Favoring the ticket kiosk

posted by Michael Zoldessy on July 3, 2009 at 10:34 am

Christopher Campbell blogs about his love for the simple ticket kiosks and how they’re still overlooked often.

Expect long lines at your local box office this week thanks to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Public Enemies, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. But remember you can always avoid the long line at the ticket booth by buying your tickets at a ticket kiosk instead. No, you don’t have to have already purchased your tickets online. As long as you have a debit or credit card, you can just walk up to a kiosk and get your tickets easily and quickly. Plus, you avoid at least one impolite theater employee. Certainly this isn’t a new concept, and you’re probably reading this and wanting to comment with something like, “how is this news?”

But I find it surprising how many times I go to the theater and see people lined up down the block while the kiosks inside sit mostly unused. The lack of traffic to these ticket machines may have something to do with the fact that they’re so quick — those who use them are probably already in the theater, because it only took them a few seconds to get their movie ticket.

Read the full post at the Weekly Moviegoer.

Comments (11)

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on July 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

My next theater I open i will go to all ticket kiosks no boxoffice. T he concept would be put in 4 machines and have one person “help ” with all 4 .Like at the airport ,supermarket.

MPol on July 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Hmmmmm….I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the kiosk sounds like a much quicker method to get one’s tickets and to avoid waiting in long lines and risking not being able to get into a screening due to its being sold out. On the other hand, however, I don’t like the fact that there’s a pretty hefty service charged attached to it in addition to the price of the ticket.

Yet, there are times when I call the theatre or go pick up movie tickets at the theatre box office in advance, which also eliminates a good deal of stress.

bob1007 on July 3, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I prefer using the kiosk when I go to my local AMC due to the convenience and I use the box office at my local independent that doesn’t have a kiosk. I have never had to pay a “convenience” charge of any kind for a movie ticket and I don’t think I ever want to; that is just a way to nickle-and-dime the patrons. Personally, I think there is a need for both. Not everyone uses cards/debit such as children or folks who prefer to pay cash.

DonSolosan on July 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I prefer dealing with a real person rather than a machine.

John Fink
John Fink on July 4, 2009 at 12:32 am

AMC waives the charge for moviewatcher members but the service fee only is applied if you pre-purchase tickets online. You can still use the kiosks to buy tickets with a credit or gift card. I’ve seen some theater modify their lobbies accordingly – for example at Edgewater Multiplex the box office used to be right in front of you as you walked in, they moved it to the left side and now four automated machines stand in its place directly in front of the entrance. It’s not a bad way to beat the line or if your going to see a movie that for whatever reason your embarrassed about, but not all levels of discount pricing are sold at the automated machines (ie: student rate).

CSWalczak on July 4, 2009 at 7:17 am

The Vue Cinema at the O2 Arena in London has no box office; one either uses kiosks or buys tickets at refreshment counters. It would not surprise me (it may have already happened or is in the works in other places) if print-your-tickets-at-home becomes widely available eventually for movies as well as is already the case for events such as Broadway shows and other events through agencies as such as Ticketmaster, though the service fees are substantial.

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on July 5, 2009 at 12:00 am

Is it a stereotype that theatre workers are rude?

I think you can only be so polite when you deal with the number of people Box Office cashiers deal with, I mean when I have a very busy night I’m typically not focussing on being polite so much as working quickly through the line.

moviebuff82 on July 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Ticket Kiosks are pretty cool at my AMC, there are several around the outside of the AMC in Rockaway, and inside there are four or so ATM machines. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on July 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm

These machines (some) now take cash as well.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm

I don’t like to let other patrons on line know that they can easily buy tickets at a kiosk because then the kiosk lines will get as long as the box office lines. I prefer to keep it my little secret. And since the kiosks also accept the moviegoer cards (AMC, Regal and Clearview) I never miss out on any points or promos.

MPol on July 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Good move, saps!! Way to go!

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