Empty Room? Bijou Theater Screens Movie For One Couple

I had a great customer service experience and I thought I would share it with you. My fiancee and I live in Mount Vernon, Iowa and like to frequent the old-school, single-screen movie theater in town called the Bijou. It’s a family run theater with cheap prices ($4/movie) and a great reputation as a family-friendly place. Before each of the showings the owner/manager greets the crowd, gives out prizes, and welcomes any first-timers in the audience.

That is nothing compared to the other night. We went to see “Balls of Fury” and found out we were the ONLY people who came to see it. Instead of canceling the show due to low attendance (or establishing a house minimum) the owner, Jerry, greeted us and talked about how he’ll run the shows for just one person. He figures that if someone has planned their day around a movie at the Bijou then the Bijou should fulfill that plan. Also, even though we were the only two people in the crowd he still gave us the prize (medium soft drink and popcorn)! We left smiling and it wasn’t because the movie was that good.

Ah, the heartland. Nothing rivals small-town person-to-person customer service. To us, family-owned businesses led by a gracious, good-natured owners were dreamt up by Madison Ave fluff-masters and bottled in 30-second segments; something rarely seen flourishing in the wild. Every business should strive to emulate Jerry’s exceptional consumer-centric philosophy.

Bijou Movie Theater