A Salmon Arm parent is shocked and disappointed after her 15-year-old daughter, an employee at the Salmar Grand, became the target of abuse from angry moviegoers.
Hanka Mosher said her daughter was taking tickets at the theatre Tuesday evening, June 4, after people in one of the cinemas had to be relocated due to a projector failure. In the process, another technical issue arose, this time with the ticketing system, resulting in an overselling of seats.
“Once she learned about the film cancellation, she had to pass that information onto people coming in,” explains Mosher in a Facebook post. “People became very upset and aggravated, cursing and calling her names (as if she caused that).”
Mosher said her daughter handled the escalating mob-like behaviour well until a “man leaned into her face (she is small) and yelled at her, calling her ‘f—king re—rd.’ That’s when she got upset.”
“And most upsetting to me is the fact that nobody stood up for her and defended her. I’m so disappointed in people! These were mainly adults. It was just a stupid movie!”
Mosher says the experience left her daughter traumatized.
Salmar Grand manager Daila Duford is equally disappointed with how things unfolded Tuesday, noting in her 21 years with the theatre she has seen a lot of technical glitches, but has never seen people turn the way they did.
“Unfortunately, when the one movie did oversell… before my supervisor could get over, one of my little 15-year old staff members was taking tickets and the crowd turned on her and were using very abusive language towards her and invading her personal space and just being very disrespectful to this young girl who was not responsible for the error at all,” said Duford. “Eventually, my supervisor, who is amazing, he got over there when he saw what was happening and took care of it, but the damage had been done.”
Duford said she was on the road when the projector issue arose at the theatre. She attempted to address the matter remotely and, while it appeared to have worked, a computer glitch affecting seating occurred.
“It was a horribly unfortunate instance, and I understand why people were disappointed, I understand why people would be frustrated they couldn’t get into their movie, but we did do everything we could in offering refunds, offering tickets to another movie or trying to rearrange people in different theatres…” said Duford. “We are extremely regretful this happened and we would do whatever we can to fix it, but we do ask our customers to show a level of maturity and respect towards our staff.
“And that any issues they do have, I’m more than happy to talk to people about their issues. All my information is on the Salmar website.”
Mosher hopes by making what happened public, those adults responsible for the abuse to her daughter will “realize how pathetic and hurtful their behaviour was.”
“These were adults behaving poorly and showing young people poor behaviour,” said Mosher. “Yet it’s often that generation that complains about today’s youth!”