AAFES: Movie schedules are not always accurate
By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 22, 2007
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Moviegoers can’t always rely on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Web site for accurate information on what’s playing on post, AAFES officials warn.
The Web site — www.aafes.com — includes worldwide movie listings for on-post theaters along with a synopsis for each film showing.
AAFES spokesman Lt. Col. David A. Konop said in an e-mail last week that information on the Web site is not always accurate.
That’s because, from time to time, the movies that AAFES officials distribute throughout Europe via its Grünstadt, Germany, warehouse don’t always make it to the desired theater due to delivery driver error. That doesn’t give AAFES officials in Dallas time to change the Web site before a particular movie hits the theater marquee.
“On rare occasions, it has happened that the wrong movie was picked up,” by a driver in Grünstadt, Konop said on Thursday.
Grafenwöhr film buffs found that out recently when they showed up for what the Web site advertised as a screening of the R-rated “Zodiac” — in which, according to AAFES, “… a serial killer terrifies the San Francisco Bay Area and taunts police with his ciphers and letters.”
Instead they found themselves watching the PG-rated “The Last Mimzy” — which, according to AAFES, revolves around the exploits of two children and a stuffed toy rabbit named Mimzy.
Another large group of Grafenwöhr film buffs were disappointed after showing up at the usual 7 p.m. Friday night screen time for the latest Hollywood blockbuster — “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” — only to find that the film started several hours earlier and they’d have to wait for a later screening.
Konop said the movie start times should match what is advertised on the Web site but that there are times when the movies will not match up.
“This is because of how movies are distributed. When this happens, AAFES will notify AFN, who does a great job for us getting the word out. We will use fliers, local schedules, in-house AAFES announcements and word of mouth to get the word out when changes to the schedule happen,” he said.
Konop recommended patrons call the theater before going to the movies to see if the schedule has changed.
“I know the management is working to improve the reliability of the schedule and making changes to the Web site when they occur,” he said.
In the case of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Grafenwöhr theater management decided to have two Friday screenings because of the huge interest in the film, Konop said.
“Because the movie is almost three hours, the first showing needed to be early enough to have time to clean and prepare the theater for the second showing. With the greatest of intentions, this backfired,” he said.
AAFES has no plans to put schedules for the Camp Aachen theatre — one of two handy to Grafenwöhr’s Main Post — on its Web site, he said.
“This theater is now only operated usually at the request of the unit training when soldiers have enough down time to see a movie. Again, when this happens, announcements will be made locally,” he said.
Stripes’ movie listings are based on information provided by AAFES more than a week ahead of the showings.