The calls keep coming so ... one more time.
The Post-Gazette is NOT omitting ads from AMC-Loews at the Waterfront. The theater is not placing ads, the way Carmike does or the SouthSide Works Cinema. Those ads typically provide a phone number and tell you what time "Hannah Montana" or "Obsessed" is playing.
The AMC chain, based in Kansas City, Mo., has decided to not advertise in the newspaper. It is spending its ad dollars in other ways and suggests moviegoers use Web sites and phone numbers to find showtimes.
Here is the statement from Justin Scott, director of corporate communications for AMC Entertainment in Kansas City in Missouri:
"Unlike daily television schedules, sporting events and community calendars, which are printed in newspapers free of charge, some papers require theatres to pay to place show time schedules. Numerous newspapers with which AMC does business provide this information for free, but some do not.
"The expense required to maintain 365-day per year showtime ads limits our ability to advertise other important information, like value programs and promotions.
"In an era when many moviegoers are using alternative resources to access showtimes, AMC has chosen to reallocate its showtime information methods. We encourage our guests to visit amcentertainment.com or call 1-888-AMC-4FUN for showtime information."
It's hard for me to argue against this without seeming self-serving (although my paycheck doesn't grow or shrink based on AMC ads) but I have and will.
The statement about TV listings or community events is misleading. TV listings, which we buy from a service and do not compile here, have been drastically reduced as space has shrunk, and showtimes for "Wolverine" aren't the same as details on a walk to fight breast cancer.
The chain has been telling people that it is supplying us with the information and we're not printing it.
AMC-Loews gives us the titles and times of movies playing and we treat AMC-Loews like the Manor, Squirrel Hill, Destinta, Cranberry, Galleria, Cinemark and every other theater in our area.
We take the information and compile a grid that appears every Thursday in Weekend Mag. It give titles, brief descriptions, runtimes and ratings and shows where movies are playing. It takes far more time to compile than you can imagine, and the Post-Gazette does not have the space to list times for every movie and venue.
Pittsburgh has many older moviegoers who do not have access to computers or do not want to wade through computerized phone listings, and I have heard from people who opted to go elsewhere when they couldn't find the AMC-Loews ad. Others ended up there but have complained to the ticket seller or guest services.
So here's the bottom line: If you want to write a letter, send it to
AMC Entertainment Inc.
P.O. Box 725489
Atlanta, GA 31139-9923
Or go to http://www.amctheatres.com/contactus/index.html and look for "Your Entertainment Experience." Or complain at the theater.
It's not us. It's them.