Frustrations of a fan: Apathy and lack of preparation at PVR?

Frustrations of a fan: Apathy and lack of preparation at PVR?

December 15, 2017: The day Star Wars returns to the big screen (if Disney has its way, expect one every year, though). The Last Jedi is a title that transcended the concept of mere hype across the world ever since its reveal. After what transpired in The Force Awakens, it was natural that one would be curious to see what becomes of the Resistance forces as the First Order bore down upon them, clinching away at them ever so slowly; and with the added benefit of being directed by Rian Johnson.

Naturally, expectations were set high, both for the movie and for any screen and theatre that would dare tackle it. Unfortunately, today, a theatre failed to hold itself to the task.

I'd gone to PVR's newest and shiniest screen, the P[XL], a homegrown equivalent of IMAX, considering the screen, audio and seating used in it. I'd been longing to see what a film in that format would look like (I sort of make it a point to go to any new big-screen theatre when they open at least once so as to gauge its worth for future films). After a long, literally sleepless night, I headed out to the PVR in Orion Mall for the film nearly everyone had been waiting for.

Upon reaching, I felt nothing amiss. Everything seemed to work as it should be, ushers bustling about, cleaning out the auditorium, the manager and his subordinates coordinating to ensure everything was on point. However, as the time of the movie came closer, I felt uneasy. The theatre door was still not open to viewers, and some workers were moving from there to what appeared to be a control room, talking in a worried tone. Asking them confirmed my fears: the screening would be delayed. No biggie, that happens from time to time. However, 10, 20 minutes later when we were finally allowed inside, another person (probably the deputy manager) came in and asked us to move to a different screen, saying that some technical issues were preventing them from playing the film.

This is where the booing began. People (including myself) demanded refunds, justified so for the screen they moved us to was something an average Joe in Bengaluru would pay no more than 120-150 for. There were some ramblings about refunding the difference amount after the movie, but it didn't feel like they meant it 100% honestly, because once people started talking about refunds and expressed their dislike at the lack of preparation, the manager, who had come to assess the situation, bailed and was never to be seen thereafter. An attempt to contact the manager was met with resistance from the customer support employee, who insisted that their department cannot give out contact details of individual theatres or their local managers, despite repeated attempts to glean information from them.

Incensed and incredibly disappointed as I was over the turn of events, especially considering it was at a PVR, I, like many of my co-watchers, demanded and got a full refund and I went my merry way.

I expect to watch The Last Jedi in an IMAX, probably Inox's this time, hopefully before the week is over. The internet is a dangerous place as far as Star Wars spoilers are concerned, and it would be best to clear out this minefield before it blows up in my face and ruins the experience worse than it already has. Naturally, I have decided not to go to Orion Mall's PVR ever again, regardless of any circumstances.

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