LOS ANGELES -- The movie's over and you need a cab home. You'd like to have dinner after the show but don't know where to go. Your toddler didn't enjoy the film as much as you'd hoped.
You can handle these minor-league moviegoing dilemmas yourself, but at four Pacific Theatres multiplexes in Southern California, somebody's being paid to do it for you.
Under a Patron Assistance Program introduced at Pacific's Northridge Cinemas three months ago, a "patron assistance coordinator" is available to help with everything from information on show times and taxi services to ATM locations and restaurant reservations.
"In a hotel, it would be called the concierge," said Milton Moritz, vice president in charge of advertising and public relations for the Los Angeles-based chain.
The patron assistance coordinator at Northridge wears a tuxedo and has a desk in the lobby. An announcement about the service is made before each show, and it is also explained in fliers distributed to people waiting on line.
Patrons who might need to be located for emergencies -- for example, doctors and parents who've left kids with baby sitters -- can tell the patron assistance coordinator where in the theater they're sitting. On at least one occasion, Moritz said, the coordinator at Northridge has taken care of a restive child.
The program has proved so popular that it has been inaugurated at Pacific theaters in Lakewood, Ontario and San Diego. Eventually, Pacific hopes to have a patron assistance coordinator in each of its 50 California venues.