I know I spoke before about some of the funny, and annoying things about working in a cinema, but really, it is a great job and there is a reason why some people keep working there. I mean I worked in cinemas for 10 years and only in the last 4 was I in management! Anyway! Let’s get right into the list.
When a new film comes in, usually it needs to be run through by the projectionist (or digital manager… or just manager now I guess) to make sure everything is running fine and to get a few bits of information from it. So, ladies and gents that means that the night before the staff come in as you are all leaving (or in the early morning before the cinema opens) and we plonk ourselves down, (probably after a few drinks in a nearby bar) and get ready to watch the film before you. It is one of the best parts of working in a cinema. So the people who rush for their midnight tickets or first show tickets and boast about seeing it first? Well sorry dear customer, around 30 people saw it before you.
The bigger the film, the better the preview feels. Though getting to see a horror film with just a few people around is a good thing too! Once a colleague was sat beside me and she was terrified of the film, so much so that every time she got scared she would beat the living daylights out of my arm… She worked out, so you can guess how my arm looked the day after.
I spoke about food at the cinema a little while ago and yes the food is very expensive, so with staff discount (sometimes 40 – 50% off depending on where you work) a wee tub of ice cream or a pic n mix will always go down well when you are low on sugar and energy after a long shift! Also doing that too often can cause for a bit of a weight increase, and that is before you work out that if your cinema is in a shopping centre/mall then you probably also get some discount at those food outlets too! We got discount off in a number of fast food chains and jeez, did having to food prep become important after a while!
This should really be a post on its own, so I might not go into full details, but it has been very rare in my time in cinemas that the entire team did not get along. With my first cinema job only one person was fairly recluse and he was the general manager, but also the area manager, so he was a tad busy. But with everyone else, we just all got along. Sure you had some utter lunatics, but you could get along with them! The atmosphere was usually pretty good, even when it was hectic busy, we were able to support each other and not let someone struggle alone. I do miss that type of comrade since my move to 9-5. Don’t get me wrong, where I work is great, but because the team I am currently in is so small, it feels different. But yes, expect some stories about the staff!
You can’t have one without the other can you!? As with staff, I could go on endlessly about customers or guests or patrons, whatever you call them at your cinema! When you get the regulars in, you can’t help but have a chat and discuss what is coming out etc. Plus the regulars will always, without a shadow of a doubt, provide you with the best reviews of a film. Some will totally miss the point of the film, but with you, they will be as honest as you would like to be.
I remember one customer who without fail would always have the same thing every time, to the point where you see them coming in through the doors and you have their food and drink ready for them before they even purchase anything.
You also get the people who are just nice and it makes a hell of a difference to be nice to someone serving you. It lifts you a little and usually (not all the time) you get that type of customer in a cinema, people are happy or excited to see a film and they send out that vibe. It’s just nice, a thank you goes a long way!
Plus strangely I have been tipped a few times by customers, which in a cinema with no bar, is surprising, but most welcome!
The chill periods
Depending on your cinema, you will have quiet days or gaps between films, Some of my favourite times was either on a daytime shift or a close, as depending on who you were on with, you could chat away and basically just hang out with a friend for a few hours and get paid to do so. An important thing we would do would be to try and think of inventive ways to fill the quiet periods… While still working of course, this could be just chatting about nothing and everything while popping popcorn boxes or filling up cups etc. There is always something to do, the task is to make sure how to make that a two person job!
If you get that day shift, you are getting treated well, next to nobody comes to the cinema on a Wednesday at 2pm, so time to just get things ready for the suckers having to do the evening shifts. Usually if you were extra lucky there would be a staff preview that night, so you could go home get ready and meet the others, but not before getting your ice cream for the walk home in the sun after having a day chatting to your workmates and the regular customers. Great times those day shifts!
Well that’s it for today as originally I had wanting 10 things, but I guess crossing over something north of 2,000 isn’t ideal! So come back next week for 5 other things! Until next time.