After seeing a post about it on the Mom Blog on the OC Register’s page, we picked up passes to see a pre-screening of “Rio” at the Block. Free tickets to see a kid’s movie in 3D and ETX days before anyone but the reviewers get to see it? We were all over that, especially since these days, a ticket to see anything in 3D and ETX can end up being over A$15 a piece. At that rate, we might as well take the kid to Knott’s for the day. Slightly more expensive, but 12 hours of entertainment instead of two. But free works for me.
But there are some catches – the movie is at 11am on a Saturday, which is usually my sleep in and maybe think about leaving the house in the afternoon day. But hey, it’s free. And, if you actually read the fine print on the passes, they overbook to ensure a full house, so you better get there early and be prepared to wait in line. Based on some internet research, a half hour early seemed the usual time to arrive, so we went with that.
Slight mistake – maybe it was the free publicity they got from that Mom Blog post, but 45 minutes would have been better. We ALMOST got in, but not quite, and instead wandered the Block, which at least has a Hot Topic and a new Haagan Daz location. (Which we were very excited about until it turned out the gal working there is apparently the slooooooooowest shake maker in the history of shake makers. But I digress.)
So, lesson learned. Next time we’ll get there sooner. Free is free. And to be fair, this screening wasn’t for us anyway. It was a press screening, they have to rent out the whole theater anyways, and as long as they’re paying for the seats, they might as well generate some word of mouth buzz sweetened by the reviews of folks who didn’t have to pay for their ticket. (And I appreciate this – I’m much harder on movies when I have to shell out nearly $20 than I am when I go see a dollar theater viewing.)
So, it’s worth checking out, but remember to get there EARLY and bring a DS or iPhone or a good book or something. But most of all, don’t be like the jerk who somehow thought that threatening a poor Yelp review was going to phase the event planners, and recognize that you’re getting about $45 in free movie passes, in exchange for having to wait in line for a while. It says right on the pass no seats are guaranteed unless you’re a movie reviewer. This is for them, not for you. For you, this is a favor. You get what you pay for.