When Ohio man Jason Best learned that his local movie theater was one of 300 cinemas participating in a limited release of Seth Rogan’s new film “The Interview,” he saw dollar signs flash before his eyes like a slab of steak to a ravenous beast.
WCPO in Cincinnati reports that Best had the “ingenious” idea of of purchasing tickets in bulk to sell to the public at an inflated price.
Best purchased 50 tickets to this special event at $13 per ticket, for a grand total of $650, in hopes of cashing in on the recent controversy.
I saw all the hype about ‘The Interview’ on the 23rd and thought, ‘hey, folks are selling these tickets in other cities and it seems like that’s the thing to do right now so why not give it a shot so see how it goes.’
He was sorely mistaken. On Christmas Eve, Sony released “The Interview” for purchase or rent through streaming services such as YouTube and Hulu. Priced at just $7 to rent and $15 to purchase—prices far more reasonable than the $13 theater screening price, people were not exactly lining up at Best’s door to get tickets. This was a major blow to the would-be scalper, who found himself sitting on 50 worthless tickets.
Best’s next step was to try to get a refund for his tickets, but he was met with only more heartache when his refund requests were denied by the theater.
I thought I’d get my money back because the theater’s website ‘very clearly’ said the tickets were refundable.
I was never once told by anyone at the theater, that the showing of the movie was a ‘special event.’ Especially since any theater was able to show the film, and again, anyone with a cell phone could see it as well, for half the price.
The manager of the Esquire Theatre in Clifton states that this particular location doesn’t even have a website. Best actually bought “his” tickets on movietickets.com. According to the movietickets.com FAQ, refunds are only available at select theaters, and this particular theater does not issue refunds for special events. The manager went on to point out that scalping is illegal.
To show what good sports they are, the management of the Esquire did offer to donate the $650 to a charity. Shockingly, Best doesn’t care for that option, and is still pursuing a refund for the full amount.