Just like Will Huggins post above, we no longer patronize Cinnebarre since December 2012. They tried to tell us they would not accept our Groupon as they were no longer accepting them. The Groupon said this certificate never expires with the original $15 we paid for it. I absolutely refused to pay them an additional $15 and told them to take it up with their manager and Groupon. They literally chased us down in the foyer to discuss with us. Apalling. The "manager" claimed she would get in huge trouble if we didn't pay the $15 in cash. Sorry, not my problem.
The service has been going downhill, servers are hard to find for another round of drinks, and food has been coming out cold and wrong too many times. We are done.
The cliff notes: long time patron, significant drop off in service recently, don’t honor promotion, give chance to address privately, get no response.
I have exclusively patronized Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant for the last 3+ years (averaging at least 1 movie, if not more, a month during that time) and even posted a review in June 2012 giving a glowing review indicative of the previous three years of seeing movies there. However, my experience over the last four months has been extreme disappointing marked by multiple instances of poor service and, in the last instance, refusal to honor a promotion advertised on their website (Breakfast Club promotion – all shows before noon $5; the offer is still posted on their website (as of 01/16/2013), but they won’t honor it). Due to great service in the past, I wanted to give them the opportunity to discuss my concerns with overall service of late and the failure to honor an advertised promotion, so I wrote an e-mail to the local manager listed on the website and copied the CEO and the Operations Manager on Sunday afternoon. I was hoping to receive a response; I even included my phone number in case they wanted to discuss it over the phone rather than via e-mail. It has been three days and I haven’t received any response from them. I am usually a pretty even keel guy, but after giving exclusive business to someone, singing their praises numerous times, and giving the opportunity to privately discuss the issue and getting no response – I was irritated. Below is the e-mail in its entirety (except for my phone number removed and the name of the manager). Figured as often as I recommended them in the past, I could at least let some people no what I have experienced lately.
For the last three plus years, Cinebarre has been the only movie theater I have patronized in Charleston. That number for my wife is even longer – she has been attending movies at Cinebarre exclusively since it opened while she was attending College of Charleston. Not sure how our movie viewing frequency compares to others, but we average at least one or two movies a month at Cinebarre. I can count only two times when we saw a movie at another theater in Charleston and in both those instances the movie wasn’t being screened at Cinebarre (Waiting for Superman and Moonrise Kingdom). One of our first dates was at Cinebarre - Mount Pleasant and being from Columbia, SC (and living there at the time) where the only option for wide-release movies are corporate behemoths, such as AMC and Regal, I was blown away by the experience offered by Cinebarre – major Hollywood releases, good food, a great craft beer selection all while maintaining a reasonable ticket price and supporting a local business. The convenience of Cinebarre has been great as well - we moved into our condo off Coleman Blvd in August of 2010 and often walk to Cinebarre. We also loved the fact that while Cinebarre is a franchise, we always got a locally owned feel at Cinebarre.
During that time we have been extremely pleased with our experiences at Cinebarre and spread the word about Cinebarre on a regular basis – letting friends new to the area know about it, showing friends who have lived in Charleston for years what they are missing by not seeing movies at Cinebarre, and taking friends and family who visit us to Cinebarre when they want to see a movie while in town. Unfortunately, four times in the last four months we have had disappointing, sub-par experiences while patronizing Cinebarre – Mount Pleasant.
On one occasion, while attending a movie with friends, my wife had to go to the bar twice during the movie in order to get service as the waitress did not come around after the first order at the start of the movie – despite my wife’s group having their order sheet displayed.
On another occasion, we attended a movie with another couple and arrived twenty minutes early to get a good seat and get drinks before the movie started. We waited ten minutes with our order sheet raised and never saw a waiter/waitress come into the theater to take orders; my buddy and I decided to try to get drinks at the bar. We waited in line at the bar while the bartender took and fulfilled orders for two groups in front of us, when it was our turn, she stepped away for a minute and then came back and said we would get our drinks faster in the theater. We explained we had been waiting for ten minutes without a server entering the theater; she looked miffed and then told us she wouldn’t be able to get our drinks for awhile because she had to fulfill orders coming in from servers. Irritated and wondering why she could serve the two groups in front of us, but not us, we returned to our seats. Because of the ordeal, we declined to order any drinks when the waitress finally came around.
On another occasion, we encountered extremely slow service again along with an inconvenience with seating. Since it was a Tuesday night with the $5 ticket special, we arrived more than thirty minutes early to secure a good seat and allow adequate time to get drinks. Upon entering the theater, we found the first two rows of the preferred stadium seating section “reserved” and with the rest of the theater filling up, we resigned to sitting in the first row nearest to the screen. I was curious about the “reserved” seats since we had never seen this before in three years of patronizing Cinebarre, so I asked the bartender about it and she indicated they were reserved for friends of the manager. I was slightly baffled why this was being done on what is likely one of the busier nights of the week due to the ticket price promotion. As a consulting engineer, I understand that some clients deserve special treatment on occasion, but I would never provide special treatment to a client to the detriment of another - we arrive early to get a good seat but end up in a less ideal seat, while the people with reserved seats stroll in during previews to prime seating. In addition to the seating, service was extremely slow at the start of the movie in both placing the order and receiving the drinks.
After each disappointing instance we chalked the experience up to an off night – a one off. My wife and I griped a bit to each other, but figured the next time would be back up to the usual Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant service. However, after our experience today, Sunday, January 6th, I don’t think we can give Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant the benefit of the doubt anymore. We have seen the Breakfast Club promotion on the website offering $5 tickets for all movies before 12 pm on Saturday and Sunday for awhile, but we had never taken advantage. We decided last night to see Les Miserables at 11:50 AM and take advantage of the $5 ticket price promotion and put the money saved towards lunch. We reached and ticket booth and were surprised when the cashier said it was $15.00 for two tickets, I asked her why they were not $5 a piece with the Breakfast Club $5 ticket price promotion. She indicated that only applied to the first round of movies; I told her the website said any movie before 12 PM and that this was the first showing of Les Miserables today. She said the $5 ticket price didn’t apply to this movie. Since it was 11:40 AM, we decided to pay, get a decent seat, and discuss it with the manager after the movie. Perturbed regarding the pricing and the failure for the cashier to give an explanation for the discrepancy between the website and what was being charged, we elected not to get lunch and beers during the movie. After the movie I asked the bartender in the lobby if I could speak with the manager, she asked if she could assist and I told her our confusion about the ticket prices. She was very cordial and explained that the promotion now only applied to the first round of movies around 10 AM. She indicated the posters onsite had been taken down, but that the website advertisement had not been corrected yet since it was controlled by a separate marketing group. She indicated several other people had asked about it as well and been told the same thing – no other resolution other than basically - we made a mistake, sorry, but it is what it is. Perhaps I should have pressed to discuss it with you, but it appeared precedent had been set and the policy wouldn’t be altered, so I didn’t see the point.
For lack of creativity, today was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. At this point, while disappointing, I don’t see us continuing to give our movie patronage to Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant despite years of spending our hard-earned money almost exclusively at your business. We are fortunate enough in Charleston to have other theaters which offer a break from the traditional movie experience – for the about same price as what we paid (actually fifty cents less per ticket) at Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant, we could have seen Les Miserables at Terrace Theater and still enjoyed a craft beer. We may have to drive further - we live off Coleman Blvd in Mount Pleasant, so we have always loved the convenience of Cinebarre – and eat lunch or dinner before or after the movie, but based on recent service, we will give another theater the opportunity to earn our patronage.
If you would like to discuss further, please feel free to e-mail me or call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. It is a shame that $5 – the price difference between your website advertised price and what we were charged – will result in us taking our business elsewhere. Perhaps in the future we will give Cinebarre another chance, but in the interim we will be enjoying movies at other local theaters.
The $2 glasses are always scratched and ridiculously glarey! Then when I ask for a new pair that arent sctatched, some lesbian teenage girl, who is pissed I'm a man is mad I pointed it out and gives me an attitude about wanting a perfect picture. For fourteen bucks i would say go to oakbrook on ladson for customer sevice and seven dollars and a caring experience. Worst cinema experience ever! Not worth it.
If I could give a negative star I would. To charge $2 for 3D glasses on top of the already steep ticket prices is unconscionable. And then to FOLLOW ME into the Ladies Room to get them back is a bit absurd! When I told the manager I would never return she couldn't care less...
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