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In case you didn't notice, there was a bit of fervor in the air over the release of The Interview in the days before it theaters. Hell, before it had been announced that the movie would be getting a limited release it looked as though the movie would wind up becoming one of Hollywood's legendary "lost films." Because of all this drama, one man in Cincinnati, Ohio thought that he could take advantage by buying movie tickets in bulk and scalp them at the local theater. As you may have already figured out, this plan backfired in rather spectacular fashion.
Local news station WCPO in Cincinnati has picked up the story Jason Best, who spent $650 on tickets for The Interview last week and wound up finding his plan blow up in his face when Sony released the film through Google Play and YouTube. No longer able to scalp them online as he had planned, Best tried to return the 50 passes he purchased to the Esquire Theatre in Clifton, but was rebuffed when he was told that the cinema had a no refunds policy. In an email to the new station, Best wrote:
"I thought I'd get my money back because the theater's website *very clearly* said the tickets were refundable."
It turns out that the Esquire Theatre doesn't actually have a returns policy on their website, but on movietickets.com, does have a section on the theater's page saying,
Tickets can be refunded at the box office (in person) up to 30 minutes prior to showtime purchased. Service fees are non-refundable. No refunds/ticket exchanges for Special Events.
Even if Best had tried to return the tickets in person at the box office, however, he still would have run into a glitch. The reason why he paid $13 per ticket online - instead of the standard $7 for matinees and $9.75 for evening shows - was because the Esquire Theatre designated screenings of The Interview as "Special Events," thus negating the availability of a refund. Best was still very unhappy about this, writing in his email,
"I was never once told by anyone at the theater, that the showing of the movie was a 'special event.' Especially since any theater was able to show the film, and again, anyone with a cell phone could see it as well, for half the price."
In response to Jason Best's complaints, the president of Esquire Theatre, Gary Goldman, noted that the company doesn't actually see Best as a customer, but instead as "a businessman who was trying to recoup a loss at the theater’s expense." Naturally, they're not in a hurry to return the money to Best, but to prove that what they are doing is not about the $650, they have offered to donate the sum to a charity. Best has refused this offer, claiming that he needs the money, but has said that he would be willing to give $100 to a charity in the theater's name.
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