5 Reasons Working in a Movie Theater Was My Favorite Job

Categories: Film and TV

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Christine
Not a day goes by that I don't read Cracked.com. It's a wonderful source of inspiration and bizarre trivia that has led to hundreds of articles I've written, in addition to the fact that the site is just all around amazingly funny. That said, I got a little sad when I read this list of things that are horrible about working in a movie theater.

Not that the list is in any way inaccurate or anything. You do in fact smell like multiple layers of popcorn for pretty much your entire life, people that want a special batch of popcorn with no salt or butter at all are annoying, people are actually just in general annoying, and blah blah blah. It's more or less the same complaints you'd hear from any basic food service job really.

Still, I loved working in movie theaters. I worked in a local four-screen, then when it became a dollar cinema, then a googleplex, then finally as chief of staff at the Landmark River Oaks (My favorite!) for a period of five years. I actually started the process of becoming a union projectionist before digital technology sent that job path down the path of the dodo. Except for this gig, which nets me free video games, access to pretty much anything I want, and a paycheck for writing Doctor Who fan fiction, it was the happiest employment of my life. Because...

See also: Landmark River Oaks Theatre: Great Cinema & Consistent Cocktails

You Get to See Things Most People Would Miss: I'm going to draw mostly from working at River Oaks and Jacinto City's little four-screener because I got fed up with Tinseltown pretty quickly. My favorite moments were when we would have midnight staff screening on Thursdays. This was obstinately to check the print to make sure there were not problems with the splicing and such, but it was really an excuse for theater employees and all their friends to get a little early access to the latest releases a day early.

I'm not talking about stuff like The Avengers, either. I mean little weirdo pics like the Marquis De Sade biopic Quills, the cheesy ridiculousness of Con Air, and my personal favorite, being the first people in Houston to really find out what The Blair Witch Project was all about. The screenings were pretty open, so I invited all kinds of friends to sit in a very low-key atmosphere as we watched Sex: The Annabel Chong Story or the latest French import. I saw some of my favorite movies this way.

The Swag: My house is full of stuff that was handed to me after it was used for marketing. Tshirts, posters, stand-ups, and in some cases 35mm trailers which I'm pretty sure now they weren't actually supposed to give me. Screw 'em, I'm not handing off anything to do with The Velvet Goldmine I don't have to!

I've got dog tags from 28 Days Later, a cardboard stand-up from Dark City, soundtracks from Run Lola Run and Boys Don't Cry, and God knows what else tucked away. It was always a nice little thing, to be able to call dibs on the promo materials. It didn't make up for the fact that you made next to nothing, but it did make you feel a little special.


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19 comments
Stephanie Savage
Stephanie Savage

i worked at Greenway 3 in the late '80s - time of my life!

n0e11e37
n0e11e37

ostensibly*** not obstinately. although the idea of holding special screenings to stubbornly/angrily check the print is pretty funny.

Lisandro Sanchez
Lisandro Sanchez

I loved working in the Airport ... You always met celebrities and awesome people from different cultures. I even found fun to work with the people that came pissed off out of the planes :D. Just my co-workers sucked major balls -_- and the pay was minimum wage.

Lourie Staib
Lourie Staib

Babysitting 2 teenage girls after school for 2 months,

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

The Houston Chronicle is reading this so they can document how humiliating your jobs are and tell you what pieces of shit you are

Ryan Cope
Ryan Cope

Right now!!! Spin/Body Combat/Cycling/Triathlon/Running instructor. I absolutely love being hit on the way I do. As someone who was 272 pounds for 15 years up until two years ago that was pretty much something I never got to experience in my adult life so it's a super super awesome feeling....to say the least. Being able to exercise to the music I love, getting a mannequin build, AND getting paid for it, and bringing others on the journey with me is pretty dope. I have never felt more healthy and alive than I do right now. It's not even work. I just show up and do what I love doing.

Keith Hanna
Keith Hanna

Working at Astroworld. From 1990 through 1992. I worked on various rides in the park and made some great friends and tons of memories.

Lisa Li
Lisa Li

I worked at The Alamo Draft House in West Oaks as a teenager. And I hated it because it was owned by a deuche!

Carolyn Kiki Hicks McArthur
Carolyn Kiki Hicks McArthur

working the record store (Cactus in late 80's and early 90's) and getting free tickets to shows. Thinking you had a life until you got the "Real Job" and could no longer afford going out to shows and clubs. Got to see bands before anyone knew who they were like, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aztec Camera, KD Lang, The Judybats, EMF, KMFDM, Ministry, NIN, among many others I cannot list... such memories

Houstess
Houstess

I love the buttered popcorn at Landmark and the cool retro.  I always imagine viewers from long ago days dressing up and sitting in my seat to watch Gone With the Wind or Giant.  And the folks working there are always nice.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

As a kid I dreamed of working at the Majestic Metro--back when they had kung fu marathons on Friday and Saturday nights.

Sara Meyn Holder
Sara Meyn Holder

Fun Fact--- I went with a friend to River Oaks to see Blair Witch, but the line was crazy long, so, we went somewhere else and watch Lake Placid... After seeing Blair Witch later on, pretty sure I made the right choice...

scottr35
scottr35

Obstinately?  Perhaps you mean, "ostensibly"?

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Live your dream, Mr. Cope. Live your dream.

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