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a question for those who felt mistreated at a HAIRSPRAY screening

Marc Shaiman Profile Photo
Marc Shaiman
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/23/04
Hi, Marc "Hairspray" Shaiman here

I'm horrified to hear of so many terrible experiences. Although I suppose it is obvious that when you go to a free screening you are taking your chances that more people than a theatre sits might show up, there is no excuse for rudeness.

If you can think of a realistic way that New Line or Evite could "make it up" to you, write it here, and I will CERTAINLY pass it along.

And if someone can give me the exact wording on either the ticket or a link to the website so that I can see with my own eyes that it didn't say anything about "depending on availability of seats" or something like that, I would appreciate it.

I went to the Premiere in NYC last night and basically lived a fantasy. I am truly sorry that anyone out there went to the movie last night and had the opposite experience.


Updated On: 7/17/07 at 07:18 AM
courtnyj Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/1/06
Here's the link:

Basically there wasn't a public screening yesterday so the evite passes were all invalid. The only screening was a private screening for hair salon owners.

My questions to the theater managment: Why did you let people stand in line for hours if there was no public screening? And why call the cops to disperse the crowd?

Apparently when similar problems occurred at screenings in other cities, the theater(s) issued free passes to other movies. The theater here in New York made no such offer, they just told us to file complaints with New Line. Of course I would rather have seen Hairspray than get a pass for some other movie...

ETA: There were people in line with passes for a 7:30pm showing from radio stations and the like and they were turned away too. Just wanted to add that it wasn't just bogus evites that were deemed invaild.

Updated On: 7/17/07 at 07:29 AM
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/10/05
How about an explanation from New Line about why this happened? It wasn't at one location, it was nationwide. A total waste of people's time and some very rude behavior on behalf of the New Line and AMC staff.


I arrived at 4:10 for the 7:30 screening with the pass I got from New Line/Evite. I was near the front of the line. At 6:30, the New Line person came and weeded out people with a pass that read 7:00 screening from some hair products company. They said that there would be 2 screenings. One at 7, and one at 7:30. I did not believe it because the sign at the front of the line indicated only one showing in auditorium 10, at 7:30. (There was no indication of any 7 pm show.) Only the people with the hair products passes for 7 got in along with very few from the 7:30 group )the first 25 or 30 in the line). The rest of us were told that there was no more room. When I confronted the AMC staff and promoters, they finally admitted that there was a mistake and there would only be one showing and the people with the hair products pass were given preference, even though they had not waited in line as long as some of us. I am so ticked off that I wasted hours there for nothing. The AMC management went into hiding as did the promoter. Some of us refused to leave and we were finally given passes to go to an AMC for future films. This fiasco was very poorly managed. I see the same thing happened in NY as well.
"I've lost everything! Luis, Marty, my baby with Chris, Chris himself, James. All I ever wanted was love." --Sheridan Crane "Passions" ------- "Housework is like bad sex. Every time I do it, I swear I'll never do it again til the next time company comes."--"Lulu" from "Can't Stop The Music" ----- "When the right doors didn't open for him, he went through the wrong ones" - "Sweet Bird of Youth" ------------ --------- "Passions" is uncancelled! See for more info.
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/20/04
Yeah, that was pretty much it. The e-Vite (??) passes were invalid, the only passes honored were those sent out by New Line (to the Sebastain salon people).

I figured I wouldn't have gotten in anyway (given that I was by the bank down the block), but they, at thehe Lowes by Lincoln Center, didn't have anyone "offical" going around saying what's what. I heard it from other people who left (at 6-ish), so I left right after them. Patience isn't one of my strong suits, so why bother wasting more time for word that probably wouldn't have come for another hour?

The disclaimer that was on the ticket can be found on the bottom of that eVite link. Technically, New Line's hands are tied, considering the part that reads "New Line has the right to revoke admission to the theater..."

Either way, no worries, Marc. I was home in time to watch Big Love, so all's well that ends well. Kudos on the good reviews.

ETA: But I'll gladly take a free copy of the album to make up for my troubles. re: a question for those who felt mistreated at a HAIRSPRAY screening
Updated On: 7/17/07 at 08:00 AM
incendiary_wit Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 1/22/05
I had the exact same experience down in Tampa. The salon passes were valid, anyone else's weren't. It was absolutely horrible. We waited for a full three hours. I went with a group of friends and not one of us got in, even though two of us were quite near the front.
I too just gave up. It's not your fault, Marc.

But I do second Yankeefanoo7's suggestion. =8->

1. Ted Allen: Everyone has an interesting life if you ask the right questions.
2. Great buckets of Spoffnor, they're going to sing!
3. "I love shrubs that are historical." -Johnny and The Sprites
4. "We're not singing it to you, we're singing it for us." -Rosario Dawson, about La Vie Boheme
5. "The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours." -The History Boys
6. "Pass the parcel. That's sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That's the game I want you to learn. Pass it on." -The History Boys
GYPSY1527 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/30/04
Well, my story is similar to what Jimmy said. My whole issue with the situation is that they obviously had prior knowledge about the invalid evite tickets and chose not to say anything until the last minute at 7pm. They could have easily issued some sort of statement to the email addresses signed up early that morning and avoided the whole situation.

I don't know of a realistic way for New Line to make it up because as others have said, their hands are technically tied with the statement.

Marc, thank you for your concern and inquiry. I appreciate it and I'm sure all those who experienced the mishap last night do as well.
Happy...Everything! Kaye Thompson
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/29/04
Sorry you guys had such problems but I have to ask, why on earth would anyone wait 3 hours to see a movie?!
courtnyj Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/1/06
Because it's Hairspray. And it was free. And you'd get to see the movie sooner rather than later.

I've waited in rush lines for more than three hours before.

But honestly, I didn't let the fact that I waited for hours and didn't get to see the movie really bother me. I was not willing to have that ruin my day, so I bought a ticket to Harry Potter and throughly enjoyed it. re: a question for those who felt mistreated at a HAIRSPRAY screening

Updated On: 7/17/07 at 08:55 AM
Leading Actor
Leading Actor | Joined: 8/1/03
My biggest thing was, why didn't they have people come to the back of the line and explain what was going on earlier. We waited and waited and then the line finally started moving as people dispersed after being told their tickets were invalid. Then I get to the front of the theater and the cops are telling us we have to leave. Meanwhile no reason was ever given.
I did feel bad for the one New Line rep who was there. It probably wasn't her fault and she had to deal with everyone yelling and screaming.
Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 6/15/03
I waited at the New York screening since 4:30ish, and was disgusted to find out there was no screening. What I thought was even more disgusting was two things: a) they did not tell anyone towards the back of the line, and b) they sent one rep out from New Line to take all the heat. The overall experience was appauling considering that AMC management and New Line knew that those tickets were not valid, and neglected to tell those who had been on line for up to three hours. The reason why I got so upset is I came with a group of 12 people from Long Island for the sole purpose of this screening, and the commute was expensive. In addition, to attend this screening, I sold my Spring Awakening on-stage ticket for that night; therefore, I was left with nothing to do, and the cost of the commute was a waste. I realize it is not the movie's fault, but I had plans to see the movie on Friday for the 1st five showings; however, I might just cancel those plans because this experience has disgusted me. I honestly don't have a suggestion because if this problem affected all of the cities offered, there is honestly nothing realistic that can be done because I'm sure the studio will view it as "too expensive."
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
The bottom line is that people don't like to be jerked around. We came out and waited in line because we were excited about the movie and at the chance to see it before it officially opened.

As is the case with any customer service oriented interaction, people like to be treated with respect. In situations like this where there had been a major misstep, people appreciate when management is up front and honest with them from the start, so that nobody's time is wasted, people have time to clear out, and they’re not left in the dust with questions and no one to answer them but a handful of cops.

We were given misinformation, and when we continued to wait in line based on that misinformation, we were tossed out like they didn't know what we were talking about and we were wasting their time, when essentially they had just wasted ours.

I can’t imagine anything that can be done now, but I appreciate your acknowledging the situation, Marc.
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/20/03
"Hi, Marc "Hairspray" Shaiman here"

Wow, a lifetime of work cast down with a two syllable word.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Corine2 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/14/03
I hope to see it this Friday. Hope I can get in.
I wanted Vilanch but I love the show.
Congrats to Marc! Love him. Just wanted Vilanch and Harvey in this film.
I also wanted Matt Morrison, Chester, Jackie Hoffman and Mary Bond Davis.
I still plan on seeing it this Friday if I can purchase a ticket.
Understudy | Joined: 9/3/06
Last Tuesday in Hollywood, Florida there was a 7:30 pm screening. People started lining up at 5:15 pm .Just before the theatre began letting people in representatives from New Line Cinema escorted their own group in before those waiting in line. In addition, these people were given all the mechandise handouts.

Updated On: 7/17/07 at 10:10 AM
Elphie4ever Profile Photo
Featured Actor
Featured Actor | Joined: 3/18/07
ok i am so pissed about yesterday. I got to the lincoln center at 4:00. I wasn't that far from being in the front of the line right after the garage. Tell me how I stood there for 3 freaking hours with my aunt next to me and four friends in front of me. Then a bastard comes up and says that oh this is only for a special screening with a yellow ticket for salon owners. Seriously, I was like WTF I stood in line for so long for no reason and these idiots didn't know about another screening.

Jeeze, someone go to the today show with me when the Hairspray cast performs or watever. Please join me someone has to stand up because I wasted my free time standing in line to watch Hairspray. Its either bootleg or these guys better make it up. I am MAD
best12bars Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/29/05
The fine print on the Evite pass says it doesn't guarantee admission, BUT...

It also says that "Theatre seating is limited to theatre capacity, and is on a first-come, first-serve basis."

Clearly, that was not true for any of the people who were there.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star | Joined: 5/9/05
I did get to see the screening yesterday in Michigan as it was a part of a Health Magazine "Girls Night Out". I loved it for the most part (We're all critics). Great Job!! MY only complaint, about the screening, was that for "security purposes" they had to 'wand' us all to make sure were weren't bringing in any recording equipment (which is fine) BUT... anyone with a Camera Phone was told they had to take it back to their car. Who doesn't have a Camera Phone? Almost everyone had to return to their cars. This woud have been fine IF we were told in advance. The people screening patrons for recording equipment were very RUDE! They acted as if everyone should have known better. The screening started a 45 minutes late due to the fact that Parking structures are very far away. I returned 3 cell phones to my car for my group (because I'm the fastest) and when I returned, the staff asked me if I had a cell phone, to which I replied "Not anymore". Then I proceeded to stand their whilst they talked to each other. "What do I do next?", I asked. "Oh haven't you been in yet?" "No", I replied. "Oh then when need to wand you!" I could've gotten through after all with no problem. So, Glad they were doing their jobs. *sarcasm*
"It's like children's theatre for 40-year old gay people!" - XANADU THE MUSICAL
best12bars Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/29/05
Why would anyone bring a cell phone into a movie theatre? I wish they would do that at EVERY movie theatre for every showing.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
finebydesign Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/17/07
What was the purpose of the Evite? It seems to me they collected quite a bit of data just to find some seat fillers for the "legit" passes. Data mining is sketchy at best, what is that information being used for anyway?

Was this some kind of a publicity stunt? Whoever was monitoring that Evite should have known all the passes were being used; I think it even stopped allowing entries. That must have blipped on somebody’s radar.

The NYC line was forming quite early and it should have been clear to someone something was up. That business of “oh we didn’t know” just does not fly.

I think it was COWARDLY of New Line to send out that woman into a crowd of a few hundred. She should be promoted immediately for dealing with the entire ordeal and not flinching. I bet her boss was hiding upstairs e-mailing tyrannical things on his/her blackberry. Where was her back-up? Why didn't AMC bring out the megaphone? Instead call the cops like we were common criminals. That is pathetic.

This certainly isn’t the first time at the rodeo for New Line or AMC. Normally when something like this occurs, communication is probably the best thing to do. They also have what are called “Emergency Passes” which can be handed out in the event of an emergency. That is normal theater protocol. These passes can be used for most future films. At the very least people could have seen Harry Potter (also Time Warner) or something else last night. The movie theatre would still make its concession stand per cap.

I saw one family ahead in line with some children and they were celebrating a birthday. That was the birthday, and it was ruined.

What can New Line do? Well for starters an immediate public apology would be nice for the crowds and for that New Line employee. It’s a real shame you guys missed the boat on this one, this film needs the positive buzz to tackle summer blockbusters.

Updated On: 7/17/07 at 10:35 AM
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/27/05
I saw one family ahead in line with some children and they were celebrating a birthday. That was the birthday, and it was ruined.

Maybe they should have loosened the purse strings a little bit for the birthday celebration.
"How do you like THAT 'misanthropic panache,' Mr. Goldstone?" - PalJoey
RobbO Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/16/03
emergency passes are a theater thing and as the theater management stated it was a new line screw-up not the theater. oh, and man that's a cheap ass family. spring for a buck or two and buy the kid something next time!
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/27/05
Oh, and welcome!
"How do you like THAT 'misanthropic panache,' Mr. Goldstone?" - PalJoey
fxy2003cmu Profile Photo
Stand-by | Joined: 2/8/06
I really appreciate the fact that you are concerned over what happened. I don't know that there is anything that anyone at New Line can do, but they do have all our information. I emailed someone over there hoping that they would at least be able to explain what happened but I don't expect much. The event was poorly run in my area and I felt personally like I did something wrong when all I did was show up with my pass. The worst part was that we had two younger girls with us who were really excited to see "Hairspray 2" as they call it (they don't understand that there can be different versions of things) and they had to be disappointed. We'll all still see the movie and I expect it to be fantastic, but it was not a good experience. Thanks for your concern though!

Ashley from MI
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Wanna Be A Foster
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/9/05
Notice how Marc's one response to the thread he started has been deleted, along with the unrelated question that his one response was in regards to. What was the purpose of starting this thread?
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/18/03
All we were "offered" was a changce to be notified of future screenings from new Line to deal with the same thing. No one wanted to take responsibility for what happeed or deal with people. They called the police to get people away almost imediately.
There was nothing said to anyone about this being a private event at any point until after the people showed up and went in.
We were told nothing.
When things first started playing out, we were told that we needed a yellow ticket. Nothing more. We were never told who had them or how to get them or why.
We then had several employees talk about one screening and several talking about two. The ones mentioning two screenings said to stay online for the "7:30" screening.
Next we were told that our passes were invalid. We were even told that we never should have had them to begin with.
It was even more insulting when they asked for email addys. They already had them.. for everyone. The girl said she'd put together amailing database for future screenings of this type. THERE ALREADY WAS ON WITH ALL OF US.
But the nerve to send out one man and one woman, have them speak to JUST the group at the front, and then call the police and have us threatened with arrest?!?!