Long time lurker, first time poster. I don't work at a theatre, but today I went to watch The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug at my local theatre.
After sitting through the previews, the room darkens and the curtains beside the screen pull back, indicating that the movie is about to start. The WB logo pops up on screen in glorious HFR 3D.
But something doesn't look right. The logo looks too fat, as if the ratio isn't what it should be. Sure enough, the screen goes blank and 30 seconds later it begins again.
Now it's too skinny, but you almost can't tell. Until the MGM logo shows up and about 25% or so of it is outside of the screen. Uh oh.
Screen goes blank again and 30 seconds or so later, a theatre attendant pops in and says it should be fixed shortly. A few people groan and at least one person seems annoyed at the slight delay.
After 15 minutes of troubleshooting, and the WB logo appearing another couple of times,
the manager pops in and again apologises for the delay and says that it will be another 10-15 minutes before the movies starts, and if anyone needs/wants to leave,
to see him and he will get them rebooked for another time, or give them a refund. by this point, it is about 40 minutes past the advertised session time.
Fast forward another 15-20 minutes and the manager is back, this time to inform us that due to the technical difficulties, they have chosen to cancel this showing and sort out the issues.
He tells us to take our ticket stubs to the concessions counter (it doubles as ticket purchasing,
so you can get your tickets and popcorn at the same time) or see him and we will be issued with a refund and rebooked for another session of our choosing.
I personally would have been happy if they had only offered a choice between a refund or rebooking, as I know that theatres don't make much, if anything on the actual ticket prices.
Thanks Good Guy Theatre for doing what many businesses won't.
TL;DR: Smaug hates fun and Gandalf couldn't use his wizard magic to fix a broken projector.