Carmike Complaint

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Movie buff Jim has offered his insights on the Carmike movieplex in Great Falls on several occasions, and he e-mailed with his latest assessment of the situation:

Hate to keep beating a dead horse, I’ve sent you messages on the Carmike Cinema in town before… and I’m doing it again. Some background. I see a lot of films (25 or more) in a year at the theater. I’ve been doing this for at least 20 years, from various locations in the U.S. where I’ve lived.
This last weekend I went to Helena and saw a movie at the Cinemark theater in the downtown area. It was a great experience. A town that’s half the size of Great Falls, and they have a theater that’s clean, the movie starts on time, the staff is friendly and “real” stadium seating. In other words, how it’s supposed to work when you pay $40 to $50 for your family to see a movie (between the price of
tickets and popcorn/soda).
This year, I’m going to see 4 or 5 movies in Helena and cut down on the amount of other movies I see here in Great Falls. My way of protesting the half-assed ripoff that claims to be a movie theater in Great Falls. I encourage other movie fans to do the same. Thanks.

Jim, thanks for the e-mail – much appreciated.

I’ve got several beefs with Carmike: snack and drink prices (duh), way too many previews, etc. Don’t go very often – so few movies worth paying for and experiencing on the big screen…although I may be headed out to see “The Green Hornet” this weekend.

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12 Comments

  1. I second all these complaints about Carmike in GF. I’ve too many bad experiences there, so I rarely go any more. It’s too bad we don’t have any alternatives in town…it would be really great if we had an independent theater.

  2. With no competition, why should they sweat customer satisfaction?

    If you want to see a movie, most people aren’t going to drive 200 miles round trip. The only choice is to see the movie in the theater or wait for it to be out on Netflix.

    How many screens can a town like GTF support? No-one is going to open a competing business if they can’t see a way to profitability.

  3. I hear you Aaron. Most folks in Great Falls are not going to drive a couple hundred miles to see a movie. But for a big “tent pole” movie, I think it’s worth it. For me, it’s a nice way of flipping Carmike the bird for the shitty theater and service they overcharge us for.

  4. I totally agree about the Helena theater… PLUS they serve hot dogs. We have all but given up on the GTF movie theater. In addition to the above mentioned problems, 3 of the 4 3D movies we went to see were screwed up for large parts of the film. I had to go to the lobby to get them to fix it- and when someone would FINALLY come to fix it, the employees acted all sorts of put-out by my request. I would figure that they should catch these problems BEFORE someone has to complain.

    Additionally, I hate 3D. Now, I realize that this has more to do with movie makers, however, almost all films (in larger markets) have the option of watching movies in 2D as well as 3D. Not only do I dislike the ‘feeling’ of 3D, but the added cost of taking the family really adds up fast. Of all the 3D movies I have seen, there was only one movie I felt was truly enhanced by the technology.

    Anymore, I will be saving my money, time and frustration on the theater- and wait for On Demand to bring the movie to me.
    amy

    PS I miss intermission.

  5. I loathe Carmike. It is a rare occurance that the movie begins on time, or that something significant isn’t wrong, I.e. a blown speaker, misaligned picture, movie staying on the music preview screen and not starting, lights on during the movie, no one checking tickets/carding. I have gotten more money back from that place then I have spent. But, I guess we can’t expect much from a group of high schoolers managed by other high schoolers.

  6. FYI update. There was a story in the Trib last summer about Carmike in town building two giant screen theaters in the parking next to the theater. Well, since there’s been zero construction for the past 9 months at Carmike Cinema, I email’d Carmike corporate HQ a few weeks ago and asked about the giant screen addition in Great Falls. Got an email back earlier this week. The project is on hold, which means, more than likely, it’s never going to be done. I think the Great Recession has hit the Great Falls Carmike theater hard. Prices on the early shows have gone down from $6.75 last year to $5.00 this year. In the end, I don’t think it’s helping. The crappy experience of going to a movie in this town has finally caught up with them. Throw in tough economic times… I don’t think they’re doing very well. I’ve picked several big movies out over the summer, and the family and I are going to the Cinemark theater in Helena to see them. My hope is enough people in Great Falls do that and/or just stop going to movies at Carmike. May be that’ll be enough to drive them out of business in town.

  7. Food for thought: We went to “The Other Guys” last summer while on vacation in Regina, SK, Canada. Upon entering the theater (inside a strip-mall), my husband and I were amazed. The theater was huge, beautiful, clean, and the lines moved very quickly. The tellers were friendly, and weren’t behind a large plexiglass window. We went to the food court where you could choose from standard movie fare to french fries, poutine, frozen yogurt, hot dogs, and many other items. The food service was very fast. We sat in a theater that was nearly spotless, all seats worked wonderfully, and there were 0 problems with the movie. We went to the bathrooms where everything was automatic, marble, beautiful, and very clean. My husband and I were absolutely amazed at the quality of the theater. The price of tickets were about 11 per adult, but again, Canada prices are higher. I must say that I will never look at our local theaters the same way. I felt like I had the complete entertainment experience, and that I truly got what I paid for. I wish Carmike would adopt the same personality.

  8. I hear you, Carli. If you get outside Great Falls and go to the movies in a town the same size or bigger as here… the theaters are always much, much better. It’s a sad testimony when a movie theater chain can’t even pull off running a decent theater in a town of 50,000.

  9. Today I drove 100 miles to watch 3D movie TinTin in Great Falls and to watch two other movies Mission Impossible and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Igave my self plenty of time. The theatre had two young men selling concessions and tickets. it took me twenty minutes to get to one of them and by that time the movie had already started. The lines had about fifteen people each and it was taking and average of three minutes per customer so most of them were going to be late getting into their movie. The management has to be the poorest I have ever experienced in my 35 plus years of going to Great Falls to watch movies. There needed to be at least one person dedicated to selling tickets only. I will be going to Havre Mt to watch my movies even if I miss out on the 3D experience because at least I can buy a ticket and get in to see a movie. Sincerly dissapointed!

  10. Today I drove 100 miles to watch 3D movie TinTin in Great Falls and to watch two other movies Mission Impossible and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Igave my self plenty of time. The theatre had two young men selling concessions and tickets. it took me twenty minutes to get to one of them and by that time the movie had already started. The lines had about fifteen people each and it was taking and average of three minutes per customer so most of them were going to be late getting into their movie. The management has to be the poorest I have ever experienced in my 35 plus years of going to Great Falls to watch movies. There needed to be at least one person dedicated to selling tickets only. I will be going to Havre Mt to watch my movies even if I miss out on the 3D experience because at least I can buy a ticket and get in to see a movie. Sincerly disappointed!

  11. I went to a 10:15 movie hoping to get home at 12:30 to nurse my baby but the movie didn’t start till 10:53 which actually pissed me off because now my baby’s feeding schedule is FUCKED UP. Thanks a lot now my sisters gay wife has to stay up all night and try to nurse her with her fake plastic nipples. She is practicing for when they decide to get a fake sperm and put it in her and she Bbecomes PREGNANT. I pissedoffly arrived home at 1:20. The movie was suppose to be only 118 minutes thanks for ruining my, husbands, sister, sisters wife and baby’s lives. I would like a free lifetime supply of movie tickets 😉

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