Please MOVIE SCREENINGS ONLY!!!
It says it in the first post of the thread, and it's extremely valid in a thread of this size and where a large number of people re-visit via subscription updates. In the interest of making this thread as useful as possible, please post your general issues and FAQs here, so they can be answered once, in one place, for people in the future to read first.
With this area established, only the following will generally qualify as legitimate new posts to the thread:
* Specific movie screening information
* Notice of change to previously posted movie screenings, such as "all gone in Omaha"
* Offering your screening pass or additional seat up to the thread. However, please enable Private Messages, and accept responses through that channel.
* Notice to off-topic posters to refer to the first page of the thread to find answers to their questions. Note that if there is no applicable answer posted in the Quick Summary, you should write an answer before posting this message.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How early should I get there?
A: If it starts at 7:30, get there at 7 at the latest. Usually, they start seating people in line a few minutes before the listed start time, so if you arrived at the last minute, you'll have already missed the initial dash for seats, and will be picking from the bottom of the pile. Of course, this varies by screening -- sometimes the bottom of the pile means the last few higher or lower rows and sometimes it means the very front, strain your neck seats. (-VulcanMike)
Get there at least an hour prior to showtime on the ticket, they will start letting people in 30 minutes before showtime. You want to be at the front to get the best seats in the house, provided they aren't roped off. Otherwise, they'll release those seats right at showtime, and latecomers usually get a break... (-Microdvd)
Many passes indicate that it is recommended that you arrive at least one-hour before showtime. Some passes indicate and that if you arrive late, you will not be admitted. Also, see the next Q&A for additional info on this issue. (-CountryJuneBug)
I'd recommend arriving at least 75 minutes before, if you're attending a screening near Times Square for a top-budget film, especially if you want to sit with someone else. I arrived an hour before a screening this morning and was almost out of luck in terms of good seats. You can check your smartphone inside the theater. (-Imagine)
Q: How crowded are the screenings?
A: It depends on the popularity of the movie and the location. Sometimes the theatre may be only one-third or half full for the screening; this usually results from low-turn-out due to not enough public interest in the movie or inadequate promotion of the screening. Sometimes people get turned away because all the seats are full; this happens because they give out more passes than there are seats in order to try to ensure a full house. (-CountryJuneBug)
Sometimes, it also depend on which studio is behind the movie as well. In my experience, Sony is the worst one, often issued way more passes than capacity that they have, even when I show up 1.5 hours early. (YuGiOh)
Q: Can someone please post or private message location of tonight's [xyz] screening. Thanks!!
A: If there's a screening and you signed up for it, the location should be in the pass you received by mail or e-mail. Sometimes, the location is even in the original thread posting. Perhaps the original poster forgot to include the location and it's critical for attendance at the event, but I'm not aware of this happening in the past. If you really must know, because you plan to find a partnerless person in line, please PM the poster of the screening, instead of asking in the thread. (-VulcanMike)
Q: Any screenings in [insert city here]?
A: This is the free screenings thread. You can trust that if there are any screenings in [insert city here], you'll see them posted. It's not necessary to ask -- nobody's holding anything back. (-VulcanMike)
If you really want to find screenings in your city and you never see that city listed in the entire thread, that doesn't mean there aren't screenings there. Google is your friend, do a search with "Advance Screening" & yourcity or else the movie name in quotes.
You'll find many expired screenings, plus MANY links to this thread, plus hopefully some new ones. (-Microdvd)
Q: Any screenings for [insert movie title here]?
A: This is the free screenings thread. You can trust that if there are any screenings for [insert movie title here], you'll see them posted. It's not necessary to ask -- nobody's holding anything back. (-CountryJuneBug; as modified from previous Q&A by -VulcanMike)
A: Please do not delete old screening posts and simply replace them with "Gone" if the passes are sold out or there are other issues with the screening. If we're to prevent double posts and other confusion, it would be best to keep all screening information intact and simply post "Gone" in bold below your original post. The only exception I can imagine to this is if you did, in fact, double post and are trying to reduce the clutter. (-VulcanMike)
Q: Will they check IDs?
A: Per Microdvd and anbudmor below, ID checking is rare. Given the time investment to travel to a theater, get in line early enough, and make it to the front of the line, it's worth at least considering the possiblity that you'll be turned away. A quick perusal of the thread will show that several people have been burned by this. From a invitation perspective, I also think most of us would be a bit disappointed to lose seats to people who copied passes rather than went through the trouble of signing up for them themselves. Use the "I scanned this misprinted coupon" rule on Fatwallet as your guide, or if you must discuss playing the system, start a new thread in Deal Discussion. (-VulcanMike)
Never at any of the screenings I've attended (-Microdvd)
No, statistically anyway. My ID has been checked about twice in about 100 screenings. (anbudmor)
2006 Update: Screening passes through rsvp.foxsearchlight.com are being checked against a list before they are collected, at least in Boston. (-VulcanMike)
Q: Did anyone get their passes?
A: It's tempting to ask this question, and ask it often, but it's really quite a bit of noise in the thread. If the pass comes, it comes. If it doesn't, it doesn't. They're free screenings -- the passes usually come in enough time to call a babysitter or borrow the family car and that knowledge should be sufficient enough to not have to ask. Even better, start a "Free Screening Pass Arrival" thread, and link it from this answer. (-VulcanMike)
Q: You forgot [X] in your screening post.
A: Mistakes happen. If the original poster forgot something, try a friendly Private Message first. If they don't have PM, post to the thread. If someone's already posted to the thread, your additional post is pretty pointless, especially if you're sarcastic in it. (-VulcanMike)
Q: Electra sucked.
A: First of all, that's not a question. Second of all, posts of this sort ususally degenerate into "Jennifer Garner is hot" and "You're all off topic" and "Is there another screening?!?" sorts of posts. This is not the Chicago Sun-Times, and you are not Siskel nor Ebert. If you want to talk about the movie, start another thread or get a blog. (-VulcanMike)
Q: These are contests.
A: Yes, but movie screening contests are magic contests. If a screening is taking place, the promoters of the screening generally need to fill the theater as best as possible. Therefore, if you see a screening entry listed as a contest, most of the time it will be a contest that almost everyone wins! Since almost all screenings are first-come, first-served and it isn't unusual to distribute more passes to promoters than there are seats, I suspect that calling them contests is a bit safer for many companies. Anyways, whatever you do, don't post to the thread complaining that someone posted a contest -- everyone will think you're a n00b. The only exception to this rule is when there's a contest for a "private screening for you and your friends" or other mor formal prize packages -- but don't complain about that either, unless it gets out of hand. (-VulcanMike)
Q: I can register for the MensJournal site without a problem, but when I tried to select a city for the screening, I keep getting a syntax error screen...
A: Anyone that's getting the error after registering for the pass, simply reset your IE security settings temporarily to Low. The pdf pass comes up then you can print. REMEMBER to RESET your IE security settings back to the level (High or Medium) it was before you printed the pass. (-toxiktwin)
Q: Does anyone have extra passes to [xyz]?
A: As with other questions that depend on the small chance that someone is actively reading this thread, but secretly hoarding information, it is safe to assume that people with extras will offer their extra tickets without you needing to ask. If there is a strong and ongoing need for such exchanges, start a "Screening Pass Swap/Offer" thread. (-VulcanMike)
Q: I never got a pass, but there's a screening tonight at my local theater, can I still go?
A: Many people who show up to these screenings frequently have extra passes in their possession, or may only be using one of the two admissions on the pass. Several people in the thread attend screenings this way. Simply start at the front of the line and work your way back, asking the people lined up if they have extras. Please be kind and don't pester anyone, if they ignore you or are rude, simply move on. This applies to screenings that were posted in this thread that gave the screening theater date & time. You'll occasionally see some posts as Screening Info Only too. (-Microdvd)
Many screenings are promoted/sponsored by a radio station. The radio station's representatives frequently have extra passes available upon request. Just look for the young interns hanging around outside or in the theater's lobby wearing t-shirts with a radio station's call sign.
Q: I've found a screening and I want to post it.
A: Whoa nellie!!! Thanks for the enthusiasm and spirit of returning the kind favor.
Please before you post, do a search OF THE ENTIRE THREAD before you post it, else fear the wrath of those who subscribe to this thread.
Click this link to open a window with EVERY SINGLE POSTING in one long continuous page that you can do an EDIT, FIND (on this page) from your Browser.
LINK TO ALL POSTINGS
Q: I have an extra pass to [xyz] that I can't use, can I post it here and offer it to other FWers?
A: ABSOLUTELY! Please do! As long as you are not directing your post to a specific person (please use the "PRIVATE MESSAGE" feature for that purpose), and PLEASE remember to request that parties interested in your generous offer contact you via the "PRIVATE MESSAGE" feature to discuss method of delivery and/or additional details. (-CountryJuneBug)
Q: Can I get a movie screening pass that will be honored at any theatre of my choosing, rather than a pass that is only valid for a specific movie, date, theatre, or city, etc.?
A: If anyone knew of such an offer, it would already be posted in this thread. (-CountryJuneBug)
Q: Why the red flag/negative rating on that question or answer?
A: Regardless of how valid a question might be or how eloquent and helpful an answer might be, you are most likely going to end up with negative ratings and/or a red flag if you post either in this thread (other than in the FAQ section here). Please refer back to the first two paragraphs that precede these Q&As (the introduction to the FAQ) for an explanation. (-CountryJuneBug)
Q: How can I get my question answered, if I can't post it in the thread?
A: If you have a general question that would likely be applicable to any/all screenings, feel free to add it to the FAQ by clicking on the "EDIT" button in the lower left corner of the "QUICK SUMMARY" (the section where this FAQ appears). If you have a question that only applies to a specific screening, try using the "PRIVATE MESSAGE" (referred to as "PM") feature to reach the person that posted the info to see if they might have additional information to share. You might also try using the "PRIVATE MESSAGE" feature to ask anyone that frequently posts in this thread for assistance - - many of them are more than happy to help via PM. The "PRIVATE MESSAGE" feature appears as a button underneath each Member's name on the right side of his/her post. (-CountryJuneBug)
Q: Thanks OP!
A: Certainly this is a brilliantly useful thread, and it wouldn't function without the efforts of all who contribute. Thanks to everyone! All those who wish to further thank OP and the various contributors to the thread can do so by putting their name or a period between these brackets: [........]
Obviously, this would include thanking VulcanMike for creating this brilliant FAQ.(-CountryJuneBug)
Better yet, please consider using the Personal Message function to thank people. It helps to keep this thread free of "white noise".
Q: Other than on the internet, are there any other avenues that I might try to obtain free movie screening passes?
A: Local radio stations, local TV stations, and newspapers (major, local, and community) have all been known to sponsor these events. (-CountryJuneBug)
Q: I recently downloaded a ticket for a movie opening in my area soon. As a newbie, I wondered how the theatre would react to a ticket that looks like a photocopy. How do they know that I didn't just copy the ticket from someone else?? Has anyone had any problems with this?
A: As long as the ticket is being distributed by the promoters online, you shouldn't have a problem. To combat unregistered entries, some promoters (such as Fox Searchlight) have become more vigilant about assigning a name to the passes and checking the name off a list before allowing entrance. In other cases, the passes are so widely and openly distributed that it hardly matters where the digital copy originated -- such situations don't scale well, though, so if every passholder made copies and brought 6 friends along, the screening situation would probably change pretty quickly in your area. (-VulcanMike)
Q: Anything else I should be aware of?
A: At some screenings, especially early advance screenings, some distributors are getting serious about prohibiting cameras, at times denying entrance to attendees who are carrying cell phone cameras. You might want to play it safe and leave the camera/phones at home or in the car.
Additional Screening Sites
Some of us supplement our Fatwallet screening reading with other screening sites. Post links to those other sites here (and try to update this thread when you hear of something new!)...
The Boston Screening Community (-VulcanMike)
Brevity is ... wit - a blog site that compiles a list of free movie screenings
CampusCircle.net - Primarily Los Angeles/Hollywood area
Cinematic Happenings Under Development (CHUD) - Mostly in Atlanta, but also in Nashville, Charlotte, Birmingham, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Chicago, and sometimes all over the place.
Entertaiment Weekly Advance Movie Screening Sweepstakes
Seattle Film Source (Yahoo Group) for the Seattle area, of course
Volition Movie Promos Typically Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, NY (multiple cities), Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland and St. Louis. However, everyone (anywhere) is eligible to win Movie Prize Packs.
YTIC.com - Washington DC area screenings, free membership required -- (UPDATE: Website no longer exists)
Wild About Movies Cities vary for each screening. (by chadtapp) Apparently a source of controversy -- Boston screening fans, at the very least, have found this site extremely useful.
iScreenings.com - Free Forum and Front Page WIth Multi-City Screenings
FAQ originally created by: VulcanMike on 2005-07-25 13:31:20 CDT
22 May 2009: VulcanMike is back. Going to be reviewing the FAQ soon and doing some house cleaning!