Sneak Preview Club
Frequently Asked Questions
- Sneaks Club - What is It?
- Free Movies, eh? What's in it for you guys?
- What types of movies are screened?
- What does it cost me?
- How do I hear about upcoming Sneaks?
- How do I RSVP to a Sneak?
- Why do I have to wait to RSVP?
- Which Laemmle locations host Sneaks?
- Are Sneaks scheduled for a specific day or time?
- What happens at the theater the night of the screening?
- Am I "guaranteed" a seat when I come to the theater?
- What happens after the screening?
- I've seen some give-aways happening at the Sneak. What's that about?
- Is subscription to the Laemmle Weekly E-Newsletter mandatory?
- Are there any other benefits to being a Sneaks Club member?
- How often do Sneaks occur?
- Is there a way to skip the line?
Sneaks Club - What is It?
The Laemmle Sneak Club or "LSC" gives you the ability to see films before they open in the theaters … for free! Once you sign up on our website, you'll start receive screening notices with all the pertinent details including instructions on how to RSVP for a particular event. As a bonus, the filmmaker will often be on hand to answer your questions following the movie. With nothing to lose, why not sign up now?
Free Movies, eh? What's in it for you guys?
Good question. People often ask us (usually with a befuddled look on their face), "why are you doing this?" Here's the skinny: We want to support independent film and see it thrive. Not only so that a particular movie has a successful run at Laemmle (which would be nice!) but also that it finds its widest possible audience in the world at-large. And not being produced and distributed by the Hollywood blockbuster machine, most of our films have very limited marking budgets. The fact is that arthouse cinema is very much a word-of-mouth business. Filmmakers agree to participate in the Sneaks program to primarily create a buzz for their film as well as gauge initial audience reaction.
As you will no doubt be reminded at the theater, your attendance at the Sneak is really part of a social compact between you, Laemmle, and the filmmaker. The filmmaker/distributor provides the film at no cost to you. Laemmle exhibits the film at no cost to you. Your job is to tell your friends, family, and community about the film (especially if you liked it) via phone, email, twitter -- or whatever you kids are using these days. Every successful small-budget film (think The Full Monty, My Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien) starts with a conversation. And as a Sneaks audience member, this time the conversation starts with you.
One last thing. When we first came up with the Sneaks program, we conceived of it as a "thank you" to our most loyal customers, meaning a "thank you" to those who care about and support arthouse cinema. Aww … now isn't that sweet?
What types of movies are screened?
Sneaks can be any type -- documentaries, indie film, foreign films -- you name it. Everything you know and love as a "Laemmle Film" is represented in the club. And remember, these are not "film projects" that don't have distribution and may be of lesser quality. These are bona fide, distributed release that will eventually be playing at a Laemmle location.
What does it cost me?
Nada. Zilch. Bubkis.
How do I hear about upcoming Sneaks?
All Sneak Club members receive email notification of upcoming Sneaks. These notices include movie details, time/place, and an RSVP link. Alternatively, you can regularly check our Sneaks web page here for listings of upcoming and past events.
How do I RSVP to a Sneak?
There are two ways to RSVP for a screening. The best and easiest way is to simply click the RSVP link from the Sneak announcement email. This will take you to a web page/form that will tell you what to do. Note that there is always a "waiting period" between the time you receive the email notice and when we begin accepting RSVPs. If you care to know why, read the next entry below.
In addition, you can click on the any of the "RSVP Now" buttons you find on our Sneaks web page (/sneak-previews). When you get to the RSVP page, it will inform you on the status of the event. This could be "Not ready for RSVPs", "Taking RSVPs", "Sold Out", or "Event has Occurred".
Why do I have to wait to RSVP?
Due to the popularity of the program, we found that without a waiting period screenings would be "sold out" within hours (and sometimes minutes) of the announcement email. This gave some people an unfair advantage in securing a seat (i.e., those that check e-mail more regularly during the day). In order to even the playing field we instituted a waiting period (usually about 24 hours). The gives everyone a more equal opportunity to RSVP. Plus, instead of being an impulse "why not?", this process favors those who really care enough about attending to actually remember to RSVP at a later time.
Which Laemmle locations host Sneaks?
Screenings may happen at ANY Laemmle theater.
Are Sneaks scheduled for a specific day or time?
No. Screenings can happen at any time. However, they do tend to be earlier in the week (Mon-Wed) and typically start at 7:30pm. Even so, please read the Sneak announcement carefully in order to make sure you show up at the right time/day/place!
What happens at the theater the night of the screening?
You should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to showtime or you may jeopardize your seat. Please join the line that forms outside the box office. When Laemmle staff begins to let club members in to the theater, the line will move fast. Please be ready to present your photo ID to the box office in order to receive your ticket(s). Your name will be on a list but we will not issue you a ticket without ID. Once inside feel free to use the amenities, buy concessions, etc. Also, we encourage you to visit the Sponsor Table if there is one present. A few minutes prior to the start of the film there will be a short introduction and possible drawing. Following the film there maybe a Q&A with the filmmakers.
Am I "guaranteed" a seat when I come to the theater?
No, thought it's generally not an issue. Here's the story: We always overbook each event because we've found that a good percentage of people who RSVP do not actually show up. Sometimes the no-show rate can be as high as 50 percent. Of course, the program cannot be successful if half the seats remain empty! Thus , we always allow more RSVPs than we have tickets. However, we do everything we can to minimize the situation where there are more attendees than seats. In fact, it rarely happens. But, and we can't stress this more, to minimize the risk of this happening to you, we urge you to come early as tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
What happens after the screening?
When you RSVP for a screening you will receive a brief questionnaire via email about the film after the screening takes place. The opinions you provide are shared with the filmmakers/distributors and gives them invaluable insight on how best to find an audience for their film. Your input is welcome and very appreciated.
I've seen some give-aways happening at the Sneak. What's that about?
Some screenings are put on with the help of Sneak Preview Club sponsors. This helps make the program viable and enables us to continue offering it at no cost. Typically, we partner with other, like-minded organizations in the L.A. arts community -- Geffen Playhouse and Center Theater Group -- to name some recent sponsors. Often these sponsors will be in attendance, helping us to introduce the films and informing us about what's happening at their venues. In addition, they almost always raffle off a great prize (sometimes right on the spot) to someone in attendance. The moral of this story: be sure to stop by the Sponsor Table on your way into the film! Also, we ask you to support our sponsors the same way you support great, indie film. After all, we have to stick together, right?
Is subscription to the Laemmle Weekly E-Newsletter mandatory?
Okay, you caught us. We were lying when we said that club membership has no cost. There is a price - your subscription (/connect) to our Weekly E-Newsletter. But hey, that's free too and it's chalk full of info on film openings, events, and other Laemmle news in the coming week. So, actually, it's more like a "benefit" than anything else, don't you think?
Are there any other benefits to being a Sneaks Club member?
Club members may also be eligible to attend other types of screenings including repertory films, impromptu festivals, and other special events. Stay tuned and make sure read all your club announcements!
How often do Sneaks occur?
There is no set amount or quota but generally we average two screenings per month.
Is there a way to skip the line?
Yes! Use your Premiere Card Number when you RSVP for any Sneak Preview event and get VIP, priority seating!
Here's how it works:
1) Enter your Card No. when you RSVP for a Sneak Event.
2) Arrive at the theater and report to the check-in desk at least 25 minutes prior to showtime.
3) You'll gain entry to the theater immediately so you can choose your seats BEFORE the general admission line is allowed in.
- If you arrive and check-in later than 25 minutes before showtime or AFTER the general line has already been admitted, you forfeit Priority Seating and will be subject to the same policies regarding Sneak admittance as the general public. Remember, even though you must RSVP for a Sneak Event, YOU ARE NOT GUARANTEED A SEAT. Please come early to secure your seat!
- You must be an active Premiere Card holder to be eligible for VIP, priority seating. "Active" means you've used your card to buy tickets or merchandise at least once within the past 12 months or you've reloaded your card at least once in the past 12 months.
- Depending on the timing of your arrival, you may have to wait for the prior show to let out before being allowed in to the theater.