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Working At the Movies: The Reality

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

I’ve been working at a movie theatre for almost two years now, and I have to say, it’s been an experience.

If you’re looking for a job that combines Hollywood and minimum wage, this is the job for you. Working at the movies is like being a part of this weird film society that knows way too much about how popcorn is made.

First off, there are definitely some perks. Yes, I get free popcorn and drinks, and yes, I can see movies for free (sometimes). Sometimes we get to go to movie screenings before it officially releases, so that’s cool. After a while the free popcorn thing gets a little old, but I can’t complain.

With the perks come the downsides. “With great power comes great responsibility,” they say.

Well, they were right.

There are some situations I have encountered at this job that I never thought I would encounter. This includes, but is not limited to, a customer bringing in an entire pizza or barbecue pork, walking through empty theatres and finding people asleep long after the movie ended, or an angry customer throwing a bucket of popcorn at our manager.

One of the more interesting things about working at a movie theater is the variety of customers you encounter. There are people of all ages, from kids to seniors, and everyone in between.

Don’t even get me started on the loud teenagers that pay $10 just to NOT watch the movie. If you want to get rowdy, go sit outside at Sonic or something.

tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2

Some of the customers are quiet and nice, while others are loud and very assertive. Some come alone, while others come in large groups. You never know who you’re going to meet, which makes the job exciting and unpredictable.

On my first day of the job, one of my old coworkers said to me, “If there’s anything you remember at this job, just remember the customer is always stupid.”

Harsh, I know, but if you’re in customer service, you get it. Sometimes, people are just too much.

Honestly, everyone in retail or food service, you get a pat on the back. I get it, it’s tough. You’re doing amazing.

Aside from that, it’s heartwarming to know that I’ve made some good friends at this job, bonding over the occasional trauma caused by cleaning soda spills or week-old oil leaks. I’ve also become better at multitasking (thanks to concessions) and faking a smile for customer service.

Plus, it’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends and get a sense of what people are talking about.

After a busy day, it’s an amazing feeling to finally clean the mess, go home, get out of the uniform and go to sleep. It’s a small victory every shift I finish, which is another reason I enjoy being a part of the little family we’ve created.

Maybe it’s not the most glamorous job, but it comes with its own set of experiences and challenges that keeps me coming back for more.

Savannah Hynes

Winthrop '24

Majoring in Graphic Design, minoring in Cat Whispering.