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Angry Ashford film fan Ann Humphrey boycotts Cineworld cinema at Eureka Leisure Park over new allocated seating policy

By Samantha Williams

A frustrated film fan has vowed never to return to Ashford's Cineworld after a nightmare visit because of the "failing" allocated seating policy.

Ann Humphrey and partner Paul Conde were given seats at the front of the cinema at Eureka Leisure Park - despite several empty rows behind them.

And there was a 30-minute delay to the start of Guardians of the Galaxy, with the screen "so luminous you couldn't even look at it" for the first five minutes.

Ann Humphrey had a terrible experience at Ashford Cineworld

Mrs Humphrey, of Mill Court, Ashford, said: "When we got to the counter to buy our tickets the attendant asked if we wanted to sit together because spaces were limited. We said 'of course'.

"I asked for seats as far away from the screen as possible and was assured they were.

"However, when we got in the screen we were in row C, and to the side. Yet there were loads of spaces at the back and around us. We couldn't move as seats were allocated."

The film was supposed to start at 2.10pm, but the couple experienced a 30-minute delay due to a faulty projector.

Customers were surprised to see Sir Paul at Cineworld in Ashford

Mrs Humphrey, 58, added: "A member of staff came in at 2.30pm to say the projector was broken, but then walked out without apologising. We sat there until 2.40pm waiting, no music or anything.

"When it finally started working the whole screen was green for the first five minutes of the film. It was so luminous you couldn't even look at it.

"We go to the cinema quite regularly and we've never had a problem before. We've seen the stories, but didn't expect anything different this time.

"But even when we first walked, in the foyer struck me as different. There were no queues.

"I just don't understand why they would place us near the front when there were loads of empty seats at the back. We will not be going again."

Cineworld has come under fire for its allocated seating policy

Mrs Humphrey is not the first customer to complain about the new allocated seating policy, which was introduced across all Cineworlds in June.

Other customers claim they have experienced confusion over row and seat numbers, people ignoring rules, arguments and problems with booking tickets online and the website crashing.

Despite this, Cineworld bosses have said they will not revoke the new rules.

Spokesman Liz Larvin said: "The decision to introduce allocated seating was made following extensive consultation with cinema users.

"Whilst we recognise this has not been a popular decision with some customers, the overall and majority of feedback from customers has been positive."

She said Cineworld was aware of problems experienced by some customers and the company was working on solutions to resolve these issues.

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