I showed up at the box office of the Roxie Theater on 16th Street tonight with a slice of pizza in hand, ready to purchase a ticket to the 6:45 pm show of "A Touch of Sin", the new film from China that received the best screenplay award at Cannes last year. It's received wonderful reviews and has been on my list of must-sees for months.
The young woman in the Roxie's box office sold me a ticket and said I couldn't eat the pizza in the theater, but that I was welcome to finish it in the lobby. I told her thanks but that I would eat it on the street watching the colorful street-life parading by this beautiful Saturday evening. In the ten minutes I was out there, only two people came along and bought tickets for the show.
With nothing but the crust remaining, I walked into the small lobbying and told the dude at the snack stand that I would toss the crust into the trash. He raised his voice and arm, pointed his finger at the door and told me to leave the lobby and finish the slice on the sidewalk. Tried telling him the food was not coming into the theater and he repeated that I wasn't coming in with the crust. Sheesh.
How many times have you been at the Roxie when another movie-lover has brought in a burrito, falafel wrap or food from the Vietnamese restaurant next door?
Having had enough of his unfriendliness, I said fine, it was time to get a refund and skip the movie. Back at the box office, I told the young woman that I come to the Roxie as often as possible and that the management needs to worry about keeping patrons coming. A bit angry, I said they probably had under 30 people in the theater watching "A Touch of Sin" and they need more paying butts in seats.
Sure, I'm a cineaste and will continue to frequent the Roxie, as I did last week to catch the good documentary "I Am Divine", but the management needs to find workers with much better people-skills to not drive away patrons.