Growing up, we all have those odd, unusual, jobs that we try to succeed in doing to make a little extra cash. Most of the time, it was either you trimming weeds for your grandma, or raking a nearby yard for a quick, easy, ten bucks. Eventually, those numbers just don’t cut it. Yes, we love our grandma, but, after a while, getting paid in hugs and kisses wears off. Most people that know me, understand I have an undying devotion to the art of cinema, and so it was only destiny that I would find myself working at two movie theaters in my lifetime thus far. Still, while yes we do get to see movies for free, have a nice group of people to work with, and all the popcorn you can smell - sometimes, like with any job, there are some, not, so friendly, portions that you wish didn’t exists, but they do. Here are some of the more, annoying, aspects of an otherwise enjoyable job.
Free popcorn Tuesdays
Whenever something has the word “free” in it can’t be good. Whichever it is your respective theater does, mine takes part in an annual summer promotion where popcorn is given out like candy. Sure, it was great to come in to reap those benefits when I didn’t work there, but now, it’s like "Black Hawk Down." These people want their popcorn, and they want it now.
We all have to use them. But you know, sometimes, people like to get obnoxious, and stuff toilet paper where it shouldn’t go, causing a massive overflow in the restrooms, that requires seal team six to come in a try to save the day. Most of the time, we get the job done. But it’s not until after we go to hell and back.
Free kids' shows
Those that term again “free”. And let me just say, you are lucky you haven’t had to go head to head with these bad boys. It’s almost like "Captain America: Civil War" - we have the ones you want peace (the good kids who take care of their oversized popcorns) and the ones who don’t want to be controlled (yeah, that popcorn is sitting nice and dumped out on the floor now). It’s a massive jungle when comparing these shows to others, because you don’t know the type of mess they will make. It’s enough to send you into PTCD (post theater cleaning depression.) These kids can be cruel, putting popcorn boxes in places we, ushers, never thought existed. It’s madness.
DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS ABOUT THE PRICE OF CONCESSIONS
Listen, it’s never our fault why concession prices are they way they are. But you should all know that a majority of movie theaters (in fact, probably all) make their money of selling those popcorn and pops at a moderately inflated price. Usually, the studio takes up to 70% of revenue from ticket sales - leaving hardly any room for the theater to profit. So next time you are thinking about complaining due to the prices, please just remember, we don’t set those guidelines, we just abide by them. We love helping our customers decide what delicious snacks to choose. So, if you are unsure, just ask!
Opening weekend of any huge movie
Sure, that usually makes the day go by faster when you are working hard. That’s not the issue with this last point. The issue is it becomes Black Friday...but like every week. All of us movie theater employees kind of a do a sigh when we hear the next big Marvel movie is coming out, or, worse, "Star Wars." Granted, we still get excited about seeing a new big-budget summer blockbuster, but, eventually, the notion sinks in that, “wait, I have to work the premiere of that.” But thanks to the strength of a good staff (including the one I work with) our jokes, and endless supply of sarcasm, seems to always push us through.
Of course, there is probably more you could add to this list. But, for the sake of time, I will just end it here. Feel free to comment on any that you thought should be added.
As always, I’ll see you at the movies.