Rotterdam cinema cashes in on bad behaviour

By

Pathé de Munt

We’ve blogged quite a bit about a disturbing trend called the ‘War on fun’, but as of late, the wind is blowing in an entirely different and more disturbing direction: cashing in on what was once considered normal.

The big Pathé cinema in downtown Rotterdam is offering 30+ VIP screenings at an additional price, including coat check (useless during three seasons here) and popcorn. Sounds good, but what’s the difference? It’s quiet.

The whole idea is apparently a hit. Normal is in again, but it’ll cost ya. Oh, and they claim the extra price tag is to pay for additional security because ushers can’t shut the kids up.

Yes, it seems the Pathé is bad at getting rid of ‘youth making noise and causing problems’. And apparently the only way the Pathé can promise a quiet movie is by kicking out patrons younger than 30 years of age — that’s what the 30+ stands for — and getting the thirty-somethings to fork out more money for normality with a nice side order of discrimination. It’s like a one-night gated community of well-behaved, slightly richer people.

I can hear some of you now: ‘Pfff typical Rotterdam’, ‘pfff stupid kids’, pfff those damn (fill in ethnic slur of choice)’. Or maybe it’s an upgraded New Coke syndrome: take away the regular, create a need, fill in the gap and nail people with the bill. Maybe it is brilliant. Scary thought.

I never really liked the Pathé and enjoy my own DVD collection at home with my own popcorn, my own beverages and my chosen company. The Pathé has given me an extra reason to not give them my money: they don’t have the cojones to do their job properly, and have monetary reasons to never do so again.

No wonder people download films from the Internet! Remember, in Amsterdam a while back, Pathé de Munt were the people who divulged their visitors’ personal data because their personnel can’t use computers properly.

(Link: ad.nl, Photo: film.ziggo.nl)

3 Comments »

  1. I’m in two minds about this.

    Thirty years ago the concept of home cinema was virtually unknown, and cinemas only had to compete among themselves. That time is long gone. I can download a movie, watch it on my wide screen TV with surround sound, pause it whenever I like, eat snacks at store prices rather than the hyper-inflated tariffs the cinemas charge, and not have to sit through hours and hours of commercials, several of which accuse me of being a criminal.

    If Pathé is trying to improve the movie going experience, that is actually a good thing. But the people who argue that Pathé should be doing this anyway, without charging premium rates, may have a point too.

    As for creating your own movie going experience, I was reminded of a story I heard about a cinema without chairs in a farmer’s village in Limburg. People had to bring their own seating arrangements, and these would typically consist of hard plastic crates of beer. The beer bottles would be empty at the end of the movie, though I may now be embellishing my memories a bit.

    Comment by Branko Collin — July 22, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  2. Make a euro, make a euro. Love you comment about the New Coke marketing. People should just wise up. I’ve little experience with the cinema in R’dam. About that over-30 crowd: Last week in my Vermont town’s artsy movie theatre, where supposedly you get a “better clientele,” after the film had begone, I had to scream profanities at a woman (65? 70 years old?) in a row nearby who was waving her lit mobile phone above her head (“over here, George”) so she could indicate to her friend where she was sitting.

    Comment by Jay Vos — July 24, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  3. Vermont! I remember seeing a movie in Stowe during an Easter ski trip to Jay’s Peak and sitting on hard wooden chairs, knowing even then (1980s) that chairs were padding for sound and not necessarily for comfort.

    Thanks for the flashback.

    Comment by Orangemaster — July 24, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

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