Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 63


It was early 1989, and it was getting closer to the release date of the big-budget Batman movie. I had been unable to convince the company that was handling the distribution of the film to the Massachusetts area to let me organize a big Worcester premiere. I was explaining my predicament to my friend, Linda Weatherbee, and she told me that her sister, Carol, worked at that company! I now had an inside contact person that I may be able to work with.

Carol was smart enough to realize that Worcester was an important city for movies because of its large population and she was willing to work with me to make the release of the Batman movie a special event. She wasn’t able to convince the company to allow us to have a special premiere but she allowed us to have a private screening the morning after the movie opened. I purchased five hundred tickets at a slightly reduced price from the Showcase Cinema in downtown Worcester for a 10:00AM show. I decided to give these tickets away (for free) so that this event would be run as a “thank you” for my customers. I wanted to somehow let them know that I appreciated all of the business they had given me for the past nine years and this seemed like an interesting way to do it. There were some potential problems though. I couldn’t really purchase any more tickets because none of the theaters held more than five hundred people. I had over a thousand regular customers and their family members that I wanted to give these tickets to. I didn’t want to make the difficult decision of who wouldn’t get the free tickets so I came up with a plan that would be as fair as possible. I’d give one ticket to each of the first five hundred people who came into my store on a Saturday two weeks before our special presentation. This seemed like a good, fair plan.

I designed a large illustrated ticket with the Bat-Symbol on it and had them sequentially numbered from #1-#500. I kept the first six of the tickets for my wife, my Mom and Dad, myself, and some of my employees. I wrote some press releases to send to local radio stations and newspapers. I began “hyping” the event to my regular customers when they came into the store. Everything was under control and the movie wasn’t going to be released for another three months!

Next chapter: What could possibly go wrong?

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