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Movie theaters offer everything from entry-level to management positions. Working at the movies can be a fun first job for a high school student, and beginning with an entry level job and sticking it out can certainly lead to more responsibilities (and money) if a movie theater turns out to be a good fit.
Several positions at a movie theater require little, if any, experience. These positions may offer a minimal paycheck, but they're a good starting position for a young employee. The ticket taker is usually in the lobby of a movie theater, ripping ticket stubs in half and welcoming guests into the theater. Concessions workers sell food to customers on their way into the movies. Most theaters also have ushers to help patrons find their seats and to verify that no one is sneaking in without a ticket.
Those who have prior experience or are willing to work their way up can look into some of the midlevel positions offered at a movie theater. The projectionist spends the length of the movie up in the projection booth operating the movie projector and making sure the movie plays without interruptions. Another position that's a step above an entry-level position would be an assistant manager. At almost any theater where you find a manager, you'll find an assistant keeping their workload manageable.
A movie theater manager plays several roles. She must keep track of several employees and make sure all of their responsibilities are being completed. She must also keep track of all aspects of the theater's business and should be an effective communicator. A movie theater staff is often made up of employees as young as 16; a manager should be patient and able to help in what, for many, could be a first working experience.
Besides offering steady, part-time employment, working at the movies gives employees to see movies as soon as they come out. Employees are also often granted the privilege of bringing guests along for free. Additionally, because of the younger crowds that gravitate toward movie theater jobs, there tends to be a quick turnover rate, which is helpful to know when you need to find employment in a pinch.
Working in a movie theater is a relatively low-stress environment. People who are out to see movies tend to be in a good mood, and people who work at the movies don't have to rush the way one might at a restaurant or an office. Being friendly and comfortable interacting with strangers is one of the most important skills necessary to succeed while working at the movies.
Bonnie Sludikoff completed her bachelor's degree in creative writing and screenwriting in 2006 and has been freelancing ever since. Since graduation, she has written for several companies and sites including "Poker Player Newspaper," The Choice Effect and Internet Brands. Sludikoff specialties include such topics as performing arts, education, health and fitness and home design.