As a way to reach out to an untapped market, movie theatres nationwide have implemented Mommy Matinees, times specifically geared toward socially isolated mothers with newborns. No longer the target of angry shushing, hurled Whoppers and complaints to theatre managers, new mothers can attend movies without being singled out. Mommy Matinees are incredibly lucrative as they allow exhausted women the freedom to escape with the latest Hollywood blockbuster, while enjoying the meditative calm that comes with a theatre full of colicky infants and the inescapable smell of talcum. Said Marcia L. of Bakersfield, CA, “I love it. I get to get my Channing Tatum on, eat a tub of popcorn and let the triplets scream their lungs out. I mean, they usually end up losing breath and passing out, so I just let ‘em do what they’re gonna do.”
With that in mind, the pioneers at AMC Theatres have begun designing matinees centered specifically around those customers that most other patrons simply despise.
“Everyone loves going to the movies,” says Andrew Patton, Customer Relations Manager for AMC, “but everyone is different. 90% of our customers prefer a quiet theatre. So, that leaves 10% whose needs aren’t being met. AMC’s new schedules will reflect the needs of both the 90 and the 10%. Starting this summer, we will be beta testing several new matinees.
“Body Issue Monday will begin testing in Lubbock, TX. BIM’s allow overweight spinsters and the self-loathing lonely hearts to come together and hurl insults at Kristen Stewart for being too thin. ‘Real women have curves, you little bitch!’, ‘Eat a %#$@ cheeseburger, you *&$%-ing @%$#!’ and ‘Your man’s gonna cut himself on that bony ass!’ can now be yelled freely without the repercussion of being asked to leave.
“Turn It Up Tuesday is proving wildly popular throughout Florida. Turn It Up Tuesday is perfect for our patrons who can’t admit to themselves that they’re losing their hearing and insist that the actors are mumbling. While we can’t fix the individual moviegoer’s hearing, we do provide some wonderful perks. For example, spouses who are forced to repeat all of the movie’s dialogue slowly, loudly and often more than once get in for half price.
“Paranoid Wednesday has been designed with our schizophrenic customers in mind, specifically those that are positive the film’s dialogue, no matter how innocuous, is directed at them. Since starting this in Fort Wayne, Paranoid Wednesday has not only attracted a large audience, a combination of the initially targeted mentally ill as well as the unexpected appeal to the chronically self-medicated, but it has also provided AMC with a lucrative recycling program. The large number of tin foil hats and notebooks filled with handwritten manifestos left behind each Wednesday has allowed the Fort Wayne theatre to apply for Certified Green Business status.
“Slurp and Crunch Thursday is perfect for open-mouthed chewers who enjoy shoveling peanut butter cups without pause, slurping nacho cheese drippings off the front of their shirt or sucking up the last of the melted ice and soda sludge from the bottom of their individual 72oz cup. To many, a theatre full of belching, slurping and labored breathing can be seen as crude and insufferable. To AMC, those sounds mean a happy Thursday.
“Let’s Be Friends Friday is ideal for couples where one of them wants to break it off with the other and chooses a public venue for fear of the other person making a scene. Out of respect for the one being dumped, we only schedule films where either a cherished pet or doting grandparent dies. This allows the tears and sorrow-induced profanity to pour out without the dumpee looking out of place. The way we at AMC see it, it’s bad enough these poor schmucks will be feeling dejected, unloved, ugly, worthless and incapable of ever meeting someone else, they don’t need to feel self-conscious, too.”
When asked about other ideas, Mr. Patton said, “Well, in a few cities, we tried to include a show time for hoarders. Unfortunately, the theatres quickly fill up with cats, rotting food and Hummel figurines, so we’ve got some kinks to figure out.”
Andrew Patton hopes AMC’s ever-changing schedule will make the theatre a destination for everyone. “We’re constantly testing out new ideas to appeal to our diverse audience. We know there are a lot of freaks and weirdos out there and we hope every one of those nut jobs can find a home, for at least a few hours a week, at an AMC theatre.”