My fiancée and I went to Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills on Saturday, February 13, 2010 and it was one of the worst experiences I've ever had with any business. Here is what went wrong in chronological order:
(1) The tickets were $14 each for a regular movie that was not 3D or IMAX. I'm used to $9 or $10 tickets, so $14 seems pretty steep, especially in retrospect based on the rest of the evening.
(2) Since it was opening weekend for the movie we went to see, we arrived over an hour early. I knew that there was a bar inside the theater, so I thought we would have a few drinks while we waited. When we walked up, we noticed there was a sign that said they have not yet received their liquor license from the state of Connecticut, so they could not serve alcoholic beverages. I suppose this isn't technically their fault, but it seems kind of deceptive to have a restaurant called Chatters BAR & Grill with big pictures of wine glasses outside when they don't serve beer, wine, or cocktails. This was just disappointing.
(3) Since grabbing a drink didn't work out, we thought we'd get some ice cream while waiting for the movie. It was not clear where we should form a line at Ben & Jerry’s, but we stood behind another couple that was being helped by a cashier. After the woman behind the counter (whose name was Irma) finished with them, she was too busy chatting with the other employees to acknowledge our presence. After a total of about 10 minutes of waiting, she said with an attitude that we had just walked up so she was going to help another customer first. I informed her that we had been waiting and that we weren’t sure where to form the line, and she replied that she didn’t really care and she would just help whoever was there first. I was so furious that I just walked away.
(4) Once inside the theater, there were servers going around taking orders for snacks before the movie started. While taking an order from people in the row behind us, the server had his radio clipped to his belt that was blasting orders to the kitchen into my ear. It was so loud that he didn't hear me asking to turn it down, so I reached and turned it off myself.
(5) It was so cold in the theater during the movie that my fiancée and I had to wear our winter coats. And upon looking around, we could see that we were not the only ones.
I would think that, especially in an economy like this, businesses would be doing everything they can to make their customers happy. And I doubt that there is a shortage of competent workers who can at least have respect for customers, let alone be friendly enough to make them want to come back.
I have also emailed this feedback to the company that operates Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills, National Amusements. The next time I’m planning to see a movie in the Manchester, Connecticut area, I will be sure to go somewhere else.
Pros: nice interior
Cons: expensive, poor customer service, cold inside theater