the foreseeable future.
Next up: long, rambling letters to The Seattle Times warning that use of the Gregorian calendar will lead to communism!
We were frankly astonished at the quantity of ads shown before the picture: 10 minutes of standard commercials (for Coca-Cola, AT&T, etc.) followed by another 10 minutes of trailers. Others in the audience were equally disgruntled: after 15 minutes people were loudly groaning as each new preview began, and several people announced that it was "about time" when the film finally started.
I understand that it makes economic sense for you to pack more and more advertising into your showings, and that you will continue to do so until you begin to alienate your patrons. On the other hand, I also think you should know when that alienation has begun. Regal Cinemas is currently last on our list of theater chains we will patronize in the Seattle area.
Seriously, I can't remember the last time I was moved to write a complaint letter, but this was what we in the business refer to as "really, really, really, really bad". And apparently I am not alone, because a quick Google Groups search for "regal cinemas" gets you a bevy of ticked off movie fans.
And here's a tip for the seven of you who have read this far: you can find out what theaters in your area are owned by Regal Cinemas by entering your zip code here and hitting 'Submit': More fun.
Okay, I'm done.
- Captive Audience dislikes Regal Cinemas as much as I do. Far out.
- Here's an ambitious but sparse site: Stop Pre-Movie Ads!.
- Badads.com hates ads regardless of venue: in theaters, by phone, in schools, etc. That makes them cool.
- Hey look, even Ralph Nader got all worked up about movie theater ads. I'm sure he'll crack down on them when he's finally in the Oval Office.