Regal Cinemas: Can You Ask Your Ushers To Stop Panhandling?

Everyone likes to help the less fortunate—at least, that’s what we’re going to go with publicly for the sake of this argument. That said, is it really appropriate to be asked to pony up donation money when you’re sitting in a theater waiting for your movie to begin? You’ve already paid more than you probably wanted to for the tickets, not to mention any refreshments—shouldn’t that ticket price also include an implied guarantee that you won’t be asked to tithe?

One reader, Karen, was particularly annoyed last week when the ushers walked around during the previews asking individual patrons for donations. Here’s the letter she sent to Regal:

On Monday afternoon, my partner and I attended “The Strangers,” at Regal, Union Square. In the past, our experiences here have been wonderful, with friendly staff and a comfortable environment. $12 a ticket is pricey, but it’s worth it for an hour or two of pleasant, quiet escapism.

I was SHOCKED when a manager of this studio came into our auditorium after the trailers had started to panhandle from patrons. The manager said something about collecting pocket change for a charity that Regal believes in. Then the staff proceeded to go around, foisting a money-bag in patrons’ faces and loudly asking, “Do you have anything you want to give?” It really put people on the spot, in front of others. The whole experience of being aggressively begged from in a space that we had paid to relax in was painfully awkward. It’s rude, and it alienates customers.

I discussed this event with friends, one of whom said it happened to him when he went to the same theatre. If this is a case of corporate offices forcing managers to engage in the humiliating behavior of begging money from patrons who’ve already paid, please put a stop to that. A donation jar in the lobby for any causes corporate believes in would be much more appropriate. (Donating a portion of the ticket prices we’ve already paid rather than trying to milk customers for more would be even more appropriate.) If this is a case of a lone employee begging from customers in this location, then that’s something corporate also needs to know about.

Is this sanctioned behavior? We’re not sure we want to go back to this theater again. Are in-theater, aggressive solicitations now part of your regular movie going experience?

Look, we’re not saying we’re against people helping people, and we don’t think that’s what Karen’s saying, either. For all we know, she pulled a wagon full of foster kids around Central Park earlier that day. What bothers us is when a business tries to force a donation at an inappropriate moment—that is, during a private business transaction.

As Karen points out, if the theater believes in this charity, they can donate a portion of ticket (or concession) profits, or screen PSAs during the previews, or make their employees wear slogan-filled t-shirts. (All of these things would also better serve the theater from a marketing perspective.) Just let us watch our crummy Hollywood summer movies in peace, Regal.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. thewriteguy says:

    Yet another reason why I avoid watching movies in the theater, whenever possible.

  2. MeMikeYouNot says:

    I remember going to the movies, I think late 80s –early 90s in Salt Lake City, UT. I don’t remember the chain but before the movie they played a PSA for The Will Rogers Institute and then after it was over, they passed around a box or something similar. I thought it was a bother, but just didn’t bother donating. It didn’t last last, as I recall.

  3. YUK. YUK. YUK.

    If the corporation really wants to “help” a charity, then do so out of corporate proceeds (aka profits).

    If it really important to the corporation then by all means toot your own horn and show a movie trailer that showcases your great works.

    But strong arming customers, directly or indirectly, is in extremely poor taste. Besides, how do we know that the manager and employees didn’t pocket most of the proceeds?

  4. bohemian says:

    Adds this to the list of reasons I have not been to a movie theater since LOTR came out.

    Does anyone know what charity they were pimping? I dislike being asked to make a donation at the register also. I just want to pay and go, processing the charity sales pitch just adds to the confusion of paying and making sure I didn’t leave my wallet or a kid behind.

  5. Gosh darn, I wonder why I own an extensive collection of DVDs. Know I know why.

  6. laserjobs says:

    I would have said very loudly so that everyone else in the theater heard “You have go to be kidding, get out of here you bum!!!”

  7. WraithSama says:

    @Corporate-Shill:
    “Besides, how do we know that the manager and employees didn’t pocket most of the proceeds?”

    For that matter, how do we know that the manager employees didn’t pocket *all* of the proceeds? There was no mention in the post (that I noticed) regarding exactly what charity they claimed to be collecting for, or if they even identified a particular charity at all.

  8. FLConsumer says:

    I have a real issue with the corporations asking their customers to help THEIR charitable causes. Company gets the tax benefit and PR, charity gets little, customer gets screwed.

    Want to really help your community? Volunteer/donate to LOCAL charities which have low overhead compared to their multinational counterparts. FWIW, your local food pantry/soup kitchen would absolutely love your help right around now. Demand’s up substantially due to the economy & fuel prices and donations are either flat or down at most of them.

  9. truthbuddy says:

    WOW are you that guilt ridden that you just can’t say no thank you. Do you really care so much about what other people think? That you feel uncomfortable in saying NO. People stop complaining, just let the bucket pass. Really I find it pretty pathetic that we can’t listen for a moment and maybe participate in helping someone out. We are really selfish bastards. Let em talk, you not obligated, who cares what other people think, let go of your guilt, eat your popcorn and Thank the good lord you don’t need any help.

  10. Lea9017 says:

    Regal just bought the local theater here and a few of my friends work there, they haven’t said anything about having to ask customers for donations. I think its the employees at this location trying to make a few extra bucks

  11. attackgypsy says:

    Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was going to Rocky Horror pretty much weekly. It was a small arts theater, and they had a speaker about 4 feet high in the front.

    Well, that time of the year came around, and theaters were collecting for the Will Rogers Institute. One of the gang brought a beanie with him, and just before the show started, he got up on top of the speaker, on his knees, and started singing that song they sung.

    People started throwing change at him. He told me later he made almost 50 bucks in change that night.

  12. If they were really serious about donations, they could do something besides taking a percentage of their ticket sales. They could of put a sign outside of each theatre door, explaining their charitable cause and ask to donate BEFORE you sit down.

    Or else, they could do a concession stand sale. “Donate $4 to our charity, and you’ll get a free box of candy!” MMM snowcaps… anyway, they pay less than $1 a box, and they charge $3-$4 anyway. They’d pretty much take away their profits for that weekend or whatever time span they did it, but the consumer feels like they are being charitable plus getting something for free. Just a thought, I haven’t been to the theatre in years.

    Darnit, I got snowcaps on the brain now. Anyone got some?

  13. IphtashuFitz says:

    Every once in a while I see them do something similar here in Massachusetts. What they’ll do is play a 30 second ad for the Jimmy Fund or some other charity then when it’s over ushers at the front of the house will ask if anybody wants to donate. They then just slowly walk up the isles with buckets to collect whatever people offer. But at least they don’t get up into individuals faces and try to embarrass them into donating. And I don’t see it all that often these days either.

  14. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Speaking as a former movie usher who collected for the Jimmy Fund after a heart-tugging trailer where a mom finds out her kid is diagnosed with Leukemia, I respectfully tell Karen THAT I’M STILL GOING TO GO OUT, KAREN!

    Wait, that’s not it. Yeah, Karen’s just an overpretentious sensitive snowflake. You don’t have to give, and if you do, it’s a buck at most. Deal with it or STFU, heartless heathen.

  15. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I think putting people on the spot like that is tactless. I donate to several local charities, and volunteer my time with the local legion’s Ladies Auxiliary group. I believe in donating to organizations that don’t take huge percentages for “advertising/administrating” fees, and there’s no way to guarantee that the $$ was really going to help anything. Shaming people into giving money will just give them a bad name.

  16. sholnay says:

    I am getting increasingly aggravated at ANY place of business that has a customer service rep ask for money for a charity, even at the jars that are put out! There is no promise any of that money will reach the advertised charity/cause.

    If I am going to donate money – I research a charity of my liking – and do it in a way that I know ALL of my donation will go to that charity.

    I feel for Karen’s awkward position – I on the other hand have NO remorse or misgivings when I COLDLY and LOUDLY refuse to hand over my money to what I see as a scam.

  17. sholnay says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: @BuddyGuyMontag:

    There is no reason for a company to ask its patrons to donate on their behalf.

  18. ITDEFX says:

    My local regal cinema use to do this years ago with the Will Rodgers thing. I personally do NOT mind this as they usually start BEFORE the main previews start. It is for a good cause so I don’t mind. Heck I’ve seen Tommy Lee Jones in the ad a few times…then all of a sudden they stopped. Guess snotty, greedy, uptight bitches like Karen started complaining because it “interrupted” her moving going experience and they stopped doing it.

    If this happened DURING the movie, then yes I would be annoyed but it was before so no biggie.

    Now all we have to have is a stop to all the loud talkers during the movie who can’t keep their big mouth shut.

  19. baristabrawl says:

    I feel the same way about the damn commercials. I did not just pay $12 to sit here and be annoyed by commercials. Shit, I can be annoyed by commercials at home. Ug.

    So, what we do is wait for the movie to go to the $5 Movies at Karasotes and we go there. Sure we have to wait 2 weeks, but it’s worth it.

  20. xplosivo says:

    Regal just took over a couple of theaters in my town and I have noticed that they have started hitting people up for donations when you buy your tickets. This bothers me for two reasons.

    1) it’s annoying and unfair to put people on the spot, and
    2) it makes the line even slower because people are either actually being guilted into donating or hemming and hawing trying to figure out a polite way to say no.

    When I want to be charitable I will do it on my own time.

  21. baristabrawl says:

    @ITDEFX: I am kinda on Karen’s side here, but I do want to comment about the loud talking and the phone answering and the texting. The texting is not an auditory distraction but it is a visual one. UG. There was a kid in front of us doing it during Iron Man. I finally got an usher to tell him to stop. The usher apologized and said, that he agreed that it was annoying even though you wouldn’t think it would be.

    Anyone else agree, or am I whiney?

  22. sholnay says:

    @baristabrawl:
    A huge pet peeve I have while watching movies is when someone checks the time. You are NOT alone. The light distraction is enough to annoy me – but if it is someone in MY group that checks the time/texts, I get the feeling like they are ‘bored’ by the film.

  23. godlyfrog says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: I disagree. I think she has a point. As others have pointed out, there’s a time and a place for it, and the management is choosing this time and place for two reasons: nobody’s going to get up and leave and peer pressure. This is being done in bad taste, and don’t think that Karen was the only person in the movie theater who isn’t coming back.

  24. Doctor_X says:

    They were doing this at the same theater when my wife and I went to see Iron Man a few weeks ago.

    A woman was walking up and down the aisle soliciting donations in a very loud voice while we were looking for seats, screaming, “Does anyone want to donate to a good cause?!”

    Unfortunately, she yelled right into my poor wifes ear. As in RIGHT into it, nearly deafening her.

  25. ITDEFX says:

    @baristabrawl
    Time checking is a normal thing these days with people since I barely see anyone with a watch. It isn’t much of an annoyance as usually they look at it and close it within 3 seconds. I haven’t seen anyone text messaging infront of me (yet). There are a few who get calls but they usually get up and leave to answer it because it’s almost impossible to hear the other person due to the loud volume of the movie.

    As for the donations, they could simply put a donations box near the doors to the screen..however you will always get goof ball teenagers putting junk into it instead of money.

  26. bigmac12 says:

    If you don’t know how to say “no”…..ante up sucker!!

  27. hamsangwich says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag:

    So you’re saying it’s ok for us to give money to your corporation which then donates to the charity and gets the tax right off?

    A good excuse for everyone that doesn’t want to donate is to ask to see their 501c3 proof, or just say no as I do. I already work 100+ hours a year at a non-profit and donate a lot of money so I feel perfectly fine saying no.

  28. quail says:

    Will Rogers is still around, though I don’t think Regal panhandles for that charity. That said, I took the boy to see Ironman at a Regal. The guy’s going around doing the panhandling while the digital advertising is going on up on the screen. 5 minutes before there was this thing that came up like an old time slide ad with Will Farrell and John Reilly. They’re standing there and then they move like they’re looking at the audience. It’s suppose to have this shock affect I guess. Well, while the usher’s up front telling them that they’re collecting for a charity the same ‘fake’ slide with Will and John comes up. But this time Will stops and says, “What was that? [pause] I don’t think you meant to say that.” And he acts like he’s wanting to fight. In the meantime John Reilly holds back Will Ferrel from fighting and tells him its not worth it or something. They couldn’t have planned it better if they’d tried.

  29. Landru says:

    @baristabrawl: I totally agree about the texting. I hiss and if I have to, I throw popcorn. Someday I’m going to get shot, I know. One time the person was right in front of me. I just leaned forward and said quietly, in my best serial killer voice, “Turn it off”.

  30. kalikidtx says:

    I had the SAME experience at a Regal Theater last Sunday in Dublin, Ca, and I will say this almost ruined the movie, and I will NEVER go to this theater again for this very reason. They turned the harsh lights on, it was rude. I certainly don’t feel like a “guest” or even a customer. More that I have overpaid for a ticket, paid $5 for 1 box of small candy, $6 for a medium soda, I then get the pleasure of being harassed by staff when I go to sit down. Good bye Regal Theaters…

  31. bdgbill says:

    This happened to me sometime in the mid-nineties. It had already cost me something close to 40 bucks to get me and my date into a seat with drinks and some popcorn. I was then treated to some commercials, then a PSA followed by cup shaking as the OP described.

    I did not go back to the movies for something like 2 years. Even though I live within walking distance of three theaters, I only go to the movies about 3-4 times a year. It seems like the theaters have been trying to drive me away.

  32. humphrmi says:

    What is with people today? I certainly understand that there are folks truly in need, but frankly I’m getting sick of being begged every time I turn around.

    It’s not enough that I have to deal with pandhandlers downtown, now we’ve got panhandlers in the (Chicago) suburbs begging for cigarettes from me from the alley while I’m standing in my back yard with my kids.

    And I put any company that interrupts a business transaction I have started with them to beg for money in the same class as street panhandlers. They are becoming just as pervasive and intrusive. Do they really think it’s effective to keep begging until people tell them to FSCK OFF?

  33. ITDEFX says:

    I have a Regal theater (small) and a National Amusements Cinema De lux (huge). 75% of the time the Regal theater gets the summer block busters. I don’t get how the Regal theater can still be in operation as the Cinema de lux is less than 2 miles from the regal and gets way more business than them.

  34. STrRedWolf says:

    A few hints from a former megamovie theater employee.

    * The theater doesn’t make a profit from ticket sales. Those go to the movie studios. They see none of that. All the profit past showing the movie goes to the studio.

    * The theater makes it’s profit, if any, from concession sales. That big tub of popcorn? After material costs and production costs, what’s left is to pay for the employees. Anything after that is to pay for any debt they got when taking over or building the theater. I doubt my local Muvico hasn’t paid off the morgage yet, and it’s been ten years!

    So, movie profits? What profits! Furgedabutit! Regal et all is just trying to survive.

    My guess is that the theater was contacted by the charity to run the ad, and ask for donations (probably to pay for the ad placement and anything left over actually is used by the charity in their work). Some specify a certain way, like Will Rodgers. Some just run ads while you wait for the previews to start, and have you come to the customer service desk to buy a trinket for the donation.

    But if they did the previews, then switched to the charity ad, then it’s a major failure and I’d complain to Regal’s head office to have them move the charity back. Ruined theater experience!!!

  35. TomforPres2020 says:

    I used to be a manager at a Regal Cinemas in Florida. Every winter we were expected to do this for the Will Rogers Institute. Regal had big competitions for which district could bring in the most money: read – District Managers had their bonuses partly based on what they brought in. So our District Manager had all the General Theater managers competing against each other for some piddly prize (gift certificates to Outback or something) so that they would collect as much as possible. It all rolled down to the employees. Trust me when I tell you that most of the employees hate to do it as much as you hate to have it done. I did it once and felt so dirty I refused to do it again. I’m in agreement, that corporations should not be begging for money for some charity that they feel strongly about.

  36. jamesdenver says:

    One thing I love about small towns. Specific examples are Moab, UT and Sioux Center, IA — are that the local 3-plexes are small indy operations and still run SLIDES for community businesses.

    So instead of stadium seating and watching extremely loud commercials and promos for 40 minutes before the previews even start – you get to see simple slides for local realtors, pizza joints, and movie trivia. Quietly I might add. Just like the old days.

    james [www.futuregringo.com]

  37. Rachael says:

    When I was an assistant manager at a Carmike theater I’d worry about our charity involvements sometimes; we were required to “upsell” for the Children’s Miracle Network and my manager would often ask me to go into a theater before a show started, make a speech, and go row by row holding the donation jar.

    I’m all for giving to charity but I never felt comfortable bullying our customers about it. Frankly, I didn’t even like having to tell employees that they needed to close a deal by asking for that donation request. We’d have lines out the door in our concession stand and customers who were angry because they wanted their popcorn and here we are, taking time to get more money out of people who paid way too much for a show anyway.

    I hate going to the movies now in general. Way too much money for what is sure to be an experience. When my boyfriend and I go to a show, I think more about the story I’ll be telling afterward about the rude patrons than I think about the actual movie that I hope to enjoy. And, of course, the experience never fails to provide me with rude patron stories.

  38. @WraithSama:

    I was being nice. Just assumed a portion of the proceeds went into their pockets.

  39. pixiegirl1 says:

    Good thing I’m a total cinatard. You could count the number of movies I see in a year on one hand and still have fingers left over.

    If I were there when that happened I would have very loudly objected to donating anything to the charity. Tickets are $12 and after you factor in any refreshments your lucky to get out under $30. I also would have shamed the management for ruining not only my movie experience but everyone else’s movie experience. If Regal really “cares” about the cause THEY could donate to the cause instead of “raising” money by harassing their customers for it and then taking credit for when they give your money to the charity.

  40. It’s inappropriate. Period.

    When people pay $24 for two movie tickets, they are paying to:

    (a) enjoy a movie
    (b) enjoy the privacy of the movie theater
    (c) enjoy being away from the outside world

    The movie theater is not a public space. It is not a time for fund raising, it is not a time for reflecting on how to make a better world.

    It is a time of escapism. When the lights go down, people want to forget their cares and worries. If you’re in the movie theater business and you don’t get that, then get out of the movie theater business. Fast.

  41. Nytmare says:

    Yup, there was one theater locally that begged from us, so I simply stopped going to that one and went to the competition from then on. The Will Rogers Institute, they claimed.

  42. @BuddyGuyMontag: So Buddy, you won’t mind if I stand up and go around collecting for my charity, right?

    Also, you wouldn’t terribly mind if I find out where you take your lunch break and stick a collection bag in your face while you’re trying to enjoy the precious little time you have away from work?

    What’s that, Buddy? You don’t like when people bother you when you’re trying to have some private time after busting your tail all day working?

    I thought so.

  43. Joedragon says:

    makeing their low wage employees wear slogan-filled t-shirts that some places make them buy is bad thing and makeing them buy new ones for a new slogan is a slap in the face.

  44. XTC46 says:

    I hate people using cell phones in theaters. The ligh from the LCD grabs my attention no matter where they are in the theater. To adapt I have began sitting closer to the screen so there are less people in front of me. Asking for doantions would be right on par with crappy parents bringing their small children to movies becasue they couldnt get a sitter. (Ive seen toddlers in horror flicks witha confused parent wondering why the child is crying durring a stabbing)

  45. Jesse says:

    The problem with these on the spot donation places is that if the individual wanted to take a tax deduction, technically they couldn’t. That’s because the IRS requires receipts for all cash donations in order to be deductible.

    Although from a practical matter, a few dollars or less probably wouldn’t be even worth it.

  46. Szin says:

    I believe only that Regal in NYC does it, as far as I know. I’ve been to plenty across the city and have never had that happen to me, except there.

  47. Cupajo says:

    I manage a concessions operation at a decent sized sporting venue. I know how much money Regal Cinemas has in that 12 dollar bucket of popcorn. If it’s a charity Regal believes in, they should by all means take some of that obscene profit and forward it on.

  48. WayneK2 says:

    For what it’s worth, this is an industry-wide annual appeal for the Will Rogers Memorial Fund.

    Once it ran a hospital for show business professionals suffering from tuberculosis, now it supports research at 17 teaching hospitals, studying Alzheimer’s, AIDS and other diseases.

    It’s a traditional collection you’ll see in theaters nationwide each summer. It makes me feel uncomfortable, too … a bit “put on the spot” – but it’s legit and it’s nice to see some traditions hang on in a cold-blooded industry.

  49. ObtuseGoose says:

    @twophrasebark: Bingo! We have a wiener!

    The manager was completely in the wrong. If this ever happen to me, I would never go to that theater again.

  50. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    This has been going on for decades.
    I remember Variety Clubs doing this in the movie theaters over forty years ago.

  51. Megladon says:

    I had the same thing happen at Regal in pensicola florida when they were re-releasing the star wars movies back in 1997. I dont recall what the charity was but they had 5 employees, 4 moving up and down the rows, and 1 doing a sales pitch at the front. At 1 point she said that they wouldnt be starting the movie until they sold x number more of whatever it was they were trying to sell. My friends kept me from calling them out on the BS as they didnt want us to get tossed out. It was the last time i went to that theater.

  52. SayAhh says:

    Living in LA spoiled me: I almost always go to the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, even though I live over 30 minutes away. (A new one opened in Sherman Oaks, but it’s just too far LOL)

    Arclight: no ads, no panhandlers :)
    One caveat: albeit worthwhile, it’s DAMN expensive; however, its prices are nowhere near as expensive as what El Capitan charges…

    If the movie isn’t played at the Arclight, and I’m too lazy to go to the Mann’s Chinese Theater, then I’ll go to the Pacific Theatre at the Grove. I’ve almost completely stopped going to AMC and UA/Edwards theaters because the theaters suck, the rude/immature patrons suck, and the commercials suck, including but not limited to the trivia quizzes…

  53. Communist Pope says:

    Grocery stores are doing this too, at least at Publixes in my part of Florida. When I want to give money to a charity or cause, I do it directly, and I’m not inclined to help a company make a big donation (while enjoying its accompanying PR, tax breaks, etc.) they didn’t pay for.

  54. Consumer007 says:

    Oh this company needs to be flamed. I went to their website to bring their attention to this article, at URL [www.regmovies.com] and how generous, they only ALLOW you 255 whole characters for your comment. FCUK THAT. We all know what that says – they could care LESS about your opinion, or your business.

    The nerve of them holding people’s movie hostage and asking for charity money. I would have stood up and yelled at the top of my lungs, no jackass, why don’t you give me $12 – my money back for ruining this experience for me? For all I know you are pocketing the donations.

    If people want to be hounded for donations, they go to church, a homeless shelter, a downtown street, or seminars.

    Further, I would report the local manager to the State Attorney General as a possible scam artist, and call the local TV reporters – could be a juicy story for them too.

    That should be more than enough to get him disciplined or fired, exactly what he deserves for pulling this.

  55. Consumer007 says:

    I can only imagine what is next – homeless people being allowed to go and bother people during the film…? Phones on the aisle for telemarketers to call? Oh of course, silly me – commercials every 10 minutes – that will be next. Along with little screens in the seat back in front of you (like airlines) showing constant ads to distract you from the film (and with a credit card slot so you can give more to their bogus charities).

    Maybe we need to start consumer and employee’s unions for movie theaters…

  56. Consumer007 says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: Um NO, why don’t YOU STFU asswipe? And leave people the hell alone at their PAID movie.

  57. Consumer007 says:

    @MumbletyEmma: RUDE OBNOXIOUS MANAGERS = RUDE OBNOXIOUS PATRONS. There ya go.

  58. Invoking how much the night cost you to justify not donating is not convincing. What, you’re so wiped out from enriching yourself that you can’t spare a dime for a worthy cause? It’s like you’re saying “Yes I have plenty of money. And it’s alll for spending on me. It’s mine.”

    Or it’s like the holiday Salvation Army bell ringers, which I believe are also unpopular here. I mean, seriously, who is this jerkoff suggesting that you remember the neediest while you’re so busy buying shit?

    (Suggested reading: Les Misérables.)

    @WayneK2: For what it’s worth, this is an industry-wide annual appeal for the Will Rogers Memorial Fund.
    I see now that Wikipedia explains it all. 72 years is a long time. Good for them.

    @hamsangwich: So you’re saying it’s ok for us to give money to your corporation which then donates to the charity and gets the tax right off?
    Why not? That you donate your time doesn’t make what Regal is doing wrong. You made a choice. They made a different choice. So what?

    @sholnay: There is no reason for a company to ask its patrons to donate on their behalf.
    Again, why not? They’re free to ask. You’re free to disagree and take your business elsewhere if they don’t accommodate you. Problem solved.

  59. jibbly says:

    Exact same experience as the original post while watching Iron Man a few weeks ago! I was so baffled as to why the theater people were shouting at the top of their lungs to be heard over the previews that were going on at the very moment…THE NEW BATMAN preview of all things. Augh! Then they came around and shoved a big plastic bucket and blocked our view of the screen to solicit donations, pausing and repeating their donation mantra. It was completely uncalled for.

    I give to charities on my own time, thank you very much.

  60. meadandale says:

    First there were commercials and now shameless corporate panhandling.

    Is it any wonder I haven’t been to a movie theatre in ages?

  61. @Consumer007: Sounds like you told Regal. Please, flame the entire list of participating theatres. They’ll take your concerns very seriously. Happy Holidays!

  62. g4lt says:

    You know, if I was that incensed, I’d have found out if they had a satisfaction guarantee. OP didn’t, and donated a LOT more than they wanted to the perpetuation of this. WTG

  63. mumblyomod says:

    I work at a Regal theater and while I can’t tell what those specific employees did with that money, I can say that all of the money gathered from this is supposed to go here [www.regmovies.com] and that I hate the idea of begging movie patrons for money as much as anyone else, which is why I refuse to do it.

  64. litbruin says:

    Wake up people, Mike Campbell, the CEO of Regal, was just honored by the Will Rogers Institute a few months ago with an award presented by Tom Cruise at their annual ceremony that was hosted at the Barker’s Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. You think complaining to corporate headquarters is gonna stop this behavior? I doubt it. Mike Campbell met Tommy Boy on your dime.

  65. @meadandale: You have it backwards. First (in 1936) there was “shameless corporate panhandling”. Then, a half-century later, there were commercials.

  66. MercuryPDX says:

    @MeMikeYouNot: I remember the Will Rogers Institute too. It’s still around, and Regal is listed as one of the participating theater chains: [www.wrinstitute.org]

  67. nacoran says:

    It’s interesting that everyone here is basically complaining because they felt like they were shamed into giving money to charity. I’d argue that if you are feeling shame for not giving money to charity, give them a dollar or your pocket change. If you aren’t feeling guilty about it, what do you care?

    If you really think that they are skimming donations, do a little investigating or report it to the police. I know times are tight and it’s hard sometimes to donate, but if you can afford to go to the movies at the prices they charge today you can afford to put a buck in a cup.

    That being said, being all in your face and watching to see how much you donate is rude. I’ve seen the other extreme too, though. After running one of their commercials the theater employee said, ‘It’s OK, I’m not going to bother walking around. If you want to donate come find someone at the concession stand.’ Lots of people already had their wallets out. A good cause lost out on some money.

    There are also some charities I won’t donate too, but usually most business places don’t tend to collect for controversial causes. If your feeling particularly grumpy, tell them you can’t donate because the tickets cost so much.

  68. meadandale says:

    If I “put a buck in the cup” of every person who asks me on a daily basis, I’ll be one of the people that these charities need to help.

    I’ll donate when and where I want, thank you very much, especially if I’m paying admission.

  69. HOP says:

    the only charity i give to is the salvation army…..they use most of the money for good stuff….i don’t like being shamed into giving…..

  70. lemur says:

    @nacoran:

    If you really think that they are skimming donations, do a little investigating or report it to the police. I know times are tight and it’s hard sometimes to donate, but if you can afford to go to the movies at the prices they charge today you can afford to put a buck in a cup.

    (Emphasis added.) You are proving the point of those who say they are shamed into giving. We all know how much we give to charities. But the rest of the world does not. If you’ve already given much more than a dollar or if you find that the charity being promoted is not your cup of tea you may well make the decision not to give in this specific instance. Ah… well here’s the rub: when are in the theater and being pressed for a donation, what goes through the mind of other people is exactly what you said above “if you can afford to go to the movies at the prices they charge today you can afford to put a buck in a cup”.

    Also, there’s no need to investigate or report any skimming to the police. The addition of middlemen in the chain of donation increases the risk that there will be skimming or mismanagement. It stands to reason then that you’d want to reduce the number of middlemen. The theater adds no value to the donation and thus should be eliminated from the chain to reduce the risk of skimming or mismanagement. If somehow the deal is that they match donations, there is a way to do it without being part of the chain. A company I used to work for did just that: they encouraged donations by employees and matched money donated by their employees but they never handled the donation money themselves.

  71. DeltaPurser says:

    OK… how ’bout when they ask me if I want to donate money to some charity as I’m paying for my groceries at the supermarket?! The OP is right: if the chain wants to support some charity, then please donate a portion of your proceeds/profits, but to hassle me at the check-out counter is beyond annoying!

  72. snakeskin33 says:

    It sort of warms my heart to know that there are people in the world who have so few worries that they can spend their indignant-letter-writing time on a movie theater that passes the hat for charity.

    I agree that it isn’t my favorite part of a business transaction — I don’t love it when they ask me at the grocery store whether I want to donate a dollar to the Miracle Network or whatever. But for God’s sake, say no and go about your day. Businesses helping raise money for charity by asking their customers if they’d like to donate is a long tradition, and the Will Rogers campaign is a specifically long tradition. If having to say no to an appeal for loose change is the worst thing that happens to you at the movies, be grateful, because you could get the person behind you who keeps asking his companion what just happened in the movie.

  73. boomerang86 says:

    A couple decades ago when I regulary went out to the movies, the Hoyts theatres chain (acquired by Regal a few years back) used to solicit for the Jimmy Fund. It was always about this time of year, just as the summer “blockbuster” films were released. More customers means more potential donations, I suppose. This usually ended after about two weeks or so.

    I don’t go to the Hollywood movies anymore; my wife had to practically drag me into a screening of “Eight Below” a couple years back. The Nextel chirpers at the end of the first “Spider-Man” feature really killed it for me; I average about one visit to an IMAX theatre a year, the last time was for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. IMAX patrons seem to be a bit more mature and keep their wireless phones silent, possibly due to the higher ticket prices. The better seats, audio and occasional 3-D features keep me coming back too.

  74. They asked people for donations at The Strangers? I sort of assumed that everyone who paid good money to watch slasher films was some sort of sociopath.

  75. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I’ve experienced this charity panhandling in the Dillons grocery checkout, the Walmart checkout, and McDonalds drive up window. These are three mega corporations that ironically, make out like bandits whenever there’s a local catastrophe and people rush to the store to buy water and other goods to donate. The charity panhandling by those corps makes me really angry, and it’s hard to keep my cool with the poor employee who’s supposed to ask for the donation. My urge, although I’ve refrained from actually doing this, is always to ask for a reciprocal donation from them for my two causes–Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

  76. DamThatRiver says:

    There’s a local Regal multiplex where the staff used to go into auditoriums (or maybe they still do, I haven’t been to that one in some time) to get donations during the WR Institute promotion. Fortunately, they did it by going in about 2-3 mins before the ads were scheduled to end, turning the sound off, and they were usually out of there and had the sound back on by the end of The 20/First Look. They shouldn’t actually be doing this during or after the trailers, that’s just out of line (in fact, I’d prefer if they didn’t go into the auditoriums to try to get donations – I’m glad to say I haven’t encountered this yet at any other Regal, except for one time when one of the Spiderman movies was out and they were doing Spiderman trivia contests where people won – well, I forget the prizes, I’m thinking free popcorn or something).

  77. startertan says:

    At the Loews near my house they pause after the trailers (or maybe before) and ask if anyone wants to donate to the Will Rogers Institute. It’s a little annoying but they only ask the group. If people want to donate they hold their dollar of whatever up. Going up to people and putting them on the spot is wrong.

  78. RayDelMundo says:

    I never met a panhandler that I didn’t hate.

  79. Juggernaut says:

    Here’s some responses I’ve used in the past… “WTF! I JUST WANT TO WATCH A FUCKING MOVIE! YOU’VE ALREADY CHARGED ME $18! GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME YOU DAMN DIRTY APE! MOMMY HE’S TOUCHING ME! HEY KID, DO YOU WANT SOME CANDY! HEY ISN’T THAT LINDSAY LOHAN!

  80. thesabre says:

    I don’t even go to the movie theater anymore because of the obscene prices. I wouldn’t mind paying $24+ for a good experience, but I’m sick of people talking, texting, kicking my chair, begging for donations, etc.

    I have since started supporting local stage theatre. In the Washington, DC area, we have plenty of professional theatres, but I urge you all to skip one movie this year and go support your local community, academic, or professional theatre.

    In the professional theatres, they don’t even allow kids, you get kicked out for using a cell phone, and most places offer “pay what you can” ticket nights or other discounts. Sometimes, I only have $5 and I want to see a show, so I go on one of these nights. And being that the shows are live, they usually turn out to be better than the overused, predictable Hollywood plot formulas.

  81. PinkBox says:

    If that happened to me, I’d be reluctant to go back to the theatre.

    I donate to a charity I support every month, and I also donate sometimes at grocery stores, pet stores, you name it.

    But if I am seated and ready to watch a movie, please leave me alone! Do not want!

  82. forgottenpassword says:

    I’m so glad my local theater chain (dickensons) doesnt do this (or at least I have yet to witness it so far). I agree with the others who say that the current movie theater experience has just gotten worse. Too expensive,commercials mixed in with previews etc. etc.. Its gotten so bad that I just download most of the “marginal” films I want to see (saves a ton of money) & then only go to the theater to see the very FEW movies that do interest me enough to waste money seeing it. It costs me roughly 23 bucks to see a film at a theater (ticket price plus my usual concession purchases). ANd I see a film on average about once every 2-3 months.

    The last thing I would want when I am treating myself is an in your face sales pitch.

  83. CaptainConsumer says:

    “…And Regal Cinemas is proud to present this check for $50,000 to the Human Fund…”

    Nowhere will they mention $49,000 came from their patrons

  84. forgottenpassword says:

    @DeltaPurser:

    I agree…. this recently happened to me at a walmart checkout. Was asked to donate for something & i was so suprised at it that I immediately kneejerked & said “no thanks”.

    Businesses sure do have serious balls to actively ask from their customers who were gracious enough to buy from the business in the first place.

    I’d be more willing to put some coins in a countertop jar than from being asked while i am basically captive (paying for purchases/watching a movie).

  85. chrisjames says:

    @Michael Belisle: There’s nothing wrong with asking for donations, but this is overly intrusive. The previews are playing, which means most people are now psychologically cemented to their seats, and some people actually enjoy this part of the experience. Employees are now coming up to you and asking for money, instead of you coming to them. Their kind of charity is soliciting their patrons at a very improper time. It’s pretty rude, and this site is about informing people of their options to take their business elsewhere.

    The Salvation Santas are intrusive too, what with that goddamn bell ringing, but to a much less degree. I actually like seeing them and donating so long as they’re not the dirty, in-your-face turds that hang out at the grocery stores around here. The mall ones seem to be much nicer.

  86. weehawk says:

    Folks, get used to it. As the economy weakens and the price of everything rises, you will be hit up more and more and in the most inconvenient and inappropriate places. You have to make a personal moral decision to simply ignore the request or give them a buck to get over your personal feelings of guilt or whatever. My family donates time to the community and our lightly-used second hand items to Goodwill and the Salv Army. I cant afford to give anyone my money. As it is, I’ll probably be panhandling because there wont be any Social Security by the time I retire. My only suggestion is to give to the charity of your own choosing and simply ignore all other requests. Doing otherwise will either render you broke or perpetually pissed off.

  87. Aphex242 says:

    I saw The Strangers at a local Regal theater here in Dallas last Saturday and none of this crap went on.

    I’m thinking this is isolated.

    The movie, however, blew.

  88. Whenever I get asked to donate money to some cause I always reply, “No, thanks. I’m a misanthropist.” I think it confuses people who relate it to philanthropist.

  89. mossfacejr says:

    That happened to me a few weeks ago at Regal Union Square when I was seeing Iron Man. The manager was trying to talk in between trailers and kept getting drowned out. I had no clue what she was talking about, but she wanted money.

  90. evslin says:

    I don’t like donating at grocery stores/restaurants/etc because I don’t know how that money is being handled or where it’s going before it reaches its final destination, and in whose name the money is being donated. Usually prefer to donate directly to the charity, or to the Red Cross, or wherever.

  91. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize people would be so excitable on this topic.

    There’s two things at work here: One, collecting donations for a charity and two, how aggressive the staff was in getting donations.

    Karen’s letter smacks of self-importance, and that lends an air of exagerration to the entire piece. If the manager was in fact rude and demanding for donations, then I could see the problem. I don’t think that’s the case. I think Karen was just offended and tried to magnify everything that she saw that was offensive.

    When we collected for Jimmy fund, it was easy. We went to the front of the auditorium, let the trailer run, and then slowly walked to the back making eye contact with people. If they wanted to donate, they’d get up and we’d go over to them. If not, we finished our lap and the movie would run. A little invasive, yes, but nowhere nearly as offensive as Karen lays out.

    I agree that if the staff was over-aggressive, then yes, there’s your problem. But there is NOTHING wrong for asking for charity donations.

  92. nedzeppelin says:

    i don’t think theaters usually make anything off the ticket sales actually, those mostly or all go to the studios

    that’s why a hot dog costs 6 bucks

  93. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Karen also may be confused about what the trailers are. My experience in a Regal theatre has been that the donation trailer runs between the entertainment infomercial (formerly called “The Twenty”, not sure if it still is or not) and the actual, REAL trailers. The Twenty is shown with house lights up, the trailers with lights down.

    BTW, Manager of the “studio”? Did Harvey Weinstein come in asking for donations???????

  94. TVGenius says:

    @baristabrawl: Right. You paid $12 to see the movie. Most of that goes to the movie’s producers and distributors. Theaters make most of their money from concessions, and there’s only so much they can inflate popcorn and soda prices. It’s that or stare at a blank screen.

  95. memphis9 says:

    I haven’t had the pleasure of being hit up at the movies yet, but the continuous chorus of solits at the cash register and outside stores, post office, etc. has me very much in “sorry, no freaking way” mode. (Also thanks, but I’ve been declining your store card at the register for 20 years, get the hint?)

    My kids’ teachers also want to tell me where to donate (and on whose behalf to have my kids hit up friends and family) and incorporate that into her lesson plan. I’m incorporating it into my own plan to teach my kids not to be mallable and “just go along”. I appreciate what I have and give to causes of my choice that I know to be legit and to have low overhead, but don’t tend to do so with anything but cash as I do not care to be hounded, and that is what the charity INDUSTRY has come to.

  96. cametall says:

    That’s odd. The Regal here asks you if you wish to donate as you are purchasing your ticket.

  97. Eels says:

    I am always annoyed by the charity pleas. Mostly it is “do you want to donate a dollar to so and so” and for this dollar, you get to put your name on some ugly paper shape that they tape up on the window of the grocery store and maybe five cents of my dollar has gone to actually helping somebody.

    At the place I work, we were given really horrible raises this year. Not even enough to offset the rising cost of gas for the commute. And now, the whole month of June is this employee giving campaign where they expect us to donate money to make our facility better. It makes me want to kill somebody.

  98. Northpike says:

    I worked for Regal Cinemas (or Regal Entertainment Group) for about 3 years starting from 2003. Right now there trying to push there “Stars of Hope” charity drive. The major charity that gets the most attention is “The Will Rogers Institute”. When I was working, they would have us ask if you would donate a $1 to the charity, and you get to sign a star, and we hang hundreds of these things up and around the lobby. We asked this, along with your Regal Crown Club Card (rewards points program).

    Regal pushes this all summer. Probably for tax purposes, i don’t know. What I do know is that it was part of the theaters performance scores. If Manger Doe at y theater was getting less stars then Manager Bill at x theater, Manager Doe was in some trouble with the DM. So, if Manager Doe is in trouble, all his/her assistants are in trouble, and if their in trouble…. well, the saying that **** rolls down hill is true. Part of the incentive is that extra bonuses are given to the General Managers based on the numbers.

    Now, in order to sell these an employee is REQUIRED to ask you about it at the box office, however, in order to sell more and be more competitive, they allowed us to use advertise it, and use marketing strategies. When I was working for the one in Round Lake Beach, IL, they put collection jars at the service counter, as well as at the concession stand by almost every register. Also, at this particular location, the managers added a button to the concession POS (point of sale) for the stars, and the managers required all concessions persons to ask for it as well (or you get written up). The company didn’t require, but the individual theater did.

    Now, when you put money in the jar, or give it to the guy at the snack stand (not the ticket booth), you don’t get a star (well, maybe at the snack stand, depends) to sign like you do at the counter. The star was just a colored star that you put your name on to show you donated. What happens with all that loose money is that the managers count it up with the rest of the money at the end of the night, then count out how many stars needed signatures, and when it got slow we were filling out stars with random names (i always used “John Doe”, but a few came from “Capt. James T. Kirk”, “Moby Dick”, and obnoxious names like that). The purpose of doing this is making sure the inventory was accounted for, because in a movie theater, everything is based on cups and tubs. You are not in reality paying $8 (random number) for a tub of popcorn, but rather $8 for the paper tub, which so happens to have popcorn in it. Dumb, but it’s suppose to help with shrinkage. Same with the stars, all paper stars had to be accounted for.

    I would like to add that theaters generally don’t make money from ticket prices. They typically make there cash from concessions. Those ticket sales go straight to somebody, or some persons, in Hollywood.

  99. sholnay says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    You’re right – Michael, I could just take my business elsewhere. If I felt bothered the way Karen did, I would have taken the issue up with management at the theater. Seeing as movie theaters are a monopoly in my town, I would be forced to either not attend movies for a while until ‘charity’ season is over, or just continue to refuse donating. Either one of those I am fine with doing.

    My problem is that I see this type of charity donation almost as a scam – I posted earlier that when I donate money, I make sure that 100% of my donation will get to the actual cause or charity. I will consider donating to a worthy cause through my workplace as well because they match 100% what I donate – and they too go straight to the source. I am NOT a fan of going through a middle man to either 1) make myself look ‘compassionate’ in front of others, 2) Feel good about myself because I gave $1 to a ‘charity’, or 3) Make a company look better because they were able to ‘gather’ x amount of dollars for a charity.

    Most of these companies that gather donations in this manner (forcing their CSR’s to skim from shoppers/patrons) have a 10 second to 2 minute spiel they give on the charity. That is HARDLY enough time to get enough information about a charity and know where your money is actually going.

    So, with all that said – feel free to ask me to donate a dollar. I will feel free to encourage all around me to hold on to that dollar.

  100. vdragonmpc says:

    First, We donate to the ones WE choose. I prefer Salvation Army, Goodwill and American Vets. They get a lot of things from the entire family all year. We then get a small write off.

    Now, the theaters I worked at in High School in the 80-90s had these. Did you know that some are NEVER collected? I remember the Will Rogers jar being a ‘video game kitty’ at one theater across town. (they went under in the 90s also I think they were USA cinemas)..

    I went to a Hoyts in Manassas Virginia and they pulled that
    yelling stunt during the previews before Harry Potter. I couldnt believe the attitude they had. Banging buckets and hollaring to ‘do the right thing’. We cannot afford to see movies very often and it was a rare treat to be able to see a movie on a nice kid free date. What a crap thing to pull.

    Why not get 10-15 actors to donate 10% of the insane pay they get to ‘act’ and that should cover operations for the next decade. Why cant those millionaires make some real differences?

  101. quail says:

    @jamesdenver: I prefer the small operated theatre. Ones where you’re likely to see the owner on a Friday night taking tickets or popping popcorn. The large mega chains suck all desire out of their employees to be helpful. Plus I like to feel that more of my money is staying locally rather than flying off to a big city and paying off mega debt for building a poorly built stadium cinema.

    @WayneK2: Will Rogers Charity has been around for ages. Cinemas have been collecting money for that charity since at least the 40’s. But back in the day they used to run a short reel with Meryl Streep or Dan Akroyd asking you to donate. Then they’d bring the house lights up and have someone walk the center aisle with a bucket. More tactful than having a Regal employee stand in front of you, push a bucket in your face, and ask you to donate.

  102. bobfromboston says:

    @STrRedWolf: Boy, your employer sure had you brainwashed, huh? Regal Entertainment Group is a 100 billion a year business. Meanwhile, they pay you poor saps working at the cinemas crap. The profit from a single popcorn and a Coke (for which the ingredients cost pennies) pays an employee’s salary for an hour; so to suggest that any profit from concessions is eaten up by salaries and overhead is a joke.

    That said, I don’t think it’s that hard to say a polite “No” to requests for donations.

  103. Rctdaemon says:

    All these people complaining about theaters… come to Wyoming. The local theater owners around here are extremely particular and if there is a problem, it will get fixed. We don’t (as far as I know, having worked there for two years counting) “panhandle” or even ask for donations for local charities. Also, if there’s a problem with another customer (cell phone, talking during a movie, etc.) it will get resolved. And I know those annoyances called “commercials” while waiting for a movie to start; we don’t have those. A local company does our pre-show “slides” so that it is all local businesses and events that are being advertised. (and music that is definitely not elevator music unless you hear John Williams and Hans Zimmer soundtracks in elevators)
    And once previews start, it’s just movies being advertised unless the studio attaches an ad for something else to the first reel.

    Oh, and our tickets are a LOT cheaper. I love hearing people from big cities go “That’s IT?” when I tell them that their ticket price.

    @bobfromboston Around here, that would only be the truth if it was a large popcorn and drink, and even that would barely stretch over an employee’s pay unless they had just started.

  104. @bobfromboston: By “100 billion a year business” do you mean “2 billion”?

    And by “to suggest that any profit from concessions is eaten up by salaries and overhead is a joke” do you mean “their margins are about typically around 5%”?

    And by “they pay you poor saps working at the cinemas crap” do you mean “they would be losing money if they paid every employee 20¢ more per hour?

    It’s a public company.

  105. aka Cat says:

    @sholnay: It could also just be someone who drank too much soda, and is trying to figure out if they need to miss part of the movie, or if they can hold it until the end.

  106. @vdragonmpc: We donate to the ones WE choose.

    Everyone does, including the people who choose to put a dollar in the Will Rogers bucket at the cinema.

    @nacoran: I’d argue that if you are feeling shame for not giving money to charity, give them a dollar or your pocket change. If you aren’t feeling guilty about it, what do you care?

    Your questions are good.

    It’s easy to blame the asker for making you feel guilty, but it reality it’s self-inflicted guilt.

    An analogy: I dislike refusing to open up a Target credit card every time I shop there. But do I feel guilty for saying no like the majority of customers? No. So why is being asked to donate any different? Do I feel guilty, if even the asker is pushy? No.

    Why should I let some random person affect my mood to the point where I want them to leave instead of me? Millions of people say no to people asking for donations every day. Say no if they ask, sit for a few moments, then watch the movie.

    Problem solved.

  107. vdragonmpc says:

    No, If I wanted to go someplace where people pass a bucket and judge you by the amount you donate I would attend a church.

    I went to see a movie and have a rare night out. With the insane amount of cash flowing out of my income I dont have the patience to deal with A77hats demanding even more cash.

  108. bleh says:

    First theaters charge me to watch commercials, now they are going to charge me to be hassled about charity?

    No thanks.

  109. Keavy_Rain says:

    I used to work at Regal about ten years ago and I’d have to give each customer the spiel about the “Will Rogers Combo” or the stars or whatever. It annoyed them because it slowed everything down and “I’m gonna be late for my movie” but since our projectionist was usually preoccupied with his “flavor of the week” the movie would start late (45 minutes late in one case. Wish I’d gotten her number) so it all worked out in the end.

  110. nardo218 says:

    Calm the fuck down, movie theaters do this all the time, and always have. No one’s putting a gun to your head, or even interrupting the movie.

  111. Breach says:

    They could try taking it out of the %7000 markup on their concession stand prices…

  112. sholnay says:

    @CatMoran:

    bad excuses for annoying everyone surrounding you.

    The last thing I want in an involved movie is my attention being stolen by a bright flashing light and a click of the cell phone slapping shut next to me – it’s rude. If you have to use the restroom – use it, its unhealthy to hold it ;)

  113. nacoran says:

    To all the people who say that the company should just donate money themselves, where do you think they are going to get that money to donate? You don’t think they would pass that on to their customers in higher prices, or write it off as a tax deduction, which in turn will mean less tax revenue, which in turn will mean either higher taxes or fewer services. (I personally have always thought that this undermines what charity is really about. I remember someone donated a expensive dinner set to the Reagan White House and took a deduction.)

    I’ve been solicited for donations at theaters several times, and they’ve never been really pushy. I stand by my earlier post. People seem to be getting awfully upset about being asked to make a voluntary donation. It’s seems like a lot of people have guilty consciences. Comparing this to panhandling misses the point. Real panhandling can be a problem. You get often get fakers or people who imply threats to get money, or people who don’t really need or deserve the money.

  114. geoffhazel says:

    It would bother me if this happened, fortunately it hasn’t.

    One corporate charity I am aware of is the Ronald Mcdonald house(s) which are supported by your change donation at the registers. I happen to know some people who used them when visiting Children’s Hospital here in Seattle, and I believe it’s a worthy charity. And they’re not the least bit pushy about it, either, which is also nice.

  115. x23 says:

    my partner and I attended “The Strangers”

    but it’s worth it for an hour or two of pleasant, quiet escapism.

    DOES NOT COMPUTE!

  116. jethropew says:

    i own an 8-screen theatre, and would NEVER allow solicitation at ANY time, inside or outside the theatre by
    ANY party. it’s just not appropriate.

    i think this “manager” was soliciting for his own pocket…

  117. purplegrog says:

    shameless plug: this is why I only watch movies at the Alamo Drafthouse [www.drafthouse.com] when we go see movies in the theater in Austin. Tickets are as much as you’ll see at a regular theater, they serve decent food during the movie, don’t subject you to pre-trailer spam, and are just generally awesome.

  118. Snullbug says:

    This is news? Movie theaters have been doing this at least since war bonds drives during WWII. I can remember going to the movies in the 50s and watching shorts about polio followed by the ushers collecting for the March of Dimes. Don’t like a business’s business practices? Quit going there.

  119. H3ion says:

    Just tell them you don’t make donations in cash. If they’ll give you the literature and contribution form, you’ll be happy to consider them as a donee. Besides which, since they started showing commercials, I’ve basically cut my movie attendance down to one or two a year. Everything will be on HBO eventually.

  120. Anonymous says:

    i work at a regal theater in south carolina and the is a charity that is in the regal corp. called stars of hope but what we do at my theater is we ask for donations at the box office when you are buying your ticket, cant donate money from tickets sales cause we don’t get like any of that it goes to the people who make the movies and the concession stand is where we make the money that keeps the place running, electric, heat&air, water, all that jazz so that is not possiable

  121. dragonfire81 says:

    [img]http://www.yahoo.com/logo.gif[/img]