WARNING: Skip today’s post if you don’t want to listen to my whining. You have been warned.
Every so often you forget why you stopped going somewhere and, for the sake of convenience, give it another shot. The Big Love festival was rained out on Sunday and we had several hours to kill. The easiest way to do this on a rainy Sunday in Asheville with our granddaughter seemed to be Cinebarre. Our local Cinebarre shows second run films and charges only $1 for admission on Sunday.
We arrived at 3:10 for a 4:10 showing. Only one of the five movies was kid-friendly and there was a steady stream of families exiting as we arrived so obviously Jack the Giant-Slayer had just let out. We waited for the crowds to thin and bought our tickets at the bar. When we inquired about seating, we were told that it would be another ten to twenty minutes before the film let out. I refrained from pointing out that it clearly already had as I knew they would need to clean.
After waiting patiently until 3:40 for them to finish, we were the first people in the theater. We grabbed our seats and, being quite hungry (we skipped lunch because we were coming here), ordered. They were apparently out of order slips so they just had blank pieces of paper that don’t stand up in the holder like they show you. I filled out the order slip with “Large Coke, Large Diet Coke, 2 ice waters, french fries, popcorn w/ butter, Bull Durham pizza”. The two ice waters were because a large soda at Cinebarre is $5 for 32 oz. with NO refill.
People continued to file in and waitstaff started to take orders – not our order mind you but orders from patrons who had not even been seated yet. Again, I patiently waited for over fifteen minutes. No service at all in spite of our displayed order. No response to hand-raising. Finally a frantic arm-waving by both my wife and I managed to attract the attention of a waitress who begrudgingly took our slip, immediately informing us this wasn’t her row. She then looked at the slip and informed us that, in spite of ordering almost $40 worth of food and drinks, we would have to go back out to the bar if we wanted to order ice water.
Off I go, hiking back to the bar. The bar is also where they sell tickets so at this point the line at the bar was a half-dozen deep. Again I waited patiently and the line moved briskly. Once I order the water, I’m pointed to a bus bin where they have five or six waters made. I head back with the waters which is good because not only is the movie starting but it will still be a while before we receive the sodas.
Eventually the sodas arrive (without comment) followed some time later by the pizza and the french fries. My wife asks if the popcorn, which my granddaughter has been asking for now for over forty-five minutes, will be arriving any time soon. It eventually does, satisfying our darling. We splurge and order some potato skins. Once again, no one catches that we’ve ordered and we have to flag down a waitress during the movie. When the bill arrives it’s two separate bills because, as the waitress tells me, she forgot the potato skins – thus making it my problem instead of re-ringing the purchase.
Oddly, the bill is dropped off in a timely manner and payment managed efficiently (well apart from paying two separate bills).
Note to Cinebarre: If I’m going to drop $50 on a second-run movie, my experience needs to be pleasant. This wasn’t. Normally I’d complain to them but my previous experience with them has been one of utter indifference so I’ll just put my two cents in here and not go back.