Skyfail: How Event Cinemas kicked 700 people out of the Bond movie and threatened to have me arrested

skyfall posterIt’s fair to say, my trip to see Skyfall did not go entirely as planned.

I was, I must admit, slightly late seeing it. But $12.3m of weekend box office can’t be wrong, so Monday was the night. Or so I thought. Sadly, I’m afraid I can’t tell you how it ended, because my evening ended with some vigorous discussions about media law.

It didn’t start well.

Ten minutes in, a thick blue line appeared down the left hand side of the screen. And remained there for the next ten minutes or so.

Along with the 700 or so people in the cinema – it was close to the 800-or-so capacity of George Street’s screen 4 – I was playing the game of hoping that somebody else would be the one to get up and call the projectionist. Happily someone cracked, and they eventually sorted it out.

The audience breathed a sigh of relief and began to relax into the film.

Half an hour later, it got worse –  everything turned bright yellow. Either Bond had fallen victim to an evil plot to give the upper ranks of MI6 jaundice or the colour balance was seriously screwed.

Again, we played the Who’s Going To Tell The Projectionist? game.

And everybody held their nerve. It’s amazing what you can get used to. I’d say the yellow filter went on for about half an hour.

By now I was mentally composing a letter of complaint. It included drawing attention to the fact that the cinema really only has one job, and that’s to correctly project the movie that the good folk of MGM have just dropped $200m making. As far as I could tell, it was money well spent, even if we weren’t quite seeing it how director Sam Mendes intended.

But if the main weapon against pirates is the superior movie-going experience, this was not a classic case study.

But hey, I enjoyed watching Casino Royal on an economy class plane seatback on Friday night, so in comparison this was luxury. At least I didn’t have a large woman from Perth who looked suspiciously like Gina Rinehart kicking me in the back.

But then, the picture froze.

For a while the crowd – who up to this point had been commendably patient – remained silent.

But then the murmurs started.

skyfall chaosWhen the screen then went black, the muttering got louder. People were still reasonably patient though. As you’ll see from the photo I took, a few started checking phones, but most initially stayed put.

Gradually though, as the cinema remained in darkness with no word from the management, a few began to leave.

As I started to film the crowd (well, I am a journo and it was a public place), a member of staff began to speak from the aisle on the other side of the cinema. As you may make out from my poor quality iPhone footage below, he didn’t do too bad a job.

Although he forgot to apologise for the inconvenience, he did explain that they were trying to reboot the computer.

Perhaps less reassuringly, he confided : “We haven’t had this problem happen to us over the last…” several years, I mentally completed the sentence. Or perhaps months. “Um, days,” he added.

The crowd were pretty understanding though. There was even a smattering of applause.

As I stopped filming, I didn’t notice that he’d come up behind me. The end of the recording captures the words: “I’d appreciate it if you delete that because I will have you…”

The next word was “…arrested”.

Which perhaps in customer relations terms is not ideal. At this point, I was just another punter to him. I wasn’t, I think, the only one filming. But I was probably the person who did it the most openly.

(And I am a regular customer by the way – that particular outlet, at least a couple of times a month or the last six years. Mumbrella has also held a number of reader screenings there, although I fear I’m not keen to repeat that soon.)

It’s perhaps not an ideal conflict resolution technique  to open the conversation with a threat to arrest your customer who’s night has just been ruined by your crappy projector.

The conversation quickly moved on. I identified myself as a journalist, gave him my business card and said I’d been filming in a public place and wouldn’t delete it. He repeated his threat to have me arrested and said he’d be calling his lawyer.

I suggested he could call the manager as I’d be happy to talk to him. “I am the manager,” he insisted.

Which suggest he must be as much of a prodigy as the youthful Q in the movie.

He walked off.

Another member of the audience who’d been sitting nearby leaned over to say “Good on you.”

Then, happily, the movie restarted.

skyfail tweetSadly the film was still a study in yellow. But everyone stuck with it. Until it stopped again.

This time, he was back with another announcement – the screening was off. Everyone was going to get one free ticket each to come back another time. He was somewhat drowned out by the calls of “Gold Class, Gold Class.”

skyfail tweet 2

social media skyfail

Disappointed fans took to social media

“Hashtag Skyfail,” added a socially media savvy woman nearby.

He was waiting at the bottom of the stairs as I left. His name badge said Mitchell.

Again perhaps misunderstanding the complexities of media law a tad, he wanted to know if I’d filmed him on my company phone or personal phone. “If I call your number on your card, that’s the number?”


“Well anyway, I don’t want anything to do with you. You’re very rude towards me.”

“Why am I being rude? I’m trying to be reasonable.”

“It’s my own life and I can do what I like with it.”

“You’re on duty and you’re acting in a public place.”

“I’d like you to leave now. My lawyer is going to be in touch with you.”

At that point a colleague of his joined the debate.

“I have a degree in media,” she informed me. Journalists are not allowed to film anybody without signed consent forms she (wrongly) told me.

“You’ve been badly let down on your degree if you think that,” I (a tad provocatively) told her. It’s a common misunderstanding in many countries ,including Australia, that have a free press:

As it happens, an incident involving Nick Holmes a Court was one of the first stories Mumbrella covered when we launched four years ago.

She switched tack, mentioning the police.

“Are they on the way?” I asked. “If so, I’m happy to wait to sort this out, otherwise, I’d like to go. What would you like me to do?”

“You do whatever you like.”

“Have the police been called?


“You’ve called them?”

“Absolutely, as far as I know.”

I didn’t believe her, so I decided to call it a night and left.

There was a small postscript.

When I got home, Event Cinemas had already sent me a customer satisfaction survey. I had fun filling it in.

event cinemas satisfaction

How was your Monday night?

Tim Burrowes


  1. Tom Wood
    27 Nov 12
    1:10 am

  2. Nothing pisses me off more than stupid people who don’t realize it and try to exercise a bit of power when they’re completely wrong.

  3. AdGrunt
    27 Nov 12
    7:31 am

  4. Agree Tom.

    Hence my loathing of politicians. And quangos. And now Event Cinemas.

    Calling *his* lawyer, indeed. Twunt.

  5. Elbogrease
    27 Nov 12
    7:33 am

  6. Facepalm. WTF were those people on
    Not sure that a private business that you have purchased a service from is a public place though.

  7. David
    27 Nov 12
    7:39 am

  8. ah wow that post on great customer experiences cheered me up for the day, i always love to see how companies can make the situation worse by antagonising their customers with vague legal threats.

    But as to the issue of if you were in a public place I thought the cinema as it was ticketed would be like a licensed venue and be regarded as private property?I know they have all sorts of threatening legal signs about use of recording equipment but I would think it would be a grey area if the film wasn’t showing at the time.

    As for the movie, seriously gutted they screwed up the Bond experience, it’s something that no-one should have to endure, it was a great film!Hopefully you can see the full version in Gold Class next time.

  9. Leslie
    27 Nov 12
    7:45 am

  10. #SqueakyVoicedTeen “Here’s your taco, Mister. Whoops. It fell in the fryer. I’ll get it out. Ow! Ow! Ow-w-w! Ow-w-w!”

  11. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    7:53 am

  12. That’s the problem with media degrees. They don’t help people understand how journalism works.
    If one of my reporters failed to try to get footage of a mess like this they’d… End up working at a cinema.

  13. GC
    27 Nov 12
    8:02 am

  14. Oh noes…

  15. Peter
    27 Nov 12
    8:09 am

  16. You didn’t seriously say you were filming in a public place, did you? That’s almost as big a fail as threatening to have you arrested. It was a public event on private property.

  17. Jeremy
    27 Nov 12
    8:14 am

  18. One problem. You were not in a public place; you were on private property. You had no right to film it without permission.

  19. Ummm
    27 Nov 12
    8:20 am

  20. Tim – Cinemas are not a ‘public place’.

  21. Damo
    27 Nov 12
    8:50 am

  22. A film cinema owned by a business is not a public place, it is private property. It seems a little unfair to be so harsh on others who misinterpret the law.

    That aside, the threat of arrest is ludicrous.

  23. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    9:17 am

  24. That’s never happened to me with a bit torrent.

  25. Glengyron
    27 Nov 12
    9:32 am

  26. Cinemas are indeed a public place, morons.

    Here’s the definition from the NSW Summary Offences Act 1988, Section 3:

    “public place” means:

    (a) a place (whether or not covered by water), or

    (b) a part of premises,

    that is open to the public, or is used by the public whether or not on payment of money or other consideration, whether or not the place or part is ordinarily so open or used and whether or not the public to whom it is open consists only of a limited class of persons, but does not include a school.

  27. Tim Bennett
    27 Nov 12
    9:33 am

  28. Does a public place have to be a publicly-owned place? Or just somewhere that people don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy?

  29. Halans
    27 Nov 12
    9:34 am

  30. In the meantime, there were maybe 40 people at the 8:30pm screening yesterday at Hoyts at Warringah Mall… for a perfect projection (maybe not 4K, but wouldn’t be able to tell I think).

    But I’m pretty sure it’s a Condition of Entry that you’re not allowed to take pictures or film inside the theatre. Same as you’re not allowed to take pictures inside a shopping mall. You can take pictures from the footpath outside towards the cinema though.

  31. Kimberley
    27 Nov 12
    9:37 am

  32. I can’t believe anyone waited SO long with an event movie to report it; really? Half an hour with a yellow filter over a movie? Would have asked for a refund, or a ticket for another screening rather than sit and film the event. Maybe that’s just me.

  33. Caitlin
    27 Nov 12
    9:37 am

  34. A cinema isn’t actually a public place. It’s private property and they have a right to ask you not to film or to ask you to leave. However, they don’t have a right to demand that you delete what you have already filmed.

  35. Encyclic!
    27 Nov 12
    9:38 am

  36. Damo, if you’re going to make up the law on the fly and threaten to arrest people, you’d best be sure that you’re not talking Abbott.

  37. Waaah
    27 Nov 12
    9:43 am

  38. @Glengyron +1

  39. Matt
    27 Nov 12
    9:46 am

  40. How smug. The cinema failed to deliver on its service; you had a crappy time, I get it.

    But you can’t expect everyone to have absolute knowledge of the complexities of media law. Not everyone owns their OWN online news outlet. The man was doing his job, and he was most certainly panicked faced with the situation.

    What are you going to do? Film a waiter the next time your food comes out cold? Brandish your right to “film in public places” then, too?

    This is nothing more than journalistic bullying. Complain, sure. No need to single the guy out.

    A couple of things ……..

    1. Why on earth the manager became so upset about someone filming what could have been a very positive example of proactive customer service, intrigues me. Why would he be so defensive? He was purely trying to rectify the situation, and if he was doing it effectively, why a problem with being filmed?

    2. “I’ll see you in court!” … “You’ll hear from my lawyer!” … “I’m gonna sue!” Blah, they’re all emotion-charged, misguided, juvenile Americanisms that have no place in a civilised society where many problems could much more easily be solved with polite discussion.

    3. If indeed a cinema is a private place, then I hope it doesn’t become public knowledge! That just INVITES the kinds of activities that should be reserved for somewhere ACTUALLY private. *shudder*

    I say good on you too, Tim. In your position, finding evidence of good and poor examples of marketing, service, customer relations and so on is a dirty job and someone has to do it. Heck, it’s incredibly entertaining! I’d buy a ticket … Gold Class even!

  41. anon_coward
    27 Nov 12
    9:54 am

  42. And they wonder why we download…

  43. Peter
    27 Nov 12
    10:00 am

  44. @Glengyron, the Summary Offences Act has nothing to do with photography, though. If you care more than just an opportunity to call people morons, is a good start.

  45. Jeff
    27 Nov 12
    10:15 am

  46. You went to a movie where there were problems with the projection.
    What a self righteous article about an absolute non-event.

  47. Jane
    27 Nov 12
    10:15 am

  48. Glengyron “you moron” (how delightful a way of expressing yourself you have), you have quoted the definition of a public place for the summary offenses act, which this does not fall under. A definition in one piece of legislation does not make it the same definition in all laws.

  49. Glengyron
    27 Nov 12
    10:37 am

  50. @Peter I never said Summary Offences was relevant to Tim’s activities. But it is the key definition of ‘public space’. I don’t think any of the other laws governing filming / photography are relevant either. None of this breached any expectation of privacy or was done for sexual arousal (I assume).

  51. Nicole
    27 Nov 12
    10:45 am

  52. The title of this piece is a little disingenuous don’t you think? First of all, they didn’t “kick” 800 people out – the screening was cancelled (admittedly due to their terrible service) and all customers were offered a free ticket to come back. Secondly, you weren’t filming the “chaos”, you were filming an explanation given by an employee. Thirdly, you yourself admitted that you don’t think they even called the cops. So to portray this as some kind of journalistic crusade in the face of tyranny and an ‘out of control’ crowd is a bit ridiculous. If you didn’t come up with the title, then my apologies.

    On another note, the title is the only thing I take issue with. I actually completely agree with all of what you did, and even if the law surrounding your actions is somewhat unclear (none of the commenters here seem to be able to agree), Event Cinemas still handled the situation incredibly badly by threatening you with legal action and police presence straight away. God they’re idiots.

  53. simon says
    27 Nov 12
    11:04 am

  54. So i have read this my self , no where does he say the police have been called or he will have you arrested , all made up for a story headline if you ask me , make a complaint dont attack people wait thats what most journalists do no? just to get the story

  55. Damo
    27 Nov 12
    11:11 am

  56. I have a few concerns. The link between one bad experience at the cinema and illegal downloads is tenuous to say the least.

    The staff clearly didn’t do the right thing or provide a good experience but let’s face it, these aren’t marketing or customer service professionals, they’re working at a cinema, probably not getting paid much and their overriding concern is losing their job – their boss sees this, there is a chance that guy is going to lose his job.

    I enjoy Mumbrella immensely and appreciate all the hard work that goes into it but this does seem a little like something that may have better been left to a complaint on twitter rather than a blog post.

    Having said that, it has generated plenty of comments!

    @glengyron My apologies for being a moron and not understanding a definition that, it would appear based on other comments does not relate to the situation described in the article. Strangely, it is that situation I was commenting on.

  57. Alan
    27 Nov 12
    11:25 am

  58. Call me one of those obsessive nitpickers, but I couldn’t get past this:

    ‘…your customer who’s night has just been ruined’

    Whose. You’re welcome.

  59. Chris
    27 Nov 12
    11:28 am

  60. Dude you went to the movies and they had some projection troubles, it’s hardly worth writing a giant passive-agressive article about. The US declaration of independence is shorter than this and manages to say quite a lot more.

    A sad indictment on the self-obsessed attitude of Gen-Y. People in our age are fighting and dying in Syria while you had a small hiccup in your “RIGHT” to watch a trashy action movie so you could wallow in vicarious violence.

    Boo hoo.

  61. Kate Lyons
    27 Nov 12
    11:41 am

  62. You lost me when you felt the need to throw in a disposable comment about a large woman (possibly like Gina R) kicking the back of your seat. If the person was black, asian or gay would you have felt it necessary to include that descriptor too? You’re not as socially sophisticated as you’d like to think.

  63. Luke
    27 Nov 12
    11:54 am

  64. Oh poor you, your screening of Skyfall went haywire. There are people with genuine problems like how they’re going to pay their mortgage or electricity bill and you’re complaining about this?!

    I’m not entirely sure what the media laws are, but there probably should be a law that requires both you and the ‘manager’ to pull your heads out of your arses and apply some common sense and decency that not everything in this world works perfectly, and sometimes mistakes get made. Being a ‘journalist’ or a cinema manager doesn’t mean you are allowed to be a wanker.

  65. Jenna
    27 Nov 12
    11:56 am

  66. What a hideous display of customer service. Who cares about the movie being filmed when it’s not even displaying correctly? What are you going to do, upload a pirated 2 minutes of a yellow screen dying to black, or a thick black line? Did you get a refund or apology from the theatre, or Gold Class tickets as an apology for your wasted time and money? Gosh Australia has a lot to learn customer-wise.

  67. No one
    27 Nov 12
    12:11 pm

  68. Having not returned to a cinema since “The Phantom Menace,” (having been refused a refund), I made the mistake of buying a ticket to Dark Knight Rises.

    45 minutes after the listed movie start time, the ads were still rolling. (No refund again.)

    A few weeks ago, I enjoyed watching Skyfall in the comfort of a friends house on her big screen. My price of admission was a nice bottle of Shiraz, which I got to drink half of. Great night was enjoyed by all.

    “Piracy is a service problem.”

  69. Icarus
    27 Nov 12
    12:25 pm

  70. A cinema is not a public place, it is privately owned, you need permission to film there.

  71. Brent W
    27 Nov 12
    12:45 pm

  72. Man, the commenters on this site are animals.

  73. Dan
    27 Nov 12
    12:45 pm

  74. Hi Tim, as it happens I also went to see Skyfall at the George St cinema yesterday and had a bit of a run in with Mitchell myself.

    When I was there in the afternoon the down escalator kept abruptly stopping making the people on it fall over. It was pretty dangerous.

    I tried to explain to Mitchell that he should immediately shut it and use it as a stairs instead but he said it wasn’t his problem that his customers were getting injured as he had no control over them.

    Not the best customer service!

  75. (Name supplied but removed by Mumbrella until we can verify as genuine)
    27 Nov 12
    12:56 pm

  76. I am actually an employee at Event Cinemas George St and happened to be working that night, so I’m going to give a second opinion to this poorly composed and egotistical piece. Firstly, you were not “kicked” from the cinema. All customers were provided with complementary passes and were asked to leave (because obviously the movie was not working). Secondly, things go wrong. We do not suggest that things never go wrong, and our manager had the unfortunate task of having to deliver the bad news to everyone. So why on earth would you film him to start off with? What on earth was your purpose except for uploading it onto the internet and having other 12 year olds stroke your massive e-pene (ego). All he was doing was trying to fix the problem and you antagonised the situation by filming. Lastly, I love how you portray yourself as a rational and composed human being. Let it be known that this “journalist” was SCREAMING at two different managers and carrying on like a lunatic. We actually had other customers come up and ask if “that man was sane”. So before you go writing up a piece of absolute garbage which has more holes than a sieve, perhaps you should have a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how you come to be writing about small stuff-ups from a Sydney cinema. How about some real journalism? I’m sorry you lost your $18.50(which was reimbursed), but carrying on like a complete scum bag and then validating it with sub-par writings for your ego doesn’t do anything. Please stop spearheading the downfall to quality media.

    Regards, Somebody who was actually there.

    (Mumbrella adds: We have now posted audio of the conversation the above person claims to have witnessed. Readers can judge for themselves whether this commenter is telling the truth here:

  77. Kate
    27 Nov 12
    1:10 pm

  78. As it happens, i was in cinema 4 last night. Yes, while the experience sucked, I found the managers and staff handled the situation very well. 1) they were very patient with some of the patrons screaming at them (i take it one of them was you) 2) when i went down to the ticket office, they offered to upgrade me to the next vmax session happening at 9.35 3) when i explained i had work the next morning and couldn’t stay up til 12.30am, they were more than happy to give me a complimentary pass to my next session, that i could use at any time i liked.

    also dan…. i assume these are the escalators that were stopped and had ropes across them to prevent access?

    what a craptastic piece of “journalism”… where on earth did you get your degree from?

  79. Good moron
    27 Nov 12
    1:27 pm

  80. I’ll film Tim tonight and see how he likes it.

  81. Emilio
    27 Nov 12
    1:41 pm

  82. Couldn’t agree more with Chris:

    “Dude you went to the movies and they had some projection troubles, it’s hardly worth writing a giant passive-aggressive article about. The US declaration of independence is shorter than this and manages to say quite a lot more.

    A sad indictment on the self-obsessed attitude of Gen-Y. People in our age are fighting and dying in Syria while you had a small hiccup in your “RIGHT” to watch a trashy action movie so you could wallow in vicarious violence.

    Boo hoo.”

    Is this really ‘journalism’. No, this is ‘trumped up’ garbage. I think everyone acknowledges it wasn’t handled perfectly but to crucify the guy publicly and shame him over something as trivial as this shows someone needs to get a life….

    If generating comments on a website/blog via a sensationalised headline is deemed quality journalism then Alt – File – Exit.

    Journalist.. ba ha ha

  83. Andrew Bolt & Gina Rineharts love child
    27 Nov 12
    1:59 pm

  84. Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned…

    BTW Mum wasn’t there last night. But I understand your confusion. All fat people look the same…….

  85. Dave
    27 Nov 12
    2:09 pm

  86. Tim… once again you are turning mumbrella into a soap box for your own personal gripes and dilemmas. This situation has nothing to do with marketing, it doesn’t even have anything to do with its own headline.

    I think you need to read your own editorial policy…..

  87. ChuckD
    27 Nov 12
    2:10 pm

  88. I don’t care commenters, FIGHT.

  89. Cam J
    27 Nov 12
    2:10 pm

  90. wow you guys are uptight, why start the name calling to fellow respondents just because they have a different point of view!!!!! Any way I would have expected more from Event Cinemas a very poor experience indeed

  91. JB
    27 Nov 12
    2:11 pm

  92. What’s a projectionist?

  93. Odette
    27 Nov 12
    2:13 pm

  94. Agree with Jeff 27 Nov 12@ 10:15 am. Lets all get our media degrees out and measure how big they are. I’d think twice about boasting about a one sided argument I had with teenage cinema staff. You are a hero.

  95. Winstan
    27 Nov 12
    2:13 pm

  96. Tim, if you had been filming me without my permission I would’ve grabbed the phone from your hand and destroyed it. Congratulations to Mitchell for showing restraint. There are two sides to every story and I feel comment 39 is closer to the truth than your version. Find something worthwhile to be outraged about.

  97. Tony Bee
    27 Nov 12
    2:14 pm

  98. Which all goes to prove there are two sides to every story … and history is written by the winners.

  99. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    2:14 pm

  100. First world problem in the form of the most BORING article ever.

    No one cares mate. Actually, maybe the children starving in other countries would, but they’re too busy starving and dying. Perhaps you’d like to write an article about them instead? Journalist?–More like egocentric twat.

  101. PM
    27 Nov 12
    2:21 pm

  102. A similar thing happened to me at George Street cinemas, I was watching the Avengers, first it started with a buzzing noise, then the sound went and it was like the actors were whispering.
    I too waited for someone to get up… a couple did but nothing happened, so i went out an found an attendant… someone came in to check the issue eventually.
    They disappear and tried to fix it but after about ten minutes a manager came in and they stopped the movie.
    They gave us 4 options:
    1. they could give us a voucher to see another movie and we could go home
    2. We could be put in the next available session of the movie.
    3. We could watch the movie in silence LOL
    4. we could go and line up and get our money back (they advised this would take over an hour).
    I decided with the least painful option getting a voucher to see another movie.

    No rude staff or legal theats here, just disappointment in not seeing the movie.

    I must have been so disappointed i haven’t seen another movie…

  103. MAH
    27 Nov 12
    2:22 pm

  104. Pretty on par for Event Customer Service – they are worse than Optus and Telstra combined. In my opinion Events will provide you with the absolute worst customer service experience when making a complaint to head office as they neither answer the phone nor respond to emails. Maybe I need to go film them to get their attention :-)

  105. doris
    27 Nov 12
    2:23 pm

  106. thats not quite as bad as the time Bridesmaids started instead of Kung Fu Panda 2 and a cinema full of parents sheilded their childrens eyes from the gymnastic style opening sex marathon scene.

  107. BK
    27 Nov 12
    2:25 pm

  108. Jerks getting jerked around by jerks. Fancy watching a yellow screen too. No balls to act on that then goes all head kicker with the secret filming and unrecorded conversation.

  109. Lisa Messenger
    27 Nov 12
    2:26 pm

  110. Always flighting the good fight and keeping me amused along the way. go Tim!

  111. Jack Warner
    27 Nov 12
    2:27 pm

  112. Besides all this stuff I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Thinking of going on cheap Tues. Very careful me about how I spend my money.

  113. Dan
    27 Nov 12
    2:30 pm

  114. MumbrellaFail? Poor Tim sure is copping it on this one! Can we get an article about this?

  115. norelle feehan
    27 Nov 12
    2:31 pm

  116. I agree poor service but I think you’ll find that you are NOT allowed to film in a theatre it is a private space (even corporations have private space) you are allowed to film in the street etc

  117. Douglas
    27 Nov 12
    2:32 pm

  118. Tim… Don’t worry… He dies at the end…

  119. Joey
    27 Nov 12
    2:33 pm

  120. Hey Tim
    Just for a bit more context, were you at the cinema by yourself again?

  121. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    2:33 pm

  122. what a twat

  123. Simon
    27 Nov 12
    2:33 pm

  124. As funny as this is, he was at work on private property. You had no rights to film him, Tim. I’m with comment 39.

  125. Offal Spokesperson
    27 Nov 12
    2:35 pm

  126. I refuse to watch a phone camera filmed version of Skyfall if it has a yellow tint. Good for you Tim, standards of piracy have been dropping for years..and no -one does a thing about it!

  127. Bucks is back
    27 Nov 12
    2:35 pm

  128. To the last few comments, you are right that there are 2 sides to every story, that doesnt mean that Tim’s is completely wrong.

    Yeah, there probably is a chance that Tim did raise his voice without realising it, hell know’s I’ve done that when people have told me, “lower your voice”, and I didnt realise I was yelling. It’s human emotion.

    And yes, he has the right to be pissed off after this. All these comments of “what’s the big deal, just go to a different session, blah, blah”. In this day and age of 12 hour working days, commitments with family (children) and so on, when you are in the mindset for some rest and/or recreation, it’s easy to quickly get annoyed when that’s taken away and it’s not as easy to just go to the next night if you have a lot of commitments (or kids).

    Anyway, this probably could’ve been avoided if the Manager politely asked Tim to delete the film rather than threaten arrest (and sorry, but I believe Tim on this one that it was the first thing said), and if Tim refused, then fair game to be pissed off with Tim, because it was approached correctly.

    And Winstan (comment at 2.13pm), if you grabbed my phone and destroyed it, I’d have punched you in the face and we’d both be in jail, so great conflict resolution you twit.

  129. Verbal Gerbil
    27 Nov 12
    2:38 pm

  130. A projectionist is someone who speak eloquently and loudly – with little or no clothing.

  131. Jamie
    27 Nov 12
    2:40 pm

  132. I’m no lawyer, but I imagine that the conditions of entry are legally binding – which are dependent on each individual cinema, but also, it is a documented Condition of Sale, as written in their Terms and Conditions on the Event Cinemas website, that:

    “Each Cinema of the Company has specific house polices such as Responsible Service of Alcohol and may have other conditions of entry that apply from time to time. These are made available at each Cinema and you agree to be bound by these. Cameras, audio and video recorders are not permitted inside any Cinema.”

    But on the refund issue, I disagree. I travelled a medium distance (100km or so one-way) to see a movie with a family member – however – when we arrived, Event Cinemas informed us there was troubles transferring the movie to the correct harddrive (or something) in order to show it on the big-screen. They offered a free ticket – as it appears as they did here.

    BUT, this was AFTER I had purchased $15 worth of popcorn and drink, and not even including any other costs like petrol etc.

    A free-ticket is not a full make-up for a bad experience, and it is quite erroneous for Event Cinemas to think it is. I don’t expect Event Cinemas to offer me anything else (maybe a Candy voucher but that would be impractical), but at least recognise the time commitment, and other spends that make such an experience not justifiable because “we gave you a free ticket”.

    So I agree that this issue should be pointed out. They advertised a product that did not work as promised.

    But I also agree that it was wrong to film them, and is wrong to single-out employees who, while perhaps not with the best manners, were just following the stated conditions of sale / entry.

  133. Innocent until proven...
    27 Nov 12
    2:45 pm

  134. did Mitchell get a right to reply before this was published!?!

    I think the venerable BBC’s Editor in Chief lost his job recently after his journalists ran a story that ‘almost named and certainly shamed’ someone who turned out to be innocent.

    Journalism standards…..

  135. Bernie
    27 Nov 12
    2:48 pm

  136. Sorry Tim, but this feels like a rant and is not the place for Mumbrella (a professional marketing/PR industry website). I know you’re angry, but perhaps save it for your friends, facebook acquaintances, etc. We have all had bad customer experiences, and yes, you have a huge avenue to share your story, but we’d like some professionalism please.

    I don’t wish to unsubscribe, but to have this as your lead story makes me question the usefulness of Mumbrella in my inbox.

  137. anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    2:50 pm

  138. Chris
    27 Nov 12
    11:28 am

    “A sad indictment on the self-obsessed attitude of Gen-Y. People in our age are fighting and dying in Syria while you had a small hiccup in your “RIGHT” to watch a trashy action movie so you could wallow in vicarious violence.”

    a) Tim is not Gen Y
    b) I’m confident that a large percentage of the armed forces is comprised of “self-obsessed” Gen Y people.

    Perhaps we can say that this comment is a sad indictment of Gen X being a bunch of grumblers. But it’s unfair to label generations like that, there are bad people in every age group, every culture, every religion and every race. I agree that this article is a little over the top but who are YOU to say that this is reflection on an entire generation of people?

  139. bob
    27 Nov 12
    2:50 pm

  140. Ad news would kill for a thread like this. they need to write about their nights out too clearly

  141. Jack
    27 Nov 12
    2:51 pm

  142. Yeah journalism fail right here. Didn’t think this was a personal blog. Get a tumblr for this garbage.

  143. Easily pleased
    27 Nov 12
    2:57 pm

  144. Journalism brilliance or not – The story and following thread has kept me amused for part of the afternoon and distracted me from work ….Thanks TIM!

  145. Carole Goldsmith
    27 Nov 12
    2:58 pm

  146. Tim, don’t you know that recording in the cinema is a no no – now you could have been filming – Sky Fall for all the cinema staff know and that is Piracy – so the film ads say.

    Filming in the cinema is a no no like in public swimming pools – you can’t film there esp in the change rooms…

    I saw Sky Fall and loved it and was on the edge of my seat with a whole theatre of kids
    The end was sad to say the least and you will all have to go and see it to know what happens in the end.

  147. Snooze
    27 Nov 12
    2:59 pm

  148. There are 2 sides to every story for sure and whilst I am open to the possibility that Tim was not as pleasant (more like passive aggressive) as he portrays, I’m pretty sure, having worked extensively in customer service in my younger years, that telling people that you will them arrested is not EVER the best way to open a conversation with someone, even if they are acting like a pain in the arse. People generally respond much better if you speak to them reasonably and nicely. If Mitchell didn’t want to be filmed and wanted that erased, there were better ways to go about it like, for instance:

    “Excuse me sir, I couldn’t help but notice that you were filming me. I do realise that the situation here isn’t ideal, and I’m doing my best to rectify that for you. However, I’m really uncomfortable with being filmed like that. I am just doing my job and trying to make the best of a bad technical situation. Would you mind erasing that.”

    Or something along those lines.

    What happened next is up for debate, but you can clearly hear that opening line, and starting a conversation with someone who is already (understandably) aggravated in such a confrontational manner is just going to make them angry and less likely to do what you want them to do.

  149. zeldafitzgerald
    27 Nov 12
    3:06 pm



  151. cosifantutti
    27 Nov 12
    3:07 pm

  152. Ohhhh……First World problems!!

  153. FK
    27 Nov 12
    3:09 pm

  154. #firstworldproblems

  155. Anne Miles
    27 Nov 12
    3:10 pm

  156. Well, gotta say I’m having a massive laugh over these first world problems of many kinds – the movie fail, the need to blog like this, the lack of clarity on law, social media postings gone wrong (feeling very sorry for the cinema right now and what could even become an employee down if authentic), transparency and accountability for movie fails, the transparency and accountability for personal behaviour,… bitter sweet. It’s like a train wreck – we can’t help but look 😉

    At least, Tim, it seems you ‘get as good as you give’. A credit to you at least for that.

  157. Ric P
    27 Nov 12
    3:12 pm

  158. Hi, Just trying to understand how the Cinema is a ‘public place? Surely its a privately owned area and you are on their premises which clearly states no filming allowed inside the cinema??

  159. NS
    27 Nov 12
    3:21 pm

  160. the settling of petty personal vendettas is a clear misuse of a journalists’s power, Tim

    i really thought you were above this sort of thing

  161. Wayne Mullen
    27 Nov 12
    3:22 pm

  162. Event Cinemas really annoy me. We had a problem where due to a screening problem we were given “freebies” to another session. Event in George Street chose to not honour those freebies. I was rudely told to go away and it was strongly implied I was trying to cheat the company. It was only when I made a VERY public fuss, that I was given replacement tickets for my party. Bad, bad customer service.

  163. JJ
    27 Nov 12
    3:23 pm

  164. well said Bernie

  165. James H
    27 Nov 12
    3:23 pm

  166. I’m worried why Scoop Ally got a 5. Popcorn, choc tops, skittles, frozen coke to name a few. Bit harsh, I’m putting it down to you not thinking straight when you got home.

  167. Dave
    27 Nov 12
    3:24 pm

  168. 65. Bucks is back
    27 Nov 12
    2:35 pm

    You’re right, there’s two sides to every story. But as Tim said in his article, the manager was a “youthful Q”

    So you have a teenager with no life experience doing his job and making a mistake (by threatening to call the cops), and an older professional guy who should know better filming it and then writing a self-indulgent post.

    There are two sides. It’s just that one of them should have known better…..

  169. Michael
    27 Nov 12
    3:25 pm

  170. Soon journalists will need Stephen Conroy’s permission to film anybody.

  171. The K
    27 Nov 12
    3:25 pm

  172. Tim,
    Please don’t confuse the number of comments here as positive engagement.

    Posting this ridiculous personal rant has only made me reconsider visiting what I thought was a credible site.

  173. Kate
    27 Nov 12
    3:36 pm

  174. Also…. watching the video…. it kind of looks like it was the guy next to you saying it.. the one in the green and white check shirt? Because unless he is a superhero, i fail to see how he could have come up behind you so quickly from the front of the cinema? Please clarify tim?

  175. Me
    27 Nov 12
    3:42 pm

  176. EPIC THREAD!11!!!!

    Thanks, Mumbrella.

    Also, the telesync of Skyfall is one of the best EVA. And it was released weeks ago. No way you could have uploaded a better torrent, Tim. Manager was clearly wasting his time.

  177. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    3:55 pm

  178. To ‘Buck is Back’:

    If you and/or Tim are wiling to see ‘raising your voice’ a human error and that should be looked past and forgiven, then perhaps you can both understand that the Projectionist’s COMPUTER had an error of its own which had nothing to do with humans and all that Mitch was trying to do was explain this to 700 people. It could not be helped.

    Furthermore, filming inside the cinema is illegal, so the ads say TIM and being that you have frequented this same cinema for years now, according to you, you’d know this rule very well. I would apologize and leave these types of blog entries to your personal journal next time.

  179. anon_coward
    27 Nov 12
    4:05 pm

  180. I’ll be the first to give Tim a good hard kick, but I don’t think he’s alone in having a terrible experience in an Australian cinema, and having to deal with a kid who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you. Nor do I believe he was wrong to write this piece.

    I remember seeing Avatar when it came out in an Event cinema, and the entire film stopped for ten minutes at the start of the third act. They got it started again, and then it failed within a minute for jus under another ten minutes.

    I was originally told by the kids who work there that because the film was more than 3/4 done they couldn’t offer any make goods….go figure. They eventually offered us free tickets, but the damage was done.

  181. Elbogrease
    27 Nov 12
    4:06 pm

  182. I for one believe the only way to rectify the situation is a good ol’ fashion Burning at the stake.
    Now if Tim would politely step up to be FLAMED!
    HAHAHA this thread has gone all Texas Chainsaw massacre.

  183. Claire
    27 Nov 12
    4:21 pm

  184. How did this pathetic dramatisation of such an insignificant event qualify for top billing in Mumbrella’s email? Along with your sell-out ‘”sponsored” solus sends, rubbish like this it drives me to scroll down, straight to the unsubscribe link!

  185. Petra HS
    27 Nov 12
    4:22 pm

  186. ….It’s a wrap!!!

    Tim I love your headline it has allowed many to engage in what has turned into a wonderful 10-15mins of escapism:-)

    Next time go to Dendy –there you can enjoy a nice glass of wine whilst viewing. If anything ever does go wrong they have extremely good customer care (as I have experienced). They give timely support delivered in a professional way—thus marketing thier cinema appropriately.

    Skyfall is a goodie so do persist to see it but pehaps stay clear of the George St cinema as they may have a ‘Wanted.’ sign up outside!!!! Tee hee!!! :-)

  187. Purplegrrl
    27 Nov 12
    4:49 pm

  188. The problem in this situation is two fold

    1. Poorly trained staff that know nothing about customer
    Service. Experience a similar thing at the enmore when I took one photo
    of billy Bragg and this guy basically yelled at me for doing it even though half the theatre was also doing it.
    2. No real projectionist they could have fixed it in a second
    no wonder less people go to the movies these days.

  189. IanG
    27 Nov 12
    4:52 pm

  190. Well, I think this was a good piece. I was going to go and watch Skyfall at Event Bondi this weekend, but I’ve just bought tickets to the IMAX instead. Thanks for the heads up on the shitty customer service Tim.

  191. David O'Brien
    27 Nov 12
    4:55 pm

  192. Can’t say I blame you for being angry. We put aside a few hours to go to a movie, often at far greater expense than the price of admission. Where do these corporate elves get off attacking you? Is the customer always wrong? Is that today’s ethos? You filmed it so you could bring to the public what really happens and how little these movie houses care about their patrons. They don’t want to know what you think or feel, they just want to process you and take your money. There was no projectionist, just a computer churning out the movie. And you didn’t miss much anyway. They spent the entire budget on the first ten minutes and the bloody movie talks endlessly with no suspense after that. And its not a James Bond movie, its Sam Mendez meditating on how all superheroes must get old and retire.

  193. Me
    27 Nov 12
    5:03 pm

  194. “….filming inside the cinema is illegal…”

    Who do you work for? AFACT? It’s not illegal. At worst, it’s a breech of the right of entry which gives the owner the option to remove your implied right of entry and ask you to leave (at which point you’re trespassing, but this is still not illegal).

    Common law – No cops. No waste of tax payer money.

    And while we’re at it – non-commercial piracy isn’t illegal (in Australia) either. Piracy is NOT stealing. Potentially, it’s an infringement of someone’s copyright, and it’s down to them to enforce it. Again, no cops. No waste of the public purse.

    Big content may want to lobby to make sharing files and using your camera in a cinema illegal so they can force law enforcement to do their dirty work for them, but thankfully it hasn’t happened in Australia yet.

    Sorry for the TL:DR, but this line of propaganda from content industries makes me angry bear (”’\(‘;.;’)/”’)

  195. C
    27 Nov 12
    5:24 pm

  196. The cinema I work at we have rule saying that no one is allowed to bring cameras or film in side a cinema. But that is just for piracy reasons. Also heads up there are no longer any projectionists anymore seeing how everything has gone digital

  197. Spindoctor
    27 Nov 12
    7:37 pm

  198. I couldn’t let it end at 99 posts.

  199. Kathy
    27 Nov 12
    8:21 pm

  200. If you listen to the audio in your clip, his actual words are “I’d appreciate if you delete that because I’m not having…” NOT “I will have you…”

  201. Gordon
    27 Nov 12
    8:34 pm

  202. I think we’re all missing the point.

    Since when does a monday-night cinema centre manager in charge of 6 pimply faced teenagers who are collectively responsible for dispensing tickets and popcorn, have a, ** lawyer **????

    Did he actually say “my lawyer”??

  203. Phil Tripp
    27 Nov 12
    8:35 pm

  204. I have a feeling this entire story will be wiped for one simple reason. Defamation. I’ve been a journalist and analyst and cut close to the wind a few times but this rant flies right in the face of defaming Mitch and I think would be easily actionable.

    Tim, I respect what you are doing with Mumbrella but this is far too petty and personal to be on this site. It brings your credibility into disrepute and also would threaten your business with an easily launched legal action against you and the company.

    I advise you take it down.


  205. hugo
    27 Nov 12
    8:38 pm

  206. Journalist using their platform to settle a personal score and bully someone without a right of reply…… stay classy Tim.

  207. Fabfour
    27 Nov 12
    8:48 pm

  208. jeez for an ‘uninteresting post’ this has certainly attracted a lot of commentary

  209. Mike
    27 Nov 12
    9:22 pm

  210. I’ve read all the comments for and against, then went back and listened to Tim’s video. Mitch really is way too aggressive in his demand of Tim, which as I understand is the point of Tim’s article, that after Event cinemas had inconvenienced a good natured crowd, Mitch went hardball on Tim. It seems Tim’s retribution is to highlight Mitch’s poor judgement, so that Event cinemas can provide better training to staff. I think all of you having a go at Tim need to re-read the article and the title. I think the ‘kicked’ is a summation of not having delivered a movie and then asking people to leave, and they DID threaten to arrest Tim. Also, the revelation that this hasn’t happened in ‘days’ is truly alarming. Tim is highlighting a business that is not delivering on all fronts, and in my opinion, is right to do so – I was interested in every aspect of this piece.

  211. Gordon
    27 Nov 12
    9:29 pm

  212. #firstworldproblems

  213. Anonymous
    27 Nov 12
    9:41 pm

  214. This is the first time I have ever read Mumbrella….this is awesome!

  215. mumbrella
    27 Nov 12
    9:48 pm

  216. For those who can bear a second round, I’ve now posted audio of the conversations I report here:

    This is in response to post number 39, who suggests that I was “screaming and carrying on ike a lunatic”.

    Phil, (comment 103) I always appreciate your advice, but I suspect that if there were a case for defamation, I’d probably have a good case against that commenter (not that I’d have any interest in going that route) – who supplied his name and details although I’ve chose not to share them just yet, although they do seem to check out.

    Chris (comment 31) I’m not Gen-Y. But bless you for thinking that I was.

    Hi Kate (comment 88) – You’re mistaken, it wasn’t the person sitting next to me. That much at least wasn’t in dispute with the staff.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  217. Mac
    27 Nov 12
    10:11 pm

  218. For all of the budding lawyers in this thread who are so excited about ‘private’ .v. ‘public’ property – they probably should read the relevant law.
    (I’m assuming NSW – but they are all very similar apart from Queensland)

    Very sensibly, this law doesn’t talk about making recordings on ‘private property’ but instead about making recordings of ‘private conversations or carrying ons or activities’. Feel free to argue about whether an usher giving a public announcement to the cinema counts as ‘a private conversation’ for the sake of the Act … but please don’t have the illusion that being on ‘private property’ is a factor !


  219. Olivia (another journalist)
    27 Nov 12
    11:38 pm

  220. Well done Tim. You have generated more interest and debate in one blog post than most media outlets can even dream of.

    Firstly, I wish I had a dollar for every time a story in ‘serious/traditional’ media outlets came about as a result of a journalist’s or in Tim’s case an Editor’s own personal experiences. So, nothing new there…

    Secondly, as a paying customer, you and eVent ( or should that be eRant cinemas) had a contract. You pay them money, they deliver a service. It seems that they broke their legal obligation and as such, you are well within your rights to gather evidence. If only to take it to Department of Fair Trading.

    Lastly, in this day and age, what difference does it make if it was on Mumbrella, Twitter, Facebook or These days companies need to be prepared for coverage of their mistakes/ stuff ups far and wide. That’s just the way it is. I don’t recall flight attendants telling passengers on a plane experiencing engine trouble to stop filming or they will call the ‘lawyers’ or ‘police’ and you don’t get less public than a plane!
    Event Cinemas need to spend some money on training managers and projectionist by the looks of things.
    Ps. Just saw an uninterrupted screening of Skyfall and it was brilliant!

  221. LN
    27 Nov 12
    11:49 pm

  222. I agree with Snooze #75.

    Sure, there is tad bit of indulgence in Tim posting about his apparent “first world dramas” but c’mon, he runs a great site that you all obviously follow to some degree so I say he’s entitled to the odd rant!

    Mitchell’s not just “doing his job” unless his job is to be cocky and presumptuous and hand out poor customer service. I am not sure whether Event Cinemas has trained their staff so poorly as to threaten patrons with arrest or if Mitchell has taken it upon himself to be so righteous but either way, it was a stupid move. It’s completely irrelevant whether he was correct or whether the second girl had a media degree – it’s an absurd approach to appeasing a customer conflict especially when you’ve already disrupted/ruined their experience as it is.

    From the equally negative feedback in comment #38 and the hissyfit by apparent Event staff member in comment #39, it would appear they have a knack for aggressive and poorly phrased feedback, and Tim’s experience isn’t isolated.

    This digital age affords us the ability to leverage social media to refer and feedback on our experiences and raise the bar for customer service. Companies need to get with the times and ensure their employees are trained, especially at Management level. Moreover, employees need to be aware that their actions matter and they too can be held accountable for the sometimes ridiculous things they say and do!

    Ultimately it drives a better customer experience and at the end of the day, we’re all customers somewhere so I say GOOD ON YA TIM. Raise the damn bar, Lord knows I don’t want to be dealing with Mitchell if I ever go there!

  223. AdGrunt
    28 Nov 12
    12:49 am

  224. Mac,
    Dunno where you got your law degree…
    Surveillance Devices Act 2007
    Section 7, Subsection 3 (1)
    …is the answer you seek. And it supports the use of the device…

  225. Jay
    28 Nov 12
    3:04 am

  226. The staff didn’t handle this well, however a Cinema is not a ‘public place’.

    The law in Australia is the same as in the UK when it comes to where you can, and can’t film.

    You can legally film outdoors on public land. You can also film from public land into private property, and from private property out onto public land. However you can’t film on private land or within a private building without the consent of the owners or managers of that land or property.

    There are some exceptions, in the UK the IOC (International Olympic Committee) deemed Olympic venues to be exempt from these laws (I think only for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games. However that only covered the public land around the sites and venues. All other venue space was covered under the same private land restrictions that apply to any company or private building or land.

    These laws are largely misunderstood and even the police are often unsure what the actual laws are.

  227. Ben
    28 Nov 12
    3:50 am

  228. I’d be pissed off as well if I dragged my fat arse into the city and then not got to see the movie as intended, generation x y or z who cares, freebie or not I’d have to get my fat arse out of the chair drag myself into the city again, bar humbug

  229. Cameron Glendinning
    28 Nov 12
    8:11 am

  230. They should have given you your money back legally, they should not have given you free passes. Why would you want to go back to their badly maintained cinema? Complain to fair trade that it was not offered!

  231. Spindoctor
    28 Nov 12
    8:12 am

  232. Neither party has grounds for legal action for either type of defamation – libel or slander. You are all getting excited over nothing.

  233. That surprised?
    28 Nov 12
    11:00 am

  234. And cinemas wonder why people don’t go – or why downloading is so popular. I couldn’t think of anything worse then paying to sit in a crowded, stinking cinema listening to people lick their chip packets, suck their fingers, slurp their drinks, and constantly talk; to only then have the projection screw up and not see the film, or the sync is out. This is why I have a large fu**k off TV in my lounge room.

  235. Max factor
    28 Nov 12
    11:51 am

  236. You’re a journalist? “cool story bro”. Really contributing some breath taking news here mate. You’re a white middle aged male, living in australia. You have it pretty good, though no doubt you’re single, because you are a whiney little bitch. Go report some real news you oxygen their

  237. Bob
    28 Nov 12
    12:27 pm

  238. I think both sides (Tim and the teenage manager) behaved like idiots…

    However, the cinema manager did seem a bit excessive. Seriously, call the cops because someone is filming a crowd with their smartphone? And what’s this “call my lawyer”? That part is seriously weird. Why not threaten to call the CIA too? Or maybe the A Team? Hey, maybe we should bring in Megatron!

    Talk about random, idiotic threats. Imagine if a sales clerk threatened to call the cops and his own lawyer if a customer is being rude. You’d not only be laughed at, but the cops would probably have YOU arrested for making an inappropriate call.

  239. Jeff
    28 Nov 12
    1:10 pm

  240. As a former staff member of this cinema, I wasn’t at all surprised to see this. It’s not only the teenage managers who behave this way – it goes all the way up the food chain. It’s a poisonous environment.

  241. Patrick
    28 Nov 12
    3:47 pm

  242. I saw Skyfall at Event Cinemas on George Street on Thursday 22 November 2012. The service was perfectly fine and the projector worked well. Making the experience even more enjoyable was (POTENTIAL SPOILER REMOVED – WE’RE NOT SURE IF IT WAS TRUE OR NOT AS WE HAVEN’T SEEN THE ENDING YET)

  243. Sarah
    28 Nov 12
    5:31 pm

  244. Pretty sure the cinema is privately owned, a public place is public isnt it?

  245. Ex-event employee
    28 Nov 12
    6:50 pm

  246. Tim, you sound like a bit of arsehole. Whether its legal or not, it isn’t nice having a camera thrust into you face when you are trying to deliver bad news to a large crowd. Full of self-importance. That being said, Mitchell and the other girl didnt need to launch into a legal debate and threaten you with the police. That is quite immature.

    Until very recently I worked for Event Cinemas in the city. I left because Event Cinemas and the parent company AHL are greedy. Staff hours have been progressively cut all all the cinema across the country. Hence the long queues whenever you try to purchase anything. I was constantly having my shifts cut and shortened as the managers attempted to ‘achieve payroll’ for the day. Head office set very tight payroll targets. Ones that have basically destroyed the business. Next time you visit, just look at how few staff are actually on. Try calling to book a Gold Class ticket over the phone. If you lucky, it might get answered in the first 4 or 5 hours.

    I left because I got sick of sitting in the ticket box, or ripping tickets getting abused by angry customers. I also had the concern that I may not have enough money to pay my rent and TAFE fee’s as we were often all sent home early.

    I overheard the general manager justify the cuts to a duty manager by saying ‘people still come, so it doesn’t matter.’ Event Cinemas do not give a F*** about service. The do not care about the customers queuing and the poor customer experience. All the matters is that David Seargeant earns his $4 million a year. http://investing.businessweek......ker=AHD:AU

    There are no projectionists anymore. The cinemas are now all digital and there is no need for the guys to be up there threading film through a projector. They only run up there when something goes wrong (which happened often as they are basically computers).

    It was always a skeleton roster for staff. Barely enough to make it run. If something went wrong, we were just given passes by the duty manager and told to hand them out. The idea being that you come back and spend more money next time.

    So basically the Event Cinemas Motto is : cut, cut, cut, cut staff. save, save, save. bugger service, they’ll come anyway.

    It used to be fun place to work, it became a grind every shift. I’d work up a sweat, constantly dealing with angry customers. I used to get anxious on the bus going in knowing that it would be a nightmare. But thats how it is now. And I guess as long as people pay for a ticket, then Mr Seargeant will make his millions by shitting on a poor students like me and robbing customers of service.

    Oh, and they don’t do ‘training’ anymore. Too expensive. All the new kids would just be paired with me for a few shifts and id show them where all the cinemas were, how to clean them,what to do etc. Thats as far as it went.

    Why not write an article about this? Corporate greed at the expense of customer service and the workforce rather than shit on Mitch. He’s only doing what he can.

  247. Great job
    28 Nov 12
    7:32 pm

  248. Treat people like criminals and they will commit crimes

  249. Annoyed
    28 Nov 12
    7:57 pm

  250. Gees, amazing how a jouralist wants the world to know about a unfortunate break down during a movie and now there are all sorts of comments just to get even with Event cinemas. This has gotten out of hands and I think the journalist should have handled his attitude better than standing and arguing with the duty mananger.

    How unfortunate to see the world coming to this, I am a journalist and I have the power to let everyone know about this. Wake up to yourself and grow up, what the hell is wrong with you, there is no need to put this topic on your website.No you can not film inside a cinema, that is that, deal with it, you are not a special person who thinks he has a right to film anyone without their permission. If you filmed me and show it on the internet I would sue you as well. Who are you? An invincible journalist?

    29 Nov 12
    1:52 am

  252. I started reading an article which promised t be interesting but turned out to be nothing more than a mildly boring film accident.

    I’m gunna sue!!

  253. another ex-event employee
    30 Nov 12
    12:11 am

  254. Tim, and all the other displeased customers out there- you have every right to be annoyed with their service. It isn’t fair that paying customers like yourself have to suffer because of the corporate greed of the company.

    The head branch of Event cinemas is run by greedy greedy greedy greedy, selfish people. Until a year ago I was an employee at the cinemas in the city- it saddens me to say that the place was a soul-sucking misery.

    I left because they didn’t care one tiny bit about their staff or their customers- everybody was a number, every staff was replaceable. All they cared about was sucking as much money as they could from staff cuts – which in turn equals bad customer service. Ironically they hire every few months because their staff have no loyalty to them- and waste even more money on ‘training’ the new ones.

    Because of head office payroll targets they roster on as few people as they can- who cares if the cinemas don’t get cleaned, or people miss their movies because they have to line up for hours in the queue, or food comes late or not at all in goldclass?

    Their staff are mistreated. The poor few who do get rostered on for busy periods work to their core to get the job done- when something goes wrong they cop all the blame and get no thanks or appreciation from management for their efforts. Ever been to goldclass and wondered why your food never came? Probably because the person who was meant to take it up to you was too busy making the food and serving customers and cleaning cinemas all at the same time. What kind of selfish people run a company like this?

    They just don’t get it. They did this to themselves, they ruined their reputation and the loyalty of their customers- oh, and their staff.

    Don’t kill the messenger Tim, take your pitchfork and torch to the dragons den.

  255. Karl
    30 Nov 12
    3:53 am

  256. Such a fuss over a silly movie. Talk about dumbing down.

  257. Anne Miles
    30 Nov 12
    9:19 am

  258. The real issue is not the movie is it? These symptoms in a company are the result of something bigger as the former employees are obviously alluding to.

    Transparency in social media works in this way.

    Event Cinemas needs an overhaul by the sound of it – a business coach, some repositioning and PR management. This could be turned around fairly easily I would have thought.

  259. Anonymous
    1 Dec 12
    8:52 pm

  260. Spinning a story to get clicks. Well done Tim, you are a real ‘journalist’.

  261. Ben
    1 Dec 12
    10:09 pm

  262. I feel sorry for the young service staff of today.

    When I was at uni and working customer service jobs like Mitchell, if anyone complained , we were just rude to them and when they complained, we just told our boss they were aggressive and smelled of alcohol .

    The days of running your uni job as a little fiefdom for the staff’s benefit and fuck the customer are sadly over now that everyone has phones :(

  263. Roddy
    2 Dec 12
    8:52 pm

  264. Journalist? Seriously? You think THIS is journalism? Some poor kid was trying to do his job under difficult circumstances, and you decided it was appropriate to film him, and then get all “right of the press” in his face when he (entirely understandably) took exception to you doing so? Mate, you are not a journalist. For a start, a journalist would know how to construct better sentences (cheap shot, I know, but seriously where do these guys get the gall to imagine they are writers when they write like this?). Secondly, a journalist would know that a projector breaking down in a cinema is NOT NEWS. You were slightly inconvenienced on a night out. Boo hoo. So what? How on earth is that something worth filming and then claiming you are doing so in your capacity as a “journalist”? Whether or not the interpretation of “media law” that this poor guy and his colleagues had was correct or not is irrelevant. Whether a cinema is “a public place” or “private property” is irrelevant. Whether they were somewhat in-the-wrong at any point along the line is irrelevant. None of that changes the simple fact that you acted like a complete tool and a bully, and when you were called on it, you decided to exact your revenge by being a vindictive little shit on your little blog. I haven’t bothered to listen to “audio of the event” to confirm whether your version of events, or that of the cinema worker who posted is the more accurate (such a frightfully important issue, I can of course see the urgent necessity of clarifying these things, guys). I don’t need to, because even in your own version you come off as an idiot and a bully, and Mitchell (did we really have to know his name? Feel good now that you’ve “exposed” this villain?) comes off a lot better.

  265. Honey
    3 Dec 12
    5:21 pm

  266. Need a little holiday Tim? Thank God for Christmas…

  267. Frequent visitor to Mumbrella
    3 Dec 12
    6:07 pm

  268. @Roddy

    Mumbrella publishes information online for people who work in the media, marketing and entertainment industries. (Encore, which Mumbrella bought was focused specifically on TV and Film.) Cinema’s would come under the ‘entertainment’ part and of course also provide an outlet for advertisers, so could also be relevant to the marketing side of things too.

    As a journalist, of an (in part) entertainment website and attending the cinema, when a viewing went wrong, surely you don’t expect a journalist to just sit there? A real journo has ‘journalism’ flowing in the blood and will grab any opportunity to write about anything relevant to the publication they serve.

    Now, as Tim does state at the beginning of this piece, it isn’t a regular style of his reporting. Nevertheless the way the staff member addressed Tim and then his co worker, was enough for a story and it was duly published. (Have you read the sequel? Get involved!!)

    If a journalist who worked for an engineering publication was sitting waiting for the spit bridge to open and it got stuck, he might well put pen to paper and write about it. Likewise a journo in the entertainment space has done just that. I guarantee that Tim has no hard feelings to the members of staff. He has highlighted a poor experience in our industry, which could definitely do with being addressed by Event.

    Event need to train their staff to better engage people. I feel for the member of staff who evidently has not received appropriate customer service training. If the staff concerned had been well trained in people liaison skills – this matter probably would have not been reported on OR might have been reported on, with a great positive edge “shame about the film stopping, but the staff were awesome!”

  269. James
    3 Dec 12
    7:54 pm

  270. I’d have done the same. I hate bad service. The problem isn’t that there was a problem, that can be handled with a degree of diplomacy, the problem is that these august institutions, pay the lowest wage they can for positions of responsibility. Mitchell was probably dragged over the coals over this incident, and deservedly so. BUT if the Cinema hired the right, mature, person for the job, and paid them accordingly, this venom filled forum wouldn’t be exist.

    The professional projectionist has also gone the way of the dodo. An individual who monitors the image and tweaks the focus when necessary. What you have these days is one person, running backwards and forwards between projectors, showing many films, in many theatres.

    I don’t go to the flicks anymore as I find the whole experience disappointing.

  271. Journo
    4 Dec 12
    11:19 pm

  272. It’s not a public place because the public are there. In this case, it is private property and the public has paid to enter. The owner can place conditions on allowing entry, such as not taking photographs (a common request). Mark Pearson’s ‘The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law’ is a good read and covers areas such as this.

  273. Daniel Piotrowski
    5 Dec 12
    9:07 pm

  274. Yeah, as Olivia said, if I had a dollar for every time a story idea came from a personal experience a journalist has had… Well, I’d have a lot more money. And I already get paid to be a journalist.

    Tim’s whole job is writing about the media and people’s experience with it. Good on him for writing a story about it, every real journalist would.

  275. Benji
    6 Dec 12
    11:44 am

  276. What a bunch arrogant wankers leaving comments on an OPINION piece.

  277. Dave
    8 Dec 12
    3:15 pm

  278. This is why they should never have got rid of real life projectionists, who actually sit in the projection booth and watch the film, and are on hand to fix problems as they occur.

  279. awayday
    8 Dec 12
    7:49 pm

  280. Er, you better brush up on media law. The inside of a cinemas owned by Hoyts is NOT considered a public place.

  281. Calculon
    9 Dec 12
    8:11 pm

  282. Recording devices are not permitted to be used in a cinema. Doesn’t matter who you are, I’m pretty sure that is a condition of entry.

    Very sorry to hear that the Bond film was spoilt somewhat, it is frustrating to have e story interrupted.

  283. Viewer
    9 Dec 12
    9:06 pm

  284. @awayday, you better brush up on your company knowledge. Event Cinemas are not owned by Hoyts, they are owned by Village Roadshow and lease Greater Union facilities.

  285. Plain
    10 Dec 12
    3:41 am

  286. Funny how you say 700 people were “kicked out”. When in actuality, cinema 4 can only fit about 400 people.

  287. mumbrella
    10 Dec 12
    11:05 am

  288. Hi Plain,

    You’re mistaken. I checked the capacity as I was leaving (there’s a seating plan on the wall). From memory, capacity is about 830.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  289. Ex Event employee
    10 Dec 12
    7:07 pm

  290. Plain – cinema 4 is actually the biggest cinema in the complex.

  291. Dan German
    10 Dec 12
    10:15 pm

  292. Event Cinemas at Castle Hill just showed us half the movie, then it stopped. They had no idea the screen was black when I went out to ask what was happening, 10 minute later. Another 20 minutes and they kicked us, server down. No threats of arrest however.

  293. Steve Griwowsky
    13 Dec 12
    1:26 am

  294. I agree. A reimbursement of the ticket is not enough for having your night ruined!


  295. Anon
    14 Dec 12
    12:07 pm

  296. Hey Tim! From what I can see, you’ve got a pretty neato website here mate. However, don’t take any of the bullshit from these little sardines commenting on here.

    Unfortunately in the existence we try and call a society in Australia, leads most people to try and pull whoever is on the pedestal down.

    Forget the rot, and keep going.

    Nice site mate.

    P.S. I’m sure you know why they do it :)

  297. Wow
    17 Dec 12
    2:53 pm

  298. Cinema is dead.