If You Go To a Movie, Avoid Carmike at all Costs

We all know that movie theaters need to make money. That is why concession prices are so high. That is why we see ads before show time. We also know that if a show is advertised to start at 9:50 pm, it usually will not start until about 10:00 pm because of previews. Who doesn't like previews?

But Carmike Cinemas. who own and run the Carmike 12 on the east side, has taken it to a new level. I went to see the 9:50 PM show of Star Trek last night (yes one of my guilty pleasures). The show did not start until 10:15 PM.

Why? Because they ran ads until after 10:00 pm before they even started the previews. When the first preview came up, it was not a preview, it was an...wait for it...ad!

I do not spend good money to sit through almost 15 minutes of ads before the movie even starts. I attempted to contact somebody at Carmike corporate headquarters, but have not had a response. I called the Georgia Theater Company to discuss what they do, and they declined to comment because "we are friendly competitors.".

I did reach the manager of the Beechwood Stadium Cinemas, owned by the Georgia Theater Company, and he said the movies start 8-10 minutes after the scheduled show time because previews, not ads, start at the appointed time?

We should not be held hostage by the owners of any company, but the only way to let them know is to vote with your feet. So I strongly encourage you to give your movie dollars to Beechwood and not the Carmike 12. I know I will not be retuning there anytime soon.


Bob Brussack said...

We went to Carmike to see State of Play. Some of the reviewers had emphasized that the end credits were worth staying to see. We didn't get to see them. Carmike cut them off. I wrote to the email address on their site. Tim Tyson -- regional manager -- responded promptly with a detailed personal apology and promised two passes. They came today. We went to the 7 pm Star Trek last night and couldn't get a clear answer on which screen it would be on. But it worked out okay, and we thought the film was very well done. Carmike has issues. But it is the theater on our side of town. Bottom line: All theaters need to realize that they are going to go the way of printed newspapers unless they can make movie-going something very special. Stuffing commercials up front, charging ridiculous prices for concessions, and inadequately training personnel just won't cut it in a world with big screen HD TV in the living room.

Mike-El said...

The glut of commercials in movie theaters has totally biffed up the protocol of the lights going down being your cue to STFU. Now people blather and carry on during the commercials and that behavior almost inevitably carries over into the movie itself. It takes a big-ass movie event these days to drag me out from in front of my home theater system.

michael lachowski said...

To my mind, Carmike deserved a boycott from Day One, when they built that monstrosity -- although I eventually did attend a couple movies there that weren't playing at Beechwood. And the experience inside was pretty horrible, so I've manage to live without it.

I think Beechwood is just fine and always has been. But I support Cine as much as possible, and cancelled my Netflix to help ensure I'll be "hungry" for film experiences and go to Cine more often. Of course, Star Trek would be great to see, and I'll probably be at Beechwood again for that. But Cine, if it can survive in Athens, is the best film experience I've ever had: great sound, comfortable, clean, and small scale -- plus adult beverages that aren't overly priced.

Support Cine!

Adrian Pritchett said...

I've practically sworn off movie theaters for years because of the commercials and concession prices. I only go once or twice a year when I'm invited by my wife or close friends.

Unknown said...

I work for Carmike Cinemas. to explain the ads preceding the movies, no one in any theater has power to control those ads. Our theater, in Dublin, GA, receives satellite ads from Screenvision Inc., which automatically start before the movie is played, and actually trigger our projectors to switch to the movie. Our Movie files contain The Exit sign ad, followed up by a series of movie trailers, and lastly the carmike logo ad. The Sprint, Coke trivia, Music hits etc. ads are beyond our control, and Screenvision is constantly lengthening their ad time. Any movie scheduled to start at a specific time is usually delayed. When i first started working at carmike, Screenvision's ads lasted around six minutes. now its around sixteen.