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 THE VIEW FROM THE BOXOFFICE: ROXY Q&A

At the Roxy, we get a lot of questions. We've answered many of the most
frequent ones on this page. Be sure to read our older
questions to learn a lot of interesting facts about
the Roxy and the movie business in general.

If you have a question to submit,
click here to ask.

OTHER Q&As:  2003   2004

 

 

Q. Since the movies are digital, can you take them home and watch them?

A. No.  The movies arrive on hard drives which are a different format from the ones used in home computers.  The movie is in a format that can't be played on home computers without special software, and on top of that the movie is encrypted and will only play on the specific projector it is licensed for.


Q. Why are you so insistent about turning off cell phones in the theatre?  Some people need to check their messages or take emergency calls.

A. We are insistent about turning off cell phones for one reason only: They disturb the movie experience for others. When you turn on your phone, even if it's only for a few seconds to check the time, the bright light disturbs everyone in your row and behind you -- including the balcony. And if you take, or make, a call, the talking and ringing is even more disruptive. This disturbance is enough to "break the spell" of the movie and ruin it for everyone around you. And if people have their movie ruined, they might decide not to go out to movies anymore...so now your phone call is trampling on our livelihood.  If you are "on call" for your job, or if you're a doctor, or if there is a genuine life-or-death situation during which you could get a call at any moment, then feel free leave your phone on. But if you are just out for an enjoyable evening, why not "check out" of reality for two hours and turn your phone off?  Keep this in mind:  You got along just fine before there were cell phones, and you will survive the movie without your phone. Trust us.  While we're on the subject, please read the next question.


Q. I need to keep my cell phone on because I might get an emergency call from my babysitter, but I don't want to disturb the other people in the theatre.  Is there any way I can have it both ways?

A. Yes.  If you bring your phone to the theatre, you can leave it in the office with us and inform us where you're sitting. If your phone rings, we'll come and get you.  Another solution: You can give your babysitter the theatre's phone number (346-ROXY, or 346-7699) and we'll take the call for you and deliver the message to you, or call you to the lobby phone.  (This second method worked for at least 70 years before cell phones became popular, and it still works today.)


Q. If I decide not to stay for the movie after it starts, is there any way I can get a refund or a pass to come back another time?

A. If the feature has been on for less than 30 minutes, we can give you a pass for a future show.  We don't generally give cash refunds because once your ticket has been entered into our computer, we're obligated to pay the film company for your ticket.

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Q. Can I hang a political poster in the Roxy window (or inside)?

A. Sorry, we do not display political posters -- or any posters, for that matter, other than our own posters. We made a decision long ago that, in the interest of pleasing as many people as possible, it would be better not to hang anybody's posters, thereby treating everyone equally.


Q. I noticed a certain poster hanging in the theatre, and now it's gone. Does that mean the Roxy won't play that movie after all?

A. Maybe, but not definitely. You should look around the lobby and see if the poster was just moved. We place posters appealing to adults in the balcony stairway; posters appealing to women go in the ladies restroom lounge; and our lighted poster case in the lobby is usually devoted to a movie we feel might be an upcoming "event picture."  Miscellaneous posters go in the hallways leading to the auditorium, and the next two movies we're expecting to play are advertised in our outside display windows. 


Q. I notice that many of the movie posters have a piece of "black tape" covering something on the bottom.  What's being covered up?

A. We cover the movie's release date, if we're not planning to play the movie on its national break. We do this mainly to avoid confusion. However, we don't always cover the date; if the date is exceptionally large on the poster, or if it would ruin the looks of the poster to cover it (such as if the date is right in the middle, etc.), we'll leave it showing. The best source of information on when we're playing movies is our website and our Facebook page.


Q. Why don't all the movie posters have the movie ratings on them?

A. Movie posters are printed months in advance of the movie's release date, and at least one or two versions of the poster are usually released before the film is finished.  Therefore, the rating has not been assigned yet.  In that case, you'll see a notation "This film has not yet been rated."  Film companies are supposed to send out "rated" posters to replace the "unrated" ones, but they don't always do that, so we don't always have the "rated" poster to display when we play the movie. However, the ratings are always noted in all our advertising, and on our website, marquee and phone message.


Q. Can I have the movie posters after the movie ends?

A. Unfortunately, we are usually forbidden by our contracts with the studios to give most posters away. There are places online where you can buy posters, such as www.moviegoods.com or www.allposters.com.  You can expect to pay around $15 per poster at these sites.

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Q. Why does the Roxy hire only honor students?

A.  This is a rumor that pops up from time to time. There have been many Roxy employees over the years who were not honor students. However, it's possible that the type of people we are impressed with in interviews are just brighter by nature, so they just tend to be honor students more often than not. Be that as it may, we hire strictly on the basis of whether we think you'll be good for the job, not on your grades.  (In fact, we have no way of knowing your grades unless you tell us!)


Q. Has the Roxy ever shown an "NC-17" movie?

A. No, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't show one if it became popular.  We bring in movies that we think will draw a good crowd, regardless of whether we like the movie or not.  If an NC-17 film was a hit, and we thought it would do well for us, we'd bring it in. As it is, no NC-17 film has ever become a hit, so we haven't had to worry about it. (Note: An "NC-17" film is one that has been rated as a patently adult film, and no one under 17 is admitted to it.)


Q. Does the Roxy play its sound louder for some movies than for others?

A. Not really. We adjust our volume level for each movie until the dialogue sounds "normal" and then the rest of the sound takes care of itself. If you're watching an action film, it'll probably seem louder because it's full of explosions and car crashes and such, where a romantic comedy-type movie consists mostly of softer dialogue scenes and will seem softer overall. Once we determine the right level for each movie, it's played at that same volume for its entire run.


Q. Can the Roxy be rented for private parties?

A. Yes.  We charge a $50 fee for a private showing, and you must buy a minimum of 15 tickets of any price category.  Each person coming in to your get-together must have an appropriate ticket. If you have extra tickets left over, you can give them to anyone you like or keep them for your own future use; they're good for any show.  If you want a private show for a large group (50 or more people), we can usually negotiate a lower ticket price and/or waive the $50 fee.  We can also work out deals on concession items for you. Give us a call or e-mail us for more information.


Q. I bought a large soda and spilled it. Can I get it refilled for free?

A.  No, but you can get it refilled at our standard refill price, which is about half the price of a new soda. If you don't want to re-use the same cup, we will charge you the regular price. Please keep in mind that if you spill a drink, we have to pay someone to mop the floor, so we can't give free replacements for spilled drinks. 

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Q. I would like to see the movie, but not the previews.  How long past the show time should I arrive?

A. The running time of our previews (known in the industry as "trailers") varies with the movie.  The running time of the trailers generally varies from seven to 13 minutes.  Please keep in mind, though, that if you arrive late, you might not be able to sit where you want to; you may miss the very beginning of the movie (which often contains important plot points or character development), and most importantly, you will disrupt the experience for the people who were considerate enough to arrive on time.


Q. I prefer to not watch the trailers.  After I've picked a seat, is it OK if I stand outside or in the lobby while the trailers are playing? And will someone let me know when the film itself is starting?

A. Yes, you can stand outside or in the lobby during the trailers.  And yes, if you stay in the outer lobby where we can see you from the office, we'll be glad to let you know when the feature is about to start. (If you exit the building, you're on your own, however.) In all cases, be sure to hang onto your ticket stub.


Q. Sometimes the movie starts late. Why is this?

A.  If we have an unexpectedly large crowd, we try to wait until all the people who were "on time" (the people who arrived at or before the scheduled showtime) for the movie are through the concession area before we start the show.


Q. I lost my Student Card.  Can I get another one, and can I get my stamps replaced on it?

A. We can give you a new card, but unfortunately we cannot replace the stamps on the card.  The exception to this is if your card was "washed" by accident in the washing machine. If you can bring in the pieces of the card and we can see how many stamps you had, we can replace the card and the stamps.

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Q. Is it possible to run the movie backwards?

A. No, our projector runs forward only.


Q. Is it true you have to be female to work at the Roxy?

A. No, that's not true; just ask Scott Lee, Stuart Deering, Tim Anderson, Derek Livermont, Dylan Klapmeier, Spencer Turner, TJ Rhodes, Logan Kuntz, Paul Johnstone, Cade Johnstone, Logan Martens, or Andrew Buck. They've all worked at the Roxy over the past few years. It is true that we usually have more girls than boys on our staff, but that's just because we usually tend to get more female applicants.

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Q. I heard that the film companies get a percentage of the profits from the concession stand.  Is this true?

A. No, this is one of those urban legends that refuses to die. The theatre gets to keep whatever profits it makes at the concession stand. The film company gets up to 70% of your ticket money, but none of your popcorn money.


Q. Are old movie posters worth a lot of money?

A. Some are. If you can lay your hands on an original poster from a classic film like "Casablanca" or "Gone With The Wind," it's probably worth some bucks if it's in pristine condition. But the vast majority of old posters aren't worth more than maybe $10 to $20, and then only to collectors. The idea of getting rich on old movie posters is greatly exaggerated in most cases.


Q. If I call ahead, can I reserve some seats for the movie?

A. We do not sell advance or reserved seats. In general, if you arrive around 15 minutes before showtime you'll be able to get good seats. In the case of a major hit movie, or during opening weekend of a brand new movie, it's probably wise to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before showtime.

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Q. In my "home theatre," I hear the surround sound more than I do at the Roxy. Why?

A. It's probably because the Roxy's sound system is tuned better than your home system is. There is no rule saying that there must be sound coming from the surrounds at all times -- in fact, unless there is music playing or an action scene happening, the surrounds can be silent most of the time on some films. Also, at home your ears are much closer to the surrounds than they are at a movie theatre, so you may perceive those sounds more at home. Ideally, though, the sound should be natural enough that you don't notice exactly where it's coming from. It should simply fill the room with sound. At the Roxy, you're probably hearing the surrounds more than you think you are, but since they're seamlessly blended with the stage speakers, you don't pick them out of the mix as easily. (This is a good thing, not a bad thing.)


Q. In the Looney Tunes cartoons, is Tweety Bird a male or female?

A. Tweety is a male. Here are a few other interesting facts about Tweety and his arch-rival, Sylvester the cat:  Tweety's full name is simply "Tweety," not "Tweety Bird" or "Tweety Pie" as many people think.  ("Tweety Pie" was the name of one of his cartoons.) Tweety was originally pink in color and was originally supposed to be a baby bird, but after only one cartoon he was changed to a canary with yellow feathers. The correct spelling of his most famous phrase is "I tawt I taw a puddy tat." Sylvester the Cat's original name was Thomas. Sylvester and Tweety were both voiced by Mel Blanc, who also did the voices for most of the other Looney Tunes characters; but Granny (the nice old lady who owns Tweety in many cartoons) was voiced by June Foray, who also did the voice of Betty Rubble (of the Flintstones) and Rocky the squirrel (of the Bullwinkle cartoons).


Q. How does a person apply to work at the Roxy? Is there an application online?

A.  Applying to work at the Roxy is easy, but you can't do it online. You need to stop by the boxoffice and pick up an application. Once you have submitted an application, we will call you in for an interview if we think you might fit into our crew. Please note that, by law, you must be at least 15 years old to work at the Roxy. Here are a few hints that might help you get an interview with us: When you come to pick up your application, don't come while we're selling tickets. Wait till after the show has started. (And don't come to Carquest for an application; although Mike does work there, he doesn't have applications there.) Dress nicely; come by yourself (no friends, siblings, parents or current Roxy workers); fill out your application yourself in your own neat handwriting (or type it); and bring your application back promptly and in person (don't send it with somebody else or mail it). Finally, please note that if you have any piercings in your nose, chin, tongue or eyebrows, or if you wear excessive or outlandish makeup or have strangely colored hair, or if you have any visible tattoos of any type, we might still hire you, but your chances are reduced. If you have piercings in your lips, there is very little chance we'll hire you. 

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Q. Why can't the doors open sooner? I would like to see them open at least 30 minutes before the movie so I can be sure of getting a good seat.

A. Our doors usually open about 15 minutes before the first showtime because that's most efficient for us. If we opened any sooner, our employees would have to arrive sooner to get things ready for the evening -- and most times, people don't start coming in the door until around 15 minutes before showtime. If we expect a large crowd -- say on the opening night of a new popular movie -- we will often open up to 30 minutes before showtime.


Q. Can I buy advance tickets?

A. At this time we don't sell advance tickets, however this is something we are considering for the future.


Q. I have a bet with a friend about the Looney Tunes cartoons. He says that Wile E. Coyote never talks. I say he does. Who is right?

A. You are. Wile E. does talk, but he doesn't say much. He only speaks one word ("Ouch") in all of the four-dozen cartoons he starred in with the Road Runner. When he's not being outsmarted by his feathered friend, the Coyote is more vocal: He made a couple of cartoons with Bugs Bunny, and in those cartoons he speaks with a distinguished voice. ("Permit me to introduce myself....my name is Coyote. Wile E. Coyote...genius.")  Here's an interesting fact: Wile E.'s name is never revealed in the Road Runner cartoons, only in the ones with Bugs Bunny.

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Q. Do you have a "home theatre" in your house?

A. No. We have a flat screen and a blu-ray player, but no fancy audio setup...we have all our best equipment in the Roxy!


Q. I am so mad!  I drove all the way to town because I thought you were having a 9:00 show and when I got there, I found out you only had one at 7:30.  Why don't you have late shows on weeknights?

A. We're sorry you drove in for nothing, but we have tried to make it as easy as possible for you to confirm our showtimes before you leave home.  You can call us any time; you can check our website; or you can look in your local newspaper...we advertise weekly in the the Independent Press.  We don't have late shows on weeknights because the attendance wouldn't be worth the cost.  Even on weekends, our late show usually has less than 15 or 20 people unless the movie is unusually popular, and on weeknights, crowds of less than 25 people are common for our 7:30 show.


Q. I heard an ad for a movie on the radio, but when I got to the theatre a different movie was playing. Why?

A. You must have heard an ad for a different theatre. We don't advertise on any radio stations.

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Q. On Thursday, some friends and I came to the theatre but it was closed.  What's up with that?

A. The Roxy is usually closed on Thursday nights. We use this time to give our staff a night off, repair equipment, etc. Many small theatres in towns even bigger than Forsyth are only open on weekends!


Q. Why do I have to take a ticket stub when I go to the movie?

A. The ticket stub serves several purposes.  It is your receipt, so in case you have to leave the theatre you can get back in; and it helps us keep track of how many people are in the theatre for film rental purposes. We are required by our contracts with the film companies to give you a stub, but you can discard it after you come into the building if you want.


Q. I am new to Forsyth. Is your movie theatre air conditioned?

A.  Yes, we keep the temperature in the theatre between 72 and 75 degrees.  You may find that it's warmer in the concession area than in the auditorium, so you may wish to bring a sweater with you. Welcome to Forsyth, and we'll see you at the movies!

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Q. Are movies really coming out on video sooner than they used to?

A. The answer depends on the movie. Different movies come out at different times. Most of the big summer movies will be out on video in time for Christmas. A hit movie at another time of the year usually takes from four to six months to get to home video. A flop movie (which we usually don't play) will sometimes be out within a couple of months. In general, you can usually count on about a three to five month wait for any movie playing at the Roxy to arrive on home video - sometimes a little sooner for streaming services.

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Q. A friend told me that during a two-hour movie, there's only a picture on the screen for one hour. How can this be?

A. The moving picture you see on our screen is actually created by projecting a series of still pictures, one right after the other. The still pictures are projected at the rate of 24 per second.  During the transition from one frame to the next, the projector cuts off the light, making the screen go blank. So it's true -- the screen is actually completely blank for exactly one half of the time you're viewing a movie.  Why don't you see the blank spaces?  Actually, you do -- but due to a quality of your eyesight called "persistence of vision," the still pictures blend together and you see a continuous moving image. Since the advent of digital projection, the process of placing all those still pictures on the screen has changed but the effect is still the same.

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Q. I thought one of the previews shown during a recent movie was unsuitable for kids. Could you be more careful of what previews you show with certain movies that attract a lot of kids?

A. Believe us, we're very conscious of the previews we show at each film. We try to show previews for films we think the audience for the current feature might be interested in.  We also have a policy of showing only previews that are rating-appropriate for the feature being shown. We won't show a preview for a film that's rated more than one category away from the feature we're showing. Thus, you would never see a preview for an R-rated movie at a PG film; but you might see a preview for a PG-13 movie. After all these precautions, however, it's possible that a few images in a preview might be objectionable to some viewers.

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Q. Why do you keep changing the show times every week? Can't you be more consistent?

A. We'd love to have the same showtimes every week, but the running times of movies -- and our desire to meet the needs of our moviegoers -- cause us to make changes now and then. Here is a list of our policies regarding showtimes, which should enable you to make some sense out of what we do.

  • - If we're only playing one movie, it will show twice (usually at 7:00 and 9:00) on Friday and Saturday, and once at 7:30 during the other nights of the week. Exception: If the movie is exceptionally lengthy (130 minutes or more), we'll only play it once per night -- usually at 7:15.
  • - If we're playing two films, they generally will show at 7:00 and 9:00 each night.  However.....
  • - If the early show is one meant for very little kids, we might run it at 6:30 to accommodate those with early bedtimes.
  • - The late show starting time is based on the length of the early show. If we're running a 75-minute kiddie show at 7:00, we'd probably start the more adult-oriented late show at 8:30, rather than 9:00.   This way we don't have 45 minutes of "down time" between the shows.
  • - We always try to allow at least 10 minutes between shows, to enable us to clean the auditorium and generally get ready for the second show. However, if the late show is one that's geared for general audiences or teens, we'll make every effort to start it at 9:00 even if it makes the showtimes seem a bit "crammed" together. This way, the show gets out early enough that the kids and teenagers get home at a reasonable hour.

As you can tell, a great deal of thought goes into our show schedule each week. If you ever have any suggestions on how we could make our showtimes more convenient, please don't hesitate to let us know.

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