From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006
posted January 03, 2011 02:33 AM
Aside from a short break from the industry, I've worked at theatres every holiday season since I was 17. Blockbuster films, big crowds, long hours, pre/post holiday turnover of staff, and gift certificate/card sales have come to form my non childhood holiday memories. Closing early on Christmas Eve (the one day of the year when the industry does so); Christmas mornings spent with those who don't celebrate the holiday; evenings with people who have grown weary of "family time"; a day of answering "are you open today?" phone calls. A unique holiday experience, to say the least.
Back when exhibitors were a bit more "relaxed" with human resources and liability issues (and/or when employees were more "relaxed"), I remember attending some really fun theatre Christmas parties. When I was a teenage usher, at an independent, the manager actually bought a keg of beer for everyone (try getting away with that these days!). Even, normally uptight, AMC could let it's guard down (to a degree) in the multiplex days; I recall trading out passes for fully catered parties, everyone screening that season's big release, "secret Santa" gift exchanges, raffles for prizes as significant as a 20" television, etc. However, changing times and attitudes ultimately turned these festivities in to little more than "we'll treat the team to pizza" evenings. I can't really place all of the blame for this shift on exhibitors either, as I've noticed that today's theatre employees don't seem to have the same attitude towards working at a cinema as they once did; perhaps, it's partially a case of distorted "back in my day" memories, but things have definitely changed.
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