We’ve all heard stories about social media posts getting people in trouble, but they’re usually cautionary tales about things like not publicly trashing your boss, who you’re friends with, or letting your inner racist take over your Twitter account. However, one West Virginia man recently experienced some unexpected fallout over a complaint he made on Facebook: he was banned for life from his local movie theater.
According to local news station WTRF, a man named Dave Justice was one of many who recently made the pilgrimage to watch the record-breaking Jurassic World. Unwilling to pay what he feels are exorbitant for snacks that cost less elsewhere, he stopped off at Dollar Tree to stock up for a fraction of the price. Many of us do that from time to time, but his Facebook post thanking the retailer for making it more cost effective to go to the movies caught the eye of theater management, who decided they no longer wanted Mr. Justice’s business.
Here’s his initial post:
That seems all in good fun, and Justice claims that he was "just poking humor" at the situation. It’s no secret that concessions at movie theaters are way more expensive than just about everywhere else on the planet. However, after the movie was over, Dianna Barnette, the owner of the Cinema 8 theater in Logan, West Virginia, pulled Justice aside and handed him a piece of paper. It was a form notifying him of "Banishment From This Facility," citing a "social media comment derogatory to business" as the cause. Justice posted a photo of the notice that has since been pulled down.
Even though she couldn’t believe people were so openly advocating flaunting the clearly posted "no outside food or drink" rules, Barnette says it wasn’t Justice’s initial post that led to him being banned for all time. Down in the comment thread, as people were agreeing with Justice’s assessment of the price of tasty movie theater treats, he left this comment, which is the one that really rankled the theater owner.
This one is definitely a bit more aggressive in tone, and, in Barnette’s mind, her actions were justified as she is defending and protecting her employees. She is also quick to point out that, as the majority of the ticket prices go back to the studios and distributors, concessions are primarily responsible for paying the theater staff and keeping the lights on.
After all of this drama, which is still unfolding on the Facebook pages of both Justice and Cinema 8, Justice, who says this is the first movie he’s gone to in roughly three years (elsewhere he says it’s between three and five movies), told WTFR he didn’t actually bring any candy into the movie. He also showed receipts for food that he bought at the theater.