For as long as San Diego Reader film writer Scott Marks can remember, he has been running into about.com colleague Rebecca Murray at the Starbucks next door to the AMC Fashion Valley 18 before morning press screenings. They each get their cup of java and head to the auditorium, ready to be entertained.
But today, as Marks so hilariously recounts, it was a different story:
There is Becky, seated on a bench in the lobby, surrounded by long-faced colleagues all looking as if they had just lost their best friends. Staring up at me with Marc Anthony-eyes she softly growls, “They won’t let us bring our coffee into the theatre.”
Since when? The black-shirted ticket-taker stands firm insisting, “It is AMC’s policy not to allow guests to bring in outside food or beverage.” We’re not guests, we’re film critics, strange visitors from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities to get into movies for free.
Altough Marks was able to intercede with help from an old cinema employee friend and get his coffee-wielding pals in the door, he arrived home to an AMC voicemail confirming this new no-coffee press screenings policy. He says he’d only be too happy to buy coffee from the concession, if it were open, and pleads at the end of the article for AMC to not let their acronym double for “A Mocha Controversy.”
*Update – 04/06/12: Per a Marks follow-up post, a perfectly acceptable compromise has been reached with AMC. Essentially, the no-Starbucks policy will only be enforced when the concession stand is open for business.