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Archive for September, 2010

GR got 50 Cent, Mount Pleasant got ‘TIP’ped

September 3, 2010 2 comments

Amy HileBy Amy Hile
Promotions Manager, Celebration! Mount Pleasant

Missed Opportunity
Once we realized that T.I. was doing a concert at the casino the same weekend his movie, Takers, opened, we wanted to work on a cross-promotion. Our original idea: let’s get him here. We didn’t think that would ever happen, so we lowered our bar quite a bit. Our messages were never returned, so nothing was ever set up. Little did we know the phone call we would receive Sunday night:
T.I. tweets to his fans

“I’m with T.I. and he’d like to come by the theatre to say hey to people, take pictures, and sign autographs.”

That’s how T.I. ended up taking over Celebration! Cinema Mount Pleasant Sunday night, August 29.

When a celebrity calls, you don’t say no.
Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris was doing everything he could to get people in to see his movie, and that included a stop at the local movie theatre. He spent almost an hour in our lobby talking to everyone, taking pictures, and signing autographs. His main goal was to get people to see his movie, so he went as far as to buy concessions for everyone buying a ticket to Takers. Before the movie started, he introduced it and thanked everyone for helping to make it a success.

He wanted to know if we had late shows that he could tell his fans at the concert about. We told him if he wanted to do a special late show, we’d schedule it. He took my card, and said he’d be in touch.

When a celebrity calls back, you still don’t say no.
He called at about 8:00 to say he’d be back for more. We added two late shows and he told his crowd at the concert to come see his movie here at Celebration! Cinema and he’d be stopping by to see everyone. Needless to say, the staff working Sunday night was overly excited at the thought of spending more time with a celebrity.

We all came crashing back to reality when the state police called at 9:00 to ask if we were aware that T.I. just told some 3500 people he was coming to our theatre. Some people say I’m intimidating, but I’m no crowd control. With the help of State, County, and Mt. Pleasant Police, we kept somewhere around 500-600 people from forming a mob while we waiting for T.I. to show up to see everyone.

T.I., true to his word, showed up at 11:30 to be surrounded by hundreds of fans. He announced, once again, that he would buy the concessions for anyone seeing the late shows of Takers. He then wasted no time in jumping in the concession stand to help scoop popcorn while hundreds of people filled our lobby, taking pictures and calling out to him.

“When teaching him how to scoop popcorn, he asked me for another bag, and I wanted to tell him that he could ‘have whatever he liked’!” –Samm Hanley, CCMP Cast Member

When it came time to start moving people into the theatres, we moved him backstage and started handing out popcorn and cups to guests with a ticket to Takers, which ended up to be almost 275 people.

Signing PostersLesson learned: get credit card first.
Once everyone was seated, T.I. again introduced the movie and thanked everyone, then headed for his car. I can say that I was one of about a hundred who ran after him, although I was after his credit card. T.I. gave me his card (it had his real name on it) to pay for the concessions, which came to well over $2000.

“Seeing and meeting TI was unreal. I can’t believe I met such a big star.” -Adam Boucher, Cast Member
“It kind of sucked we had to stay so late, but it was well worth it to meet a star in the number one movie.” -Brittany Shudark, Cast Member

A real nice guy.
T.I. Scoops PopcornI spent close to 2 hours around T.I. that night, and I can say he was really a nice guy. We more or less had an all-access pass to him that night, between scooping popcorn, and keeping him behind locked doors. We got a chance to chat with him about his watch (I don’t think I’ll ever see ice like that up close ever again), and he signed movie posters for us. He also took pictures with our staff and gave them autographs. He went out of his way to spend time at our theatre (“We have a plane to catch, but it’ll wait for us.”), and did right by our guests who are his fans, and our staff.

It was one, big, crazy night that nobody would have expected to happen in Mount Pleasant. And a night I’m sure will not happen again any time soon. It was an incredible night to be working.