Customer ServiceIamA Movie Theater Employee, and I've seen the dirty part of the movie business. AMA!
Mar 5th 2015 by MovieTheaterPro • 58 Questions • 359 Points
I've worked at a 10 screen movie theater for over two years and I've seen some shit. I saw a guy have a seizure during a movie, I've found over $50 cleaning theaters, I have kicked out loud teenagers, I have caught (many) couples having sex in theaters and the bathroom, and I make the best popcorn in the world. Ask me anything!
EDIT: Thanks y'all for caring so much about my job and my stories.. I'll be back again tomorrow. Hopefully with popcorn. :)
EDIT: please don't take out your local-movie-theater anger on me. My theater is run very smoothly and besides my entertaining stories of rude customers or crazy teenagers, we don't have that many problems/complaints. So please don't yell at me about your local cinema not enforcing the no cell phone rule or anything. There's really, honestly, NOTHING I can do for you.
LAST EDIT I SWEAR: Guys, this is my first reddit account and first post. I'm REALLY sorry if I miss a question or answer one the wrong thread, I'm a newbie.
Do you ever get parents who bring their kids to see movies that they shouldn't? What's your stance on that?
ALL THE TIME. I had a dad bring his 3 year old daughter in to see "We're The Millers" and when I warned him about the movie he said, "She has an older brother". UM what??? Not the same thing! And today I had a mom bring a 6 year old in for Fifty Shades. When I tried to warn her about the movie she said, "I know, I read the book". THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING??
Had a father bring his 6 year old son to Kingsman the other day and then screamed at us afterwards because the movie was too "inappropriate" for his kid. We always warn parents before bringing kids to R rated movies but they do it anyways... and then we get yelled at
EXACTLY! This happens to me all the time. Even when we read off the list of things wrong with the movie.
"This movie has sexual content, violence, and strong drug use." "That's fine for my 4-year-old son, he has an older brother."
Former movie theater employee here, I only made it six months before I couldn't handle it anymore, so props to you! How long have you been working for?
Also, do you have a funniest or most annoying customer story? Mine involved a woman paying for $21 in concessions in dimes, nickels, and pennies on the night that Madagascar premiered. It was awesome.
I've been working here for over two years, though now that I'm in college I don't work as much as I used to. And I HATE when customers call and ask me to read alllll of the movies and showtimes that are playing. They're in the newspaper, online, and on the movie hotline.. so don't bother me!
Why can't the sound levels for the previews be reduced to the same levels as the actual movie?
Most theaters have a separate projector for ads (they come via satellite from corporate) and the ad projector is always turned up louder. I have never understood why though because in my theater it's always turned down.
Are you talking about the floor? Because... the floor of a movie theater seems very very dirty.
The floors are very gross, but I sweep them between shows and try to mop them if there is a pop spill. Though I once found what I thought to be semen on the floor of a theater. Long story short: Do NOT trust the five second rule in a theater. Let that starburst stay on the floor pls.
Not that I know of. Our 3D charge is only $1 more, and I'm pretty sure that just goes to insurance on our 3D glasses (ours are big and clunky and reuseable)
Not OP, but snacks are how the theaters make money. The movies themselves are so incredibly expensive, the ticket cost just barely pays for them at most chains.
How do I convince moviegoers that I am way more important and entertaining than the film they paid through the ass to watch?
Be super loud and annoying, turn the brightness on all of your devices up as high as it will go, and bring as many screaming children as possible.
Have you ever caught someone making the video of a movie (like piracy stuff). If yes, what is your role in this situation? Do you hand them over to cops or what?
I actually haven't caught that, though I feel like those people are really sneaky about recording movies. If I did catch someone my boss would want to call the cops, though I would probably just ask them to put it away/leave the theater depending on how nice I am feeling and how nice they are being.
do you get to watch movie before they are released to the public?
Yes! My theater has Friday night midnight showings for employees only (and one guest) but in the summer/the night before big movie premieres we usually move them to Thursday. I got to see Mockingjay before y'all.
Q: Are theaters contractually obligated to keep a certain movie in heavy rotation even when it is failing in the box office like Jupiter Ascending?
We have to keep movies for a minimum of 2 weeks, and our corporation decides what movies we lose and when. But bigger chains have to keep them for longer. And yeah, I think we got like 14 people in two weeks for Jupiter Ascending. It wasn't that great.. haha.
Yeah, so we go and turn it down. Then we get complaints about it being too quiet. It sucks because the movies fluctuate so much and turning it up/down will make the quiet parts quieter and the loud parts louder.
How much does it usually cost for a theater to run a movie? What is the biggest expense for the theater?
I wouldn't know all of that because our corporate offices usually deal with movie/ticket prices and sales, we just keep track of concessions. I do know that we save a lot of money since we are only required to keep bad movies for a minimum of two weeks.
What's the secret to movie theater-style popcorn? I wanna make it at home but it's never the same.
Lol, I get this all the time. I think the kettle makes it pop more fully (better than a microwave) but the butter is what really makes it taste great. Although it's not actually butter, it's oil.
This is the "butter" we use: http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/863082-kernel-seasons-popcorn-popping-oil.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&gclid=CNfm6pmhkMQCFYNDaQodzLsAgg#.VPfL7FX3-iw
Would theater cancel the movie show just because there were not enough ticket sales? Then what happen to the people who bought the tickets?
We wouldn't do that. We;ve run shows that only one person is sitting in!
Has anyone ever fainted or freaked out so much they caused a scene and had to be removed during a scary movie?
When I went to go see The Conjuring, something like that almost happened with the people next to me but they left(it was a boyfriend and his girlfriend) after she started hyperventilating during the 'locked in the basement' scene.
We've had people leave movies because they were so freaked out, but we don't ask them to leave. Just let them make the choice. However, I did see a guy have a seizure last summer during a scene in 22 Jump Street. I don't know what scene because I haven't seen the movie but I'm guessing it was super flashy and obnoxious (his wife told us that he was epileptic). We had to call 911.
I do a lot in the summer when I don't have school! (I'm in college). I get in free and I can get one other person in for free, so I see a lot of movies and take my friends, too.
No, about twice per screening there's an attendant that walks in with a flashlight-looking thing (like what you'd use to guide a jet on the tarmac), then stands near the screen staring at the crowd, then walks away.
Oh, that's annoying. We try to only walk in during the show if we get a noise complaint or something. They are probably just counting how many people are in the theater to make sure nobody snuck in, or maybe they are making sure people aren't on their phones. It could be for a variety of reasons
What's the most terrifying experience you've had whilst working? For example, someone bringing a weapon into the cinema etc.
One time I had a customer who was in my face cursing and yelling because I "sold her a ticket to a sold-out movie". What actually happened was that I sold her a ticket to see a movie and it was ALMOST sold out, so I warned her that she may not be able to sit with her whole family (6 people) if they bought these tickets. She ignored me and bought them anyways. Then, when her family couldn't find seats all together, she got up in my face screaming because she thought I sold her tickets to a sold out show.
Anything we can do to make you and other movie theatre employees' lives easier?
I thought this was just common knowledge, but PLEASE throw away your trash after a movie! When I'm ushering my job is to make sure nobody is talking during your movie and to clean up accidental popcorn/pop spills.. not pick up 100+ half drank coke cups!
Oh and pls no blowjobs in the back row. That would be cool too.
If movie theaters have to pay so much for first run films, could they make cash by playing older but super popular films to generate some cash? Like Rosemary's Baby and The Omen as a double feature or something?
Around christmas we show popular holiday movies and make some cash!
Hey could you make me some fresh popcorn?
Also I want butter in the middle.
Oh, wait sorry i wanted to put salt in the middle too. Can you dump some out?
LOL. I ALWAYS ask if you want butter, and if the answer is yes then I put it in the middle too. But I hate when people ask me to dump it out. That's just a waste!
Why would anyone take a cucumber to 50 Shades of... Wait, nevermind.
But how would they sneak it in/out of the theater... Wait, nevermind again.
Just.. Don't ask
Have you ever let people (girls or guys) inside without a ticket just because they were pretty or they were somehow related to you?
I've never let people in without a ticket, but I have let my underage friends into rated R movies without checking their ID (which is actually a big deal at my theater because my boss loves to ID people)
I read that you have caught couples having sex in the theater bathrooms but you guys can't see what couples do in their seats right?
We don't have security cameras in the theaters but I have walked in to check on theaters and caught couples in the act. I've also gotten complaints before where I actually have to go stop them. Some of our theaters aren't stadium seating, so when I walk in the door I'm standing right behind the back row. That's usually when I catch people.
What are your thoughts or stance on someone sneaking in a double feature (going into another movie after the movie they paid for is over)?
Its hard to do at my theater because all of our movies start/end around the same time and usually have a large amount of time between the shows. However, if you can sit through two movies and not get bored, just do it.