Next to the Winchester Mystery House is another mystery all its own. You know those famous domed theaters there? The question is what are they called?
Doug Williams of San Jose bought his friend a gift card for the movies. It's a little beat up, but on the second line you can see it says "Century Theaters."
"So he brought me over here last week to see the movie Expendables II, which has just been released and they refused to take the card, which was kind of a surprise to us. She said, 'We are no longer Century Theaters,'" said Doug Williams.
No longer a Century Theater? There's a sign out front next to the street that says Century 21, 22, and 23. It also says Century on the sign on the building. It sure looks like a Century Theater.
"That's what he said, 'It says Century 21 on the outside.' The ticket stub said Century 21, but she still refused to take it saying, 'We are no longer Century Theaters,'" said Williams.
But, look closer and on the bottom of a sign at the front window it says "Winchester Theater." And if you look through the ticket window against the wall there is a sign that says "Winchester 21, 22, or 23." So I go to the theater next door and there I find another sign that reads, "Cinemark gift cards are no longer accepted at Winchester Theaters 21, 22, & 23. Please see a manager for more information."
I did that and a guy there said he was only the assistant and referred me to a manager who he said had the day off. So I call the manager Thursday morning and he refers me to the marketing VP. I leave a message and haven't yet heard back. I spoke with a Cinemark person who says the theaters are separately owned and not a part of Cinemark.
Williams didn't expect anything from the theaters; he just wanted consumers to know.
"If you've got these gift cards, even though it says Century 21 on the theaters, you can't use them here -- just kind of a heads-up for the public," said Williams. When I told him that was a nice thing for him to do, Williams replied, "Well, I thank you, I think there are lots of incidents in the past where people have bought cards and have been unable to use them and they are really easy to lose them out of your wallet, so you want to use them before you lose them."
He's right. Now the good news is the gift cards work just fine and you don't have to go far to use them. Across the street from the Century 21, 22, and 23 sign is Santana Row and a Cinemark Theater is located there. It really isn't much of an inconvenience, as long as you know, and now you do.
Apparently the Century Theater is still on the signage in part because these are now considered historic buildings. The Cinemark people are contacting Williams because they want to make sure he is taken care of and happy. When you make contact with the Winchester Theaters, I will ask for increased signage, so consumers who haven't seen this report will have a better head's up.