The Bear Growls: Stupidity at Green Valley Regal theater
June 28, 2004
While attending a movie at Green Valley’s Regal theater, the following was observed:
Two young women had purchased their tickets and were entering the theater, one carrying a soda purchased at the theater snack bar, the other carrying a bag of popcorn also purchased at the theater snack bar.
The woman with the popcorn also had a bag from one of the Green Valley food court outlets. She made no attempt to hide the bag. The ticket taker stopped her, and informed her that “outside food” would not be allowed in, a standard rule at most theaters. The woman’s friend went on into the theater, assuming her friend would join her shortly.
The woman explained that she believed this was not “outside food,” since it was purchased at Green Valley’s food court. The ticket taker called for “a” manager (not “the” manager) to come help her explain the rule to the patron. “A” manager, wearing a suit but only about 18 years old (probably actually a low-level supervisor), appeared, and re-explained the Regal policy about outside food. The woman politely asked for an exception under the circumstances. The young “manager” said he could not make an exception, but would ask the actual manager if he would do so.
By now, I was thinking how stupid this situation was. No other theater patrons seemed to take notice of the little vignette unfolding in front of them. While the reasons for the “no outside food” rule are obvious and legitimate, common sense would dictate that an exception is made here and the woman be permitted to go on in to join her friend. “If we do it for you, we have to do it for everyone” did not apply, because no one else seemed to even notice or pay any attention to the discussion, except for my son and I, and we were not obvious about it.
The actual manager came to the scene, folded his arms, and dug in his heels. He would not let the woman enter. Another reasonable solution crossed my mind. Have her throw the food away, and comp her movie ticket. But NO! He would not do anything. The woman, who had politely and quietly argued her case so far, was finally becoming angry at his intransigence and stupidity. Eventually, she said she would like her money back, and she would go to a different theater. GOOD FOR HER! She would go in to get her friend, who would also get a refund. The manager agreed to refund their money. But, in a final act of stupid arrogance he refused to let her go in unescorted to retrieve her friend. He had the gall to tell the woman that an usher would have to accompany her to get her friend, so they would have to immediately come back. That’s what finally happened.
The two women were polite, nicely dressed, and appeared to be the typical affluent suburban customer that Green Valley attracts. They had purchased popcorn and soda from the theater. They did not try to sneak the “outside food” in, and were obviously not lowlifes trying to scam the theater.
The stupidity of the manager and his terrible handling of this situation were incredible. Instead of making friends for his company (“We’ll let you in this time, but now you know the rules for next time,” or, “Throw your food away, but here’s your refund. Enjoy your movie on the house, and come back another time,” etc.), he so needlessly antagonized and frustrated the young woman, that she vowed to never come back, and to tell all her friends about the idiotic treatment they received.
Though the theater is not directly operated by Green Valley Ranch Casino, the casino should be embarrassed by this idiocy. I have had my share of rudeness and boorish treatment by Green Valley casino personnel. It appears that the typical bad attitude and arrogance shown by Green Valley employees has infected the theater operation as well.
NOTE: Neither Green Valley Rancho Casino nor Regal Theaters responded to a request for comments.