Dear Odeon Cinemas
I write to you as not only a fan, but an enthusiast of modern film as an art form and as entertainment. As such, I frequently avail myself of your services, watching the latest films in your cinemas. I should stress, initially, that this is not some sort of brand loyalty, but rather largely stems from your mainstream cinema monopoly in the town of Southend (where my girlfriend lives, and where I most frequently visit the cinema). However, I do regularly spend my money at your establishments, and even possess a loyalty card, so perhaps that counts for something.
This weekend, my girlfriend and I were quite looking forward to seeing The Awakening, a newly released horror film which has had an extensive national advertising campaign. Remember that, it’s important. Unfortunately, this wasn’t able to happen, since you weren’t showing it.
Now, as you are doubtless aware, over Halloween you didn’t show a single good quality horror film. Paranormal Activity 3, eing the sequel to two dire offerings and only marginally better itself , does not count. I have no idea why the makers of The Awakening chose to delay its release until 11th November, when it could have cleaned up over the Halloween weekend, but that is irrelevant to this discussion. So soon after the traditional time for horror film, didn’t it occur to you that if you showed The Awakening people would quite happily come and watch it?
Of course, it isn’t as clear cut as that. It wasn’t that you made a corporate decision not to show the film. Oh no. A scant few of your cinemas did show it. The nearest to us being either Chelmsford (at least 1 hour away), or Barking (again, about an hour away). I like film, but sadly I do not like it that much.
So why did you make the decision that the people of Chelmsford and Barking deserved to see The Awakening more than the residents of Southend? The cynical might conclude that you wanted the cinema space free to flog The Immortals, which was another new release, but was a rather flashier (and more vapid-looking) Hollywood affair.
(Incidentally, you should probably have a look at how you schedule that, too. I can understand that you want to make the most of 3D technology, but there are many like myself who would rather see no film than a 3D film. Thus, having only one 2D showing a day, and at 1:30pm of all times, is moronic and infuriating.)
The Awakening is a British film, with a British writer- exactly the sort of thing we are continually told we must support. You make it very difficult to do so, even for those of us who passionately want to.
But, since I suspect that matters little to you, let me finish on this. You have lost out on money. I fully intended to visit your establishment, and spend money on tickets and possibly (though probably not- let’s face it, your prices are extortionate) drinks. But I didn’t. And you’re to blame.
Matthew S. Dent