Bengies Drive-In Theatre
3417 Eastern Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21220-2147

Showtimes, Directions, Rules & our Outside Food Policy:
(410) 687-5627
or
(410) 391-1956

 

We NO LONGER Advertise In THE BALTIMORE SUN

 

Update concerning our relationship with The Baltimore Sun.

 

As you read the below archived and interesting info on the Bengies and The Baltimore Sun, I want to clarify a few things.

 

1. The archive below unfolds as of a couple of years ago, now The Baltimore Sun has a "free" movie directory and it is a "service" of The Baltimore Sun.  The trouble is I cannot be in it unless I agree to continue to be listed under the Drive-In Heading that is Always DEAD LAST, OR I can be in there but must give up the Drive-In Right, and be listed as Baltimore County East.  The Sun will make no arrangement to post the Drive-In listing anywhere BUT dead last.  I continue to stay out of the directory.

 

2. I have finally had some assistance in sorting this all out, and I must hold the editors harmless in this battle, but I still bear a giant grudge (as I should) with the Editorial side of The Sun, and I will always have a great disregard for the Advertising Department.  If any question why, please go into the Archive and find out.

 

3. As contradictory as this may sound, I would encourage all to buy a copy and read The Baltimore Sun.  This speaks to the future of print media.  Yes, we can all get our news online, but at what cost to credibility?  If the newspapers quit publishing print media, how easily can facts, stories or anything in the way of news be changed, altered, deleted and so on.  In Short, in our modern world of the internet, if you are reading a story from a place you never heard of, what are their credentials in posting it?  Half of them start the story without you even knowing where the story took place, and what country it occurred within.

 

There is a HUGE difference between actual print PUBLISHING and electronic POSTING. The real deal comes from the folks with true credibility, and the word is printed and is news and CANNOT be changed (although it can be retracted for errors or omissions, in writing that cannot be changed at the whim of electronics.)  

 

4. Now take anything from the EDITORIAL Department with a grain of salt, and with a large measure of considering the motivation for the editorializing or "Opinion."  If you don't get the "Gist" of that, read on into the archives.

 

D. Edward Vogel

 

 

For Years, I have had a "love - hate" relationship with the Baltimore SUN, mostly over the "MOVIE DIRECTORY" that the SUN is VERY careful to coerce the general public into thinking 2 things:

 

1. That the listings are of ALL the theatres in Baltimore and the SUN's reader area.

2. That the Directory is a SERVICE of the Baltimore SUN.

 

Neither is true, and I have been FORBIDDEN to tell you this within my advertising space, and the editorial department (which is purportedly a separate entity of the Baltimore SUN, so the advertising folks cannot influence the "NEWS") does not wish to make this clear to the public.

 

So I always felt that if I took The BENGIES out of the paper, folks would think the drive-in no longer existed.  Yes, the Baltimore SUN held a "virtual loaded gun" to my head (and in my opinion all exhibitors) with this, because they do not tell their readers in any CREDIBLE WAY, that the movie directory is NOT a comprehensive list of the theatres in the Baltimore area, and that it is in fact paid advertising.  (I had composed ads to let folks know this, willing to pay for it but the SUN simply refused to allow me to do that.  The few times I turned to the "credible" side of this "NEWS" paper, I was either pushed off to the "ombudsman" (whom the SUN pays) or told directly that my "complaint" was not news!

 

The SUN does, at least list in a very small place above in  the directory "banner" : "The movie directory is supplied and paid for by the theatres listed."

 

It is there because I requested it be there, and believe me, when you go to look at it, this could not be any smaller nor any less discrete. (they do not even do this for the OTHER classified sections like the Church list!  Yes, the churches did (and if there are any that still do) pay, but there is NO indication of it, The SUN allows you readers to think it is a service they provide for free!

 

I had decided this year (2009) initially that it would not be the year for me to withdraw my ad from the SUN, knowing that newspapers in general are in a financial fix, and I do believe in printed publication, because electronic media can be manipulated so easily, I feared (AND STILL DO) for the future of the news.

 

Last year (2008) when I asked if the DRIVE-IN Banner could be listed first, before the regionalized banners occurred in the "movie directory." I was told by my sales agent at the time, Corey Harris, that it could not be done.  Corey proceeded against my wishes to "prance" my ad all over the place, contrary to my wishes.  Finally, I saw that he had worked very diligently to get an ad from a "drive-in theatre" that really was a blow up screen at the York County Fair Grounds (NOT a drive-in theatre) IN PENNSYLVANIA, into the "movie directory" and placed it ABOVE my ad (out of alphabetical order.)  I guess this is what sales persons at THE SUN can do if you are uncooperative with what they want to do.

 

The very comedic part was that it appeared as a display ad (something like a photo or camera ready art) within the classified ads, and when I asked if I could do that, the answer was yes, but it was VERY expensive and complicated for me to do it.  Yet there it was, the blow up "not a drive-in theatre" York "drive-in"  (LOCATED IN YORK PENNSYLVANIA) ad easily put into the Baltimore SUN movie directory, "CO-INCIDENTLY" happening during this bad time I was having with the movie directory people.

 

I found out later (in 2008) that The SUN wanted to list MUVICO's Egyptian first, and would not budge.  This means that Hoyt's suffered for years not knowing this, and they were not listed first until finally I pointed this out to Hoyts. (All of the ads were listed in alphabetical order, by county or area of Baltimore County, or Baltimore City, EXCEPT  this MUVICO complex.  It was listed first, ("M" Muvico comes AFTER "H" Hoyt's, but the SUN, for MANY years must have had a deal with Muvico, unless the folks at the SUN just do not know the alphabet, because I pointed this out to the SUN well over a year before I told Hoyts, but it was never corrected until I went to Hoyts.)

 

Now (2009,)  AA county has a new theatre, so the BOW TIE comes before Hoyts, but the "C" Cinemark comes after "H"  They will "elude" to that "unpredictable" pagination program not behaving, but personally, it is the SUN advertising that is misbehaving, but is just not important enough for the credible side to look into it. 

 

Then in a recent approach (May of 2009) to the SUN, I again asked for the DRIVE-IN section of the directory be moved, because I am tired of working very hard on an ad (in my opinion, one of the nicest ones in the directory AND one of the "hardest earned") only to have it appear at the end of the directory, or pushed off the page by another ad.  I did not insist the drive-in banner be listed first, but asked if it could be moved somewhere other than dead last.

 

The only thing the SUN was willing to do this year was "regionalize" my theatre, so that they could drop the "DRIVE-IN" banner, and I was not willing to do this.   I have seen way too many "liberties" taken by these folks that have diminished both the theatre listing and their credibility.

 

When I made this approach, it was VERY funny, because not only did they say "no" to a banner or moving the section, but included an "invitation" out of the directory in the same email!  I was offered the opportunity to "come out" as early as the following Monday, if I replied by 5pm the day the email was sent on a Friday, so even though I saw it late (Fridays are very busy for me, or course) I replied to the positive, yes, please take me out! 

 

I had already and did continue to "survey" the crowd here at the Bengies, as most of you know I do that by asking you to "flash your lights" at appropriate times to answer the questions.  I am only sorry I did not do this sooner, because I have now made the discovery that my patrons use The Baltimore SUN the very least to find out what is playing at the Bengies. So minuscule was the amount that I really feel good about the decision to come out, and can only hope that other theatre exhibitors take the time to find this out as well.

 

So I want you all to know, I came out of the SUN because here I was supporting an entity for the sake of CREDIBLE news, when this latest run in finally awakened me.

 

Yet one more time the Advertising Department at The Baltimore SUN rears its head and tries to disarm me of MY freedom of speech as recently as July 2009.  After coming out and posting the explanation of why I came out and notified all via my only means, this web site, I was contacted by the "readers reward" people, and they (the timing of this is AMAZING) wanted to "help" me and bring many "higher end" customers out to my business, and put something on the front page of The Baltimore Sun the day of a promotional screening, and would do so if I would just take down my message on the web site CONCERNING The Baltimore SUN.

 

I refused, and they "pulled" the "opportunity."  The opportunity that came AFTER I have been a more than 20 year ADVERTISER in The Baltimore SUN and local land mark for more than 54 years.  The real joke is on them, because if they just would have done what would have been the right thing, I would have done the right thing too.

 

Once again folks, my real feeling is:  when The United States Of America's founding forefathers ALLOWED for a "Free Press" it is a darn shame they did not DEFINE what they meant by that.  It is the "FREE PRESS" that has truly made advertising and special interest flourish, and the common man an incidental worm who is relegated to whatever "news" sells ads, gains your attention, or gets you to "tune in" to get us to take in their "slant" on what they call "news."

 

How credible is a newspaper that allows their advertising department to fool the public, and mess with the littlest advertiser in the paper?

 

Lastly, as a lot of you know, I had a knock down drag out fight with Dan Rodricks several years ago, some of this is in the archives right on this site.  The PUNCH LINE to that entire story was never given out of courtesy to the newspaper that I formerly looked up to.

 

So now I want you all to know, that those people whom he wrote about, the "seven little Catholic school children who were thrown out of the Bengies for sharing..." WERE CLOSE PERSONAL FRIENDS OF DAN RODRICKS! 

 

I did not know this for a few years, until that "NICE BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICEMAN" Dan referred to in the article, came back a little over a year later and told me that the folks sat in his car and told him they... "were close personal friends of Dan Rodricks and were going to ....RAKE MY @$$ ALL OVER THE PAGES OF THE BALTIMORE SUN!"  (My employees heard some of them saying this, but did not tell me until after the article appeared, so I discounted it until the policeman came in and told me this directly.  He also mentioned that Dan never tried to contact him.)

 

I wonder why Dan never mentioned that in the article or follow up. Did he actually send them into the Bengies to do exactly what they did to create a story?  I would not believe any answer I would get out of Dan Rodricks.

 

You can still catch Dan on the pages of the SUN, or you can tune him in on the radio, and listen to him over the air waves of National Public Radio.  I used to think that NPR was credible too, until I heard they hired Dan....

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Friday, Oct 31st through Saturday, Nov 1st

Box Office Opens This Week
Fri - 6:00pm / Sat - 5:15pm


Dracula Untold
Rated: PG-13
Starts: Fri - 7:00pm / Sat - 6:30pm
 


John Wick
Rated: R
Starts: Fri - 8:45pm / Sat - 8:00pm
 


The Equalizer
Rated: R
Starts: Fri - 10:45pm / Sat - 10:00pm