I went out to the Cinemark Lufkin Tuesday for the four o’clock matinee of When Harry Met Sally. This is one of my favorite movies, and the second time I’ve seen it in the theater. I’ve watched it on VHS, DVD, and cable over the last few decades, and even have an autographed copy from Rob Reiner, from a screening event in Austin a few years ago.

So, Fathom Events. There’s preshow trivia, usually. An introduction to the movie, and then a little something after the credits from Turner Classic Movies. This was advertised in the trailer for the event, too.

I was one of only two people in the theater for the matinee. There was preshow trivia on the screen. There were trailers for the ballet series and an anime film coming to theaters through Fathom Events. The house lights went down, the screen went dark, there was a second or two of audio, and then the house lights came back up, nothing on the screen, no sound from the speakers.

I was back row, center of Theater 12, and could hear audio in the projection booth. When the opening music started, without a picture on screen, I went to complain.

Two employees behind the concession counter, one manager in front of it. Employee #1 looked at me, and asked how he could help me. I told him what was going on in the theater, and he said he would let a manager know, and just turned to look at the woman standing on my side of the counter. She said she would take care of it.

I go back into the theater, and a moment or two later, the movie starts, but it is already in progress, with Harry making out with Amanda as Sally pulls up. I go back out to the lobby, and catch the manager. I told her the movie was in progress, and asked if it could be restarted. She said she would take care of it.

I go back into the theater again, and Harry is rolling down the window after spitting grape seeds at it. The movie freezes, goes forward a bit, then freezes, and goes back to Meg Ryan’s name in the opening credits. No studio logo, no Billy Crystal. The manager decided that was good enough, and the movie restarted.

Prior to the screen going black at the beginning, there was a card up saying to stay after the credits for the TCM insight into the movie.

The movie itself played without any further issues, thankfully. Its still funny, I still love it. It will always be one of my favorites.

The other theater guest & I both sat through the credits, but as soon as they were done, the screen went dark and the house lights came back up.

No insight from TCM.

I went back to the concession counter & complained to two other employees, asking for a refund since the there were so many problems with the start of the movie, and nothing from TCM as advertised. They called a manager to the counter, different from the one when the movie started. I told him everything that had happened, and was given a rain check card instead of a refund.

Guess that would have to be good enough.

The next Fathom Event, Meet Me in St. Louis, isn’t playing in Lufkin. Not sure when I will use this rain check…

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