More About: Seriously?

Harkins Theatre's Nazi-Style Checkpoint

September 11, 2010:  I thought I'd go enjoy a new movie with my family tonight at Harkins Theatres.  We decided to go to the North Phoenix "Norterra" location off of the I-17 and Happy Valley Road.  The movie- Resident Evil, rated R.  Typically, I've never been hassled for seeing a rated R movie.  Every movie theatre I've gone to, I've simply bought my ticket, had the ticket torn, and allowed to walk freely into the the screen room.  However, tonight at this particular Harkins, they denied me entrance into the screen room unless I provided my driver's license. 
The employee stuck out his hand motioning me to stop in front of him just as I was about to enter and told me I was not allowed in unless I show him my driver's license.  I asked him, "What for?  I bought my ticket," and showed him the stub.  "Anybody that looks 25 or under must show their ID," said the employee.  This upset me greatly, for I had already purchased my ticket at the window, and no one asked for my ID then.  The mindless zombie-thug (AKA Hitler Youth) still demanded my ID. 
Being that my family was waiting for me inside the movie theatre, I just wanted to get it over with.  Harkins already had my money, and I figured for the sake of not scaring my family that I just suck it up and take it and show him my ID like I'm at some Nazi checkpoint or being abused by Border Patrol. 
There is no law that prevents 17-year-olds or younger from seeing R-rated movies.  These are internal movie industry policies.  What's more important to realize, is that after conducting a transaction where a deal has been made, my money for their movie access, they want to subject me to policies that they were not upfront about.  All of this Nazi checkpoint stuff should have been completed before I made the purchase of the ticket so I would have a choice of whether or not I would submit to their policy. 

The movie was okay, but it would have been better if I wasn't upset about this Nazi checkpoint tactic.  The guy reminded me of TSA at the airport.  After I got home from the movie, I called the manager, Ian, who told me that they've been doing this for quite some time.  I told him that it felt like a Nazi checkpoint, at which he said that the movie theatre didn't give much thought to people who complain about their policies.  I definitely won't be going back to that theatre in the future.  At least there are other movie theatres I can go to that won't make me feel like I'm at a checkpoint in the airport. 

10 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Hempstead
Entered on:

 As if the Nazi camp ist not enuf, da cell you de gift cardz unt take ze money for non use, da bastards.

Comment by Jack Ryan
Entered on:

I understand what his point was, he is mad that he had his ID checked at the theatre entrance instead of the box office. Right how dare they want to make sure that he was old enough to have that ticket. Like I said before the guy at the door did not see him buy the ticket. How is he supposed to know that he did not obtain it through other means. And who knows how old this guy looks? Maybe the ticket seller thought he looked old enough and the kid at the entrance thought otherwise. And if he never wants to go back to that theatre I say it is really no big loss to them. What I am not ok with is him comparing this company that wants nothing more than to provide it's guests with a movie free from kids and others sneaking in to NAZI'S. Now I may not be a huge history buff, but I do know what the Nazi's did, as I think everyone does. Now I will admit that if Harkins is going around slaughtering millions of Jews than I will deffinatley be the first to sign up for that boycott. If not ( which they arnt) than they can look at the birthdate on the card that I got to show my identity. ( what an crazy use for that card anyway huh)

Comment by Joe Tittiger
Entered on:

If anyone sounds remotely insane it's Jack.   Either he has not studied history or has not learned much from doing so.

The author did the rational and sane thing in that he is going to vote with his feet. 

 Now if you wanted to see something insane it would be the scene from hell that I would have created if they tried that on me!  The key issue here  is that this demand was made after the purchase of the ticket. 

I suppose that there are sheep in this country that would let the ticket taker grope their groin, take off their shoes, and feel up their wife to insure they were not smuggleing in food. You do get the tyranny that you are willing to tolerate.

Comment by Jack Ryan
Entered on:

     This guy literaly sounds insane. So what if they wanted to see your ID to make sure that you were old enough to have that ticket see an R rated movie. I am pretty sure that guy did not see you buy it, how does he know that you were not just passed that ticket by someone else? I am sure that if they did not do this and just let everyone buy tickets and go in you would complain about that. I for one think it is a great service because it keeps out all of the annoying youth who normally ruin my movies. And you can hardly call these Nazi checkpoints with all of your great pictures of Nazis stopping Jews. I am pretty sure that if you did not show the guy your ID he would not have shot you in the head and burned your body. The policies are obviously in place for a reason.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

I talked with a employee at AMC Theaters as well.  They have a big sign saying they card under 25 too.  This started 3-4 months ago.  Clearly a corporate memo in response to a national push... I'm sure the federal hand is at the end of the leash.

Comment by Morpheus Titania
Entered on:

boycott the theater.  Dont' bother to be a- mused by the crap the hollywood produces.

muse - to think

A before a word negates the meaning of the word

a - muse = to not think


Comment by Terry Major
Entered on:

Powell - You smell Sheriff Joe... Now that thought makes me ponder!

Not doing business with those that abuse is the best message... I attempt to avoid Fry's Electronics due to the "Unarmed Victim Zone" sign... Harkin's is on my list now too!

Comment by Brock Lorber
Entered on:

ZOMG!  There're Nazi checkpoints at every restaurant, bar, gas station, and smoke shop!

Won't somebody think of the children?

Comment by Chip Saunders
Entered on:

 I hope someone sent the link to this article to the corporate offices. :)

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

Hummmm, I smell Sheriff Joe.

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