Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Blockbuster & Rogers are looking better than ever

Years ago I went out on a date with a man to the movies. I cannot remember for the life of me what movie we went to see was but it could best be charactized as some kind of romantic chick flick. No doubt he thought he was scoring points taking me to see this movie. All I remember was that the movie bored me senseless and I fell asleep. He woke me up and I said, gee that was fun but let’s not do it again. I seem to recall that I left him standing on the curb while I hit the dance club alone where I knew my friends would be. That one night started a trend that has stayed with me ever since. When movies bore me, I go to sleep. I can’t help it. Put me in a dark room, bore me senseless, and I’ll check out for la-la-la land, hence I am an infrequent movie goer.

Now after 5 or 10 minutes of previews, you have an additional 20 minutes or less to capture my interest or I’m checking out. Overall that has served me well. Otherwise I would have lost my rather tenuous grip on any pretext of sanity if I actually had to stay awake for 90 plus minutes of Barney or Pokemon movies.

What I cannot imagine doing is spending $50 plus dollars to take the family to the movies and watch a treatise on why Gay marriage is a human right before a flick. If I want to learn about an issue; I read the papers or to books, take a course or go to a lecture. Going to the movies for entertainment should not be an opportunity for the movie theatre to host a political stunt without warning me prior to my spending my lucre. I resent having my awake threshold used up by someone’s political or cultural beliefs that I did not knowingly pay to see and hear.

Famous Players feels otherwise, and as a business, they have a right to do as they see fit in running their business but I have a right to know before I spend my money what I am paying to see. From the Toronto Star (registration required):
A group opposed to same-sex marriage is calling for a boycott of Famous Players Theatres, saying it is offended by a 10-second "still" slide that is running in support of marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

Charles McVety, head of the Canada Family Action Coalition that is organizing lobbying under the banner Defend Marriage Coalition, said yesterday it is "shocking" that theatres are running an ad for a "pet cause." The ads were donated by Salah Bachir, president of Famous Players Media, a separate company, to Canadians for Equal Marriage, a pro-same-sex marriage group.

"It's one thing if an outside entity rents ads," said McVety. "I assumed EGALE (a gay and lesbian rights advocacy group) or one of the other organizations had paid for this."

The still slide began running on Feb. 1 in theatres across the country. It says "I Do" is the same whether you're gay or straight, and urges theatre patrons to let their MPs know "you support Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Now I am not for advocating a boycott of Famous Players. To me, where an individual will or will not spend their disposable income is a personal decision but I will not hesitate to provide the address where you can write or call Famous Players and let them know your opinion.

Famous Players President and COO
Robb Chase
Phone 416.969.7800
or fax at 416.964.5839.

To express concerns to Salah Bachir
Of Famous Players Media (company which handles ads for Famous Players)
(416) 539-8800 ext 222

In my mind; this is an incredibly poor precedent for Famous Players to set. I mean what’s next – a 15 second ad sprouting the joys of partial birth abortion or 20 seconds of watching Jack Layton inform us what a great and fearless leader he is?

(tipped off by Neale News)

No comments: