Q. Can we get second screenings of the popular films? Especially the ones that sell out quickly?
A. No. The theatre space is booked in advance for one screening only. Empire is kind enough to lease the space to MUN Cinema, but doing so takes $$$ away from their own box office. Their theatres are dedicated to their program, all of which is advertised daily and must be honoured. We can't just appropriate another theatre any time we like it. Further, the films need to be broken down and shipped out to their next booking as soon as they have screened.
Q. Why don't my passes guarantee me a seat?
A. There is simply no way to guarantee seating. Passes offer clients a special price, not a seat.
Q. Can I carry over unused passes for the following season?
A. No. This is not a profit-making exercise. We need all the sales we can get. The cost of running these films is high. Consider the high cost of shipping them here from the mainland, the cost of shipping them out, theatre rental costs, the weekly box office fees owed the distributors, and advertising. We haven't raised the ticket price in five years but might have to one of these seasons.
Q. What can you do to prevent people from hogging the seats?
A. This is a problem, we admit. But how can we police the theatre? Increasingly, clients are buying up many tickets at once and then saving seats for friends by throwing coats on them to keep others from occupying them. When the friends don't come, the seats become suddenly available, but by then we have sold out and have no way of letting disappointed customers know that.
It is also true that some people come early, buy their tickets, throw their coats on their seats, and then go wander around the Mall. This has generated some nasty backlash. We have had movie-rage complaints about people throwing the coats to the floor and occupying the saved seats. Imagine the surprise of the Mall-wandering clients when they return to the theatre.
We urge everyone to consider others, try not to take up so much space for friends who don't bother to show up, and please be responsible for your own seats. You can't always expect people to respect your coats and gear, although they should.
Q. Why can't you screen the films in the big theatre all the time?
A. Again, we have to respect the operations of Empire Studio, and obviously it is in their best interests to reserve the large theatre (300+ seats) for their own expected audiences. We try and anticipate which of the MUN Cinema screenings will be most popular and book larger theatre space ahead of time. Studio 12, where we are most of the time, (only) seats 229.
Q. Why don't you sell tickets in advance?
A. To be fair to everyone. Tickets go on sale only at 6pm on the evening of the screening. That way everyone has the same shot at getting a seat. Not all films sell-out, that's for sure. We can usually predict the ones that will.
Please remember that MUN Cinema Series is a not-for-profit operation. Films are chosen based on their critical acclaim and availability. We can't always get what we want. Suggestions are, of course, always welcome.
Some discussion of a downtown theatre space dedicated to repeat showings of the kind of films we screen at MUN Cinema has been underway for a while. You never know... Thanks for your continuing support and interest.