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Robert Redford Needs To Control His Fans

, , , | Right | June 2, 2022

My (smaller) theater is located in a county that has a rather huge population of retirees and elderly people. A new Robert Redford movie has come out that has proven to be extremely popular with the over-sixty crowd.

We have two cheaper matinee shows of the movie earlier in the day, and every single day for the last five days, the matinee showtimes have sold out. There will be literally no seats sold… and then, about twenty minutes before the movie begins, suddenly a gaggle of old people will all show up out of nowhere and swarm the box office and automated ticket kiosks, and it’ll be completely sold out within minutes. It’s happened with literally every single matinee. Of course, none of them are coming to the slightly more expensive prime-time evening shows, so those have been selling only a few tickets at most.

The second matinee show-time is at 2:00 pm. Right on cue, at about 1:40 pm, suddenly the previously empty lobby is absolutely full of old people, and the 2:00 pm showtime is sold out by 1:50 pm. I deal with the expected angry rants and profanity from people who got stuck at the back of the line and couldn’t get tickets — because evidently it’s my fault that the movie sold out and there are no tickets left — and by 2:00 pm, the lobby is pretty much empty save for a small handful of people in line at the concession stand.

At 2:10 pm, a couple in their forties or fifties comes up to the box office.

Husband: “Two tickets to [Robert Redford Movie] at two.”

Me: “I apologize, but that showtime is unfortunately sold out. If you’d like, we do have a 5:00 pm show today that’s completely open, although tickets would be $1.75 more.”

Husband: *Immediately furious* “How the f*** is it ‘sold out?!’ I checked [Third-Party Website] an hour ago and there wasn’t a single seat sold!”

Me: “Unfortunately, that particular movie has been selling out quickly, usually right before the showtime.”

Husband: “That’s just ridiculous! I bet you just don’t want to sell me a seat! Do your f****** job!”

Me: “Trust me, sir. Look at this.”

I bring up the seating chart on my register and show him that all seventy-eight seats in the auditorium are sold. The only tickets that aren’t sold are the four empty wheelchair spaces at the back that we can only sell to customers in wheelchairs. The man grunts in anger and storms off with his wife following close behind. I think nothing more of it until my boss approaches me a few minutes later with the couple.

Boss: “I’ve been told you were refusing to sell tickets to this couple?”

Me: *Shocked* “I most certainly did not refuse a sale. They asked for tickets to a sold-out showtime, so I obviously couldn’t sell them any tickets to it.”

Boss: “Oh, were they trying to get tickets to [Robert Redford Movie]?”

Me: “Yup.”

My boss turns to the couple.

Boss: “Yeah, unfortunately, that movie is sold out. Pretty much every matinee showing of that sells out suddenly right before the movie.”

Husband: “Bulls***! I want this p***k fired! He just won’t do his job!”

Boss: “Excuse me! Do not speak to me that way, and do not refer to my employee as a ‘p***k’! The showtime is sold out.”

Husband: “There’s no way! I checked [Third-Party Website] an hour ago and it was completely open!”

Boss: “Fine, come with me.”

My boss leads the couple to the auditorium playing the movie and opens the door. The man sees that the theater is completely full, immediately looks utterly defeated, and turns bright red. He and his wife turn and walk toward the exit door in front of the box office. But before he leaves, he stops and shoots me the nastiest gaze I’ve ever seen.

Husband: *To me* “F*** you!”

He then left, making sure to kick a garbage can as hard as he could and push over a smoker’s pole outside the doors. His wife looked utterly embarrassed.

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