I just sent the following letter off to Fathom Events.
To whom it may concern:
My husband and I were on vacation with extremely limited access to the internet when you announced your special screening of Young Frankenstein back in late August/early September. Not wanting to run the risk of the event selling out while we were away, I purchased two tickets for the AMC 16 Cupertino Square.
At the advertised start time this evening, we were shown the Fathom Coming Attractions reel over the audio for the movie. Close to 15 minutes later, we started getting the video of Mel Brooks live on the 20th Century lot - with no audio. It was another five minutes before we got the correct audio, and were finally able to enjoy the remainder of Mr. Brooks's presentation in the Zanuck Theatre. When that portion ended, we got another five minutes of slides, then returned to the film, which had apparently continued to run in the background - and again, no audio.
At no time during this process did a member of theatre staff or management come in to address the audience; when multiple attendees went out to talk to the staff to ask what was going on, the responses they received were largely dismissive. My husband and I finally left the theatre 45 minutes into the advertised run-time, having seen less than ten minutes of the scheduled event as it was meant to be seen. We spoke with the manager on duty, who half-heartedly apologized and claimed that they were having problems with the "live DVR download."
I have attended a number of Fathom screenings at multiple theatres throughout the SF Bay Area over the company's 11-year history, including NT Live's Coriolanus, the Grateful Dead Meet-up at the Movies, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary screening of Day of the Doctor. I have NEVER been so thoroughly disappointed in a screening.
Hopefully, you will be able to retrain the employees involved and ensure that my experience is the last of its kind in that location. I look forward to hearing how you are able to resolve the matter.