Driver stung by parking fine as he watched film

Dark Knight Rises the cost by $12

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 11:30 06/09/2012
John Jackson
EMMA ALLEN
Ticketed off: Witherlea resident John Jackson with the $12 fine he got for overstaying his parking limit while watching a long film at the Top Town Cinema in Blenheim.

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John Jackson's relaxing day off took a sour turn when his car was slapped with a $12 parking fine while he was at particularly long movie.

The Witherlea man had been booted out of the house by his wife on Friday and told to go enjoy himself on his day off in the lead-up to Father's Day.

He decided to see The Dark Knight Rises at the Top Town Cinema, and parked in the 150-minute parking zone beside the theatre.

He "didn't do the math" before parking, he siad, and failed to calculate that the latest thrilling instalment of the Batman series is a whopping 2 hours 53 minutes long.

"I don't think many people take note of the length of a movie.

"I just went to where I thought there was long-term parking," he said.

He enjoyed the film but it was debatable whether it was worth double the $12 for the ticket.

Mr Jackson said he knows he made a mistake and just wants to bring his experience to the notice of other people who use the car park.

Top Town Cinema manager Duncan MacKenzie said the theatre can make arrangements for patrons who attend long movies at the cinema.

Go to the box office and staff will note down their registration number and then they can park in cinema-owned spaces on the stadium side of the theatre, he said.

The next parking problem for the theatre will be when Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, likely to be an epic in scope and length, opens in November.

Mr Mackenzie said he hopes to have seven or eight new parks available then.

Marlborough District Council support services manager Dean Heiford said the council was well aware of longer movies.

"It is an unusual occurrence and that is why we have in the past shown some leniency."

He advised people to contact Marlborough Roads if they wanted to challenge a parking ticket.

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- The Marlborough Express

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