Recently I was surfing around the internets and I came across this article from Readers Digest about the "13 Things A Movie Theater Employee Won't Tell You".
It brought back many many memories from my days of working at the Randhurst Mall General Cinemas (or AMC in my post college days).
Being that it was my very first job (that I had to get due to a certain accident in my mom's minivan that involved a stoplight...I'm sure anyone that's work with me or knows me personally is chuckling right now thinking of the story), it was a mixture of good things and bad things.
I mean being a 16 yr old working at a place where other 16 yr old's came to hang out had it's perks:
- I saw all the free movies I wanted to, which was great with the limited funds that I had at the age...I was also able to get most of my friends in for free.
- It opened the door to getting to know kids from neighboring high schools, which led me to my first official girlfriend (who worked next door at the Steak & Shake).
- The fellow staff members almost felt like secondary family members at times because you spent a lot of late hours/early mornings in the same building with the same people.
- Getting to know the older staff/managers also helped in getting an early access to alcohol and other pre-legal age activities.
- With it being a business where fun and enjoyment is encouraged, it also was a little lax on rules/boundaries (one of my favorite stories was when I wore a drink tray as a mask, a popcorn bucket as a glove, and used the "pizza cutting machete" to chase one of the ushers through the front lobby in front of customers...most other jobs would've fired you on the spot, but I just got sent home with a warning).
The stories and perks of those early days could go on for days, I even have plenty from my post college/before my real first job time as a low-level manager at the Streets of Woodfield AMC where I would eat free food, see free movies, and basically "hung out" for an eight hour shift, five days a week...if only the job paid better, I'd probably still be there.
Any of you out there ex-theater workers and have some solid stories from your days working in concessions, box office, or ushering?