Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Mark Cuban's a Money-Grubbing Asshole."

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Eccentric rich person, Dallas Mavericks owner, and alleged shady trader Mark Cuban also owns Landmark Theatres.

I got this e-mail today from a Landmark employee:


Not only is he ducking out of the losses most Americans face on Wall St., but he's cutting hours at the bottom for the theaters. We're busy as hell right now, but our staff budget has been so cut back that we only had 2 floor staff to deal with 100+ people shows on Sunday afternoon. That means we have to keep the front doors locked while the concessionist helps clean the auditorium... it's impossible! The concessionist has to check tickets at the door, tear them, and sell popcorn—all at the same time!

What's the end result? Service at Landmark Theaters will become slower, more error-prone, and more grumpy! Staff hates its job, customers stand out in the cold longer, and eventually customers give up and go to Pacific Place. Everyone loses.

Can people email Mark Cuban ( and ask him to stop trying to preserve his hundreds of millions of dollars off the backs of minimum wage students, artists, and film-lovers? It's just bad business...


Comments (31) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I doubt he'll do anything without a bailout from the Red Bushies.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 17, 2008 at 11:23 AM · Report this
What, is he just drinking straight cough syrup in that picture?
Posted by Ben on November 17, 2008 at 11:34 AM · Report this
This person shouldn't worry so much; he'll face litigation, lose money, possibly be imprisoned, and might even sell the company.
Posted by Bellevue Ave on November 17, 2008 at 11:35 AM · Report this
He's a Maverick. You never know what crazy things they'll do, whether it be tradin' fer a 35 year old point guard and firin' the coach, or doin' some insider tradin'.
Posted by kebabs on November 17, 2008 at 11:38 AM · Report this
As someone with relative familiarity with the guy, I can't imagine him willfully scraping off the top of his theaters, especially as box office numbers continue to rise even in this economy. Besides, I think he's got too many entertainment ventures to be directly to blame for one theater's dismal management. But if you TRULY feel that e-mailing someone in Dallas will fix a local theater, you'd possibly be better off e-mailing Landmark co-owner Todd Wagner instead.
Posted by Sam M. on November 17, 2008 at 11:43 AM · Report this
If it's any consolation, his shitty NBA team is as soft as a baby blanket.
Posted by Mahtli69 on November 17, 2008 at 11:44 AM · Report this
I'm annoyed that Landmark finally caved in and is running car and shampoo ads (in addition to the stella artois ad that apparently will be shown until the end of time).
Posted by stinkbug on November 17, 2008 at 11:46 AM · Report this
kebabs @4, you beat me to it. I'm not sure which is most stupid: A. getting involved in insider trading to save a lousy $750K, B. firing Avery Johnson, or C. trading Devin Harris for Jason Kidd.

Well, actually none of those moves are as stupid as the original stupid move that Mark Cuban was the beneficiary of. That is, the purchase of his dot-com that made him a billionaire. May I say sarcastically on behalf of countless Americans, "Thank you, idiot investor, for giving us Mark Cuban."
Posted by cressona on November 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM · Report this
So you get one email from a disgruntled employee and suddenly Mark Cuban is a 'Money Grubbing Asshole'? Well, I was talking to a guy who knows someone who knows someone who works at The Stranger and they told me Lindy West has no idea what she is talking about.
Posted by ChucklingMonkey on November 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Its a diet coke, not cough syrup. (just the top half of a bottle)
Posted by Former Mav Lover on November 17, 2008 at 11:50 AM · Report this
I digressed a bit. The best thing I can say for Mark Cuban is that he owns Landmark Theatres. (I didn't know he did until I read this post.)

Landmark Theatres is a Seattle treasure. I think I go to Landmark moviehouses more than all other moviehouses combined. I hope he doesn't kill a good thing.
Posted by cressona on November 17, 2008 at 11:52 AM · Report this
The movie theaters are already way too overpriced. I hope he chokes and dies
Posted by someguy on November 17, 2008 at 11:55 AM · Report this
If I want to see a movie I just buy the DVD. It's cheaaper than going out.
Posted by elswinger on November 17, 2008 at 12:00 PM · Report this
@13 I tend to use this amazing invention called the intertubes, and then I can get them for free
Posted by someguy on November 17, 2008 at 12:04 PM · Report this
@9: The headline is a quote from the letter, which is why I put it in quotation marks.
Posted by Lindy West on November 17, 2008 at 12:09 PM · Report this
All movie theatre employees should be replaced with: 1. an automated ticket machine, 2. an automated beer dispenser and 3. nightly non-union cleaning services. This would improve the overall movie-going experience, and force dumb-assed spoiled brat high schoolers to work a little harder to acquire their easy job that they can then complain about.
Posted by uncle baggy on November 17, 2008 at 12:10 PM · Report this
I'm sorry that this employee is unhappy, but I'd much rather have a theater chain like Landmark bringing tons of great independent and foreign movies to Seattle (and other cities) than going out of business. I'd like a bit more information on this than just one disgruntled and anonymous employee.
Posted by josh on November 17, 2008 at 12:11 PM · Report this
All movie theatre employees should be replaced with ... nightly non-union cleaning services.

One problem with that is that the cleaning doesn't happen just once it night. It gets cleaned out between every showing. Which reminds me of another gripe I have...

Why are people so messy with their concessions at theaters? Landmark crowds do a bit better than places like Pacific Place, but I'm still usually amazed at the number of people who just throw popcorn everywhere or leave behind a billion half-consumed popcorn and pop containers. I lose faith in humanity (over and over) every time I see a person incapable of carrying an empty popcorn bag to a trash can 30 feet away.
Posted by stinkbug on November 17, 2008 at 12:17 PM · Report this
I suggest supporting your local movie houses like the Grand Illusion, Northwest Film Forum, Central Cinema and SIFF instead of throwing your money away on this vertically integrated son fo a bitch. He's been a rat for a long time, its about time the Stranger started to cover it!
Posted by apttitle on November 17, 2008 at 12:20 PM · Report this
The SEC just indicted him today.

Will Seattle robber barons be far behind?
Posted by John Bailo on November 17, 2008 at 12:21 PM · Report this
MSNBC just said that Cuban is facing civil charges, not criminal, so he is only facing a fine, not jail time.
Posted by elswinger on November 17, 2008 at 12:23 PM · Report this
@7, they're running a new Stella Artois ad (the bike racers, replacing that old one about the train club car).

At least now we don't have to worry about Cuban buying the Cubs. The insider-trading charge should be suffcient for MLB to blow him off.
Posted by Toe Tag on November 17, 2008 at 12:31 PM · Report this
I used to work at the (Landmark) Broadway Theater in the 90's. Once they sent a rep from corporate in Texas to give this lecture: "Now that minimum wage in your state is going up, you're all going to have to work THAT much harder to keep this place going." Most of us were laughing too hard at the absurdity of the spiel to even be angry.

Posted by Dougsf on November 17, 2008 at 12:42 PM · Report this
@7, I agree about the Landmark ads. The chain has (sadly) gone downhill a bit. I still visit Landmark theaters because I want to see random shit that is hard to find elsewhere, without waiting for Scarecrow to have it.

Don't sit quietly during the ads. Mock them. I actually used to drink Stella Artois (occasionally) and Patron at one point, and the ads helped convince me not to.
Posted by lusk on November 17, 2008 at 12:48 PM · Report this
I'd totally tap that. He looks like he'd be great at taking it from both ends. Mmmmmm, Cuban spit-roast pig.....
Posted by tapper on November 17, 2008 at 2:21 PM · Report this
25 whaaa!? he looks like a frat boy. ick.
Posted by ellarosa on November 17, 2008 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Mark Cuban was one of only 2 NBA owners (along with Paul Allen) to vote against the Sonics moving to OKC. I'll always love him for that, even if he is a money-grubbing asshole.
Posted by Andrew on November 17, 2008 at 3:40 PM · Report this
@19 for the best idea.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 17, 2008 at 4:30 PM · Report this
The local group of Landmark movie houses has been sold a number of times over the last few decades. I think we've been very, very lucky that they've never been sold to some lousy strip-mall style top release theater chain so far. It could easily happen.

Keeping things in perspective, Seattle would be a much poorer place if they left. New, decent locations to show these artsy movies to large audiences are very hard to find.

If you look at things from a film maker's perspective, it would be much harder to get more artsy movies made if there was no national Landmark chain ready to pay decent money to show them and give them enough publicity to get people to later rent them.
Posted by FlyingSquid on November 17, 2008 at 6:20 PM · Report this
yeah....i maybe work for this chain and the sudden random lack of hours isnt fun...nor is our paychecks not coming in on time...which has happened before.....but overall its a decent job for what it is. our manager treat us with respect, and the customers are almost always cheery. its pretty much the ideal movie theatre job, and it looks really good in comparison to the other movie chains, like amc or regal. we arent robots, at least.
Posted by jwinter on November 18, 2008 at 11:38 PM · Report this
Hey, concession prices went up today as well! Yay!
Posted by HumanEmployee on November 19, 2008 at 11:40 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy