Bay Theater: Lots of Questions
Comments on Nextdoor Palisades about Bay Theater by Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas that opened in Caruso’s Palisades Village in November are extensive and revolve around ticket prices and the lack of attendance.
There’s also this odd discovery. In December, a reader sent Circling the News his receipt from the Cinepolis movie he had attended. The resident had charged the December 5 movie tickets to his credit card and found that the merchant website showed up not as Cinepolis, but as the Palisadian-Post, with that newspaper’s telephone number (310) 454-1321 and its old address on Via de la Paz.
CTN contacted Cinepolis and was directed to Murphy O’Brien Cinepolis Account Supervisor Bryan Hansen.
Hansen was asked if Cinepolis Palisades had a local partner. “No,” he said. Regarding the receipt, he added: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention!”
While we had Hansen on the phone, we asked him if he knew that the majority of people on Nextdoor who comment about the movie theater state that $27 for an adult ticket is way too high.
A December 30 poll on that social media site garnered 1,200 responses. The survey asked: “Do you think the Cinepolis $27 is keeping you away?”
Yes, it’s keeping me away———–75 percent.
I like that it keeps people away- —–4 percent.
No, it’s not keeping me away——- 19 percent.
Typical was this post: “The real issue that keeps this discussion going but will not be solved here, is the fact that it would be nice if Pacific Palisades had a lower-cost theater as well as this more expensive one, for those who don’t want to spend $27 a ticket.”
Hansen stressed that this theater is more luxurious than any in the United State, providing a “premium elevated movie experience with a full gourmet menu.”
According to Business Wire, “Cinepolis has 20 theaters in the U.S., in Texas, Southern California, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and New York, with three openings this year and 10 new theater debuts projected through 2020, representing a 55 percent increase in Cinépolis USA’s portfolio of Luxury and Premium cinemas.
Hansen was asked why Pacific Palisades did not have some of the promotions that other theaters in the chain have such as half-price happy hour and Tuesday discounted prices.
He said, “Cinepolis Pacific Palisades is now offering $15 tickets to seniors [over 60] and children [under 12] before 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and the promotion is valid through May 31.”
Most local children under 12 are not dismissed from school before 3 p.m. and the ones that attend out-of-town private schools are rarely home before 4 p.m. Parents say that schoolwork and after-school activities make it difficult to take advantage of the discounted ticket price during the week.
Hansen also was asked about movie attendance. Many Palisades residents have clicked on the theater listings, pretending to buy a ticket to check to see how many seats are available for a particular screening.
Typical is a January 31 post in Nextdoor, which was sent to Hansen:
“Just click as if you were buying tickets on any given night and you can see. I have been doing that for about a month. During the week I have seen everything from zero tickets sold to a max of 12 tickets sold for many different movies. On Friday and Saturday, I have seen from 5 tickets sold to a max of 20 tickets sold. If the Bay Theater management isn’t in tune to the fact that the tickets sales are a joke and the prices are just too high and that they need to do something,”
Hansen did not comment on the post, but he did tell CTN that “If a new promotion does roll out, then I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it does.”
Sadly, it is too greedy. Why would we throw money out the window when we could see the same in SM or Malibu for significantly less. It’s too bad. The stores on the whole in that complex are out of step…I go elsewhere. It’s too bad.
Hi Sue – It is important to note that the on-line credit card statement shows the movie ticket vendor as Pacific Palisades Post ENTERTAINMENT (my emphasis) – which shows a definite business link between the Post and the Cinepolis Bay Theater. Is Palisadian-Post publisher Alan Smolinsky involved in the Bay Theater operation? Sure looks like there is a connection. And if so, why the secrecy ? Thanks for again bringing into the daylight an interesting and important detail of our Palisades community. – Jeff R.
Just a note: Your DVD player – at home – will play current movies beautifully – free from our Library, if you don’t mind waiting a month until it’s in stock. Make it a FAMILY NIGHT, invite a couple of friends over, popcorn, a snack from the kitchen shared by all while watching = TOGETHERNESS and no outrageous fees involved! Try it!!!
I spoke with local management last week. They made it very clear that the pricing is intentional to attract high end customers and to keep the theater experience exclusive (because this is their most expensive luxury theater). They seemed fine with empty theaters. Other than the temporary matinee pricing, they have no plans to lower prices. That said, the 35mm films are all $15 even though they are evening performances. These are scheduled into June along with the matinee pricing. Stay tuned…