Letters: Luxury Theaters

Listeners respond to the story on luxury movie theaters. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

It's time now for your letters, and one correction. Yesterday, we talked to Stephen Lord of the Government Accountability Office. He wrote a recent report on the state of U.S. airport security. Some of you may have heard us mention the Transportation Safety Administration, or TSA. Well, we should have said Transportation Security Administration.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Many of you perked up when you heard our story about a chain of luxury movie theaters. They offer lots of perks, including plush recliners, and on-call food and alcohol service. Of course, those perks come with a hefty price tag, as much as $29 per ticket. Some of our listeners, including Elizabeth Templeton(ph) of Brookfield, Vermont, wished movie theaters provided a different set of amenities. She writes: What I'd really pay more for is a movie theater without talkers, cell phone users, seat kickers, and the people who see nothing wrong with talking back to the movie characters. Audience behavior keeps me out of movies more than the price does.

NORRIS: And Gregory Westwater(ph) of Gladbrook, Iowa, sent us this note: What really grabbed my attention was the remark by the theater representative that you may not be able to go to the Bahamas this year, but everybody can afford this. No, not everybody can afford $29 theater tickets. In the past year, I've heard several stories on how to save money during the recession: only fly for one vacation instead of two, or cut back to basic cable. Guess what? There's a huge portion of our society that has never flown anywhere for a vacation and don't subscribe to any cable service at all. To some of us, these suggestions, and now the idea of $29 movie tickets as a bargain, sound like modern-day equivalents of let them eat cake.

BLOCK: And finally, an update on a story we aired last week. Kurt Haskell was a passenger on Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day, the same flight that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to destroy with explosives hidden in his underwear. We talked to Mr. Haskell about what he said he saw before the flight left Amsterdam: the Nigerian in the company of an older man. That man, according to Kurt Haskell, was trying to convince the ticket agent that Abdulmutallab did not need a passport to board the flight.

NORRIS: Well, Dutch authorities announced recently that Abdulmutallab did, in fact, have a passport, and now the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office says that after viewing more than 200 hours of airport surveillance footage, it believes Abdulmutallab acted alone in Amsterdam.

So we checked back in with the passenger Kurt Haskell for his response. He admits that, as with any eyewitness account, there is a possibility he was mistaken. But he says he stands by what he saw, and what he told us, until he is able to see the surveillance footage that proves him wrong.

BLOCK: We appreciate your letters. Please keep them coming. You can write to us by going to npr.org, and clicking on contact us.

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