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TOPIC: Where To PLace Your Office.

Where To PLace Your Office. 30 Sep 2002 12:30 #23505

I see many placements in different theatres and was wondering if there might be a favored spot to place your office space. Should in be seen by the public or should in be hid. If you have more then one floor is it better to locate it upstairs or down?
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Re: Where To PLace Your Office. 30 Sep 2002 12:37 #23506

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I was just visiting Mike's new theatre and he has a pretty good Manager's Office Placement.



It overlooks the lobby with a big window that opens so he can hear what's going on in the lobby. But when he is counting money nobody can look in and see the desk.

I was just discussing this with my partner last night and we agree that the manager's office should be private for meetings, phone calls, ect. The cash counting office if separate should also be private and publicly unknown. But the assistant manager's office space should be in full view of the lobby.

We are talking about taking over a theatre with a huge lobby and a huge box-office. I am thinking about placing an Assistant Manager's Office/Customer Service counter right there in the box office. He will be able to do refunds and attend to any problem imediatly. He will have is own computer station and various files so he may perform his work there as well.
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Re: Where To PLace Your Office. 01 Oct 2002 22:20 #23507

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When I aquired my present theatre back in 1970 it was through a lease. It was not until many years later that I bought the building. The office at that time was upstairs across the hall from the projection booth. The only way to get up there was from the street entrance that took you up to the other rental office's and apartments on the 2nd floor. What a wonderful arrangement that was, having to go outside everytime you went to or from the office.

The owner of the building decided not to include the two theatre office's with the lease as he was about to convert the two theatre office's, plus a three room dentist office all into one large apartment. When I asked where I would have an office he said: "What do you need an office for?" Everyone thinks that there is nothing to do in running a theatre. When I explained about all the paperwork, advertising preparation, telephone business, and of course the need for a private and secure place to count the money, he agreed to build me another office somewhere else within the theatre.

As there was no space available to take from the lobby, the only place left was back stage. He built me an office on the stage behind the screen where I could listen to the soundtrack over and over again and again. This wasn't much better then going outside as now I had to constantly go through the auditorium to get from the office to the lobby. And as before once the B.O. and concession stand were closed, no one would be in the lobby to keep an eye on things unless I kept a staff member on until close. The public had no idea where the office was and could never find it (maybe that wasn't so bad). It was a terrible situation and when I started having stage shows again it was in the way as it took 1/3 of the stage depth away. I did make it do for quite a few years, but when I bought the building, it was high on my list of things to change.

When that day came I decided to take space away from one of the rental stores next to the lobby and I had to cut through a two foot thick fire wall (sound familiar Mike?)to access the lobby. I also cut through the ceiling and stole space from one of the 2nd floor apartments to place a staircase that went directly from my office to the projection room as I had automated by then, and was again tired of going outside everytime I wanted to go up to threadup, start, or rewind the show. Can you imagine what it was like as a manager/operator with an office backstage and a projection room that could only be accessed after going outside from the lobby to get to the 2nd floor. After my new office and stairs were completed I thought that I was in heaven. The placement gave access to the office from the main lobby or grand foyer as they were often called, which is where the refreshment stand is located. Now while sitting at my desk I can see across the lobby. No one can enter the theatre without me knowing it. I can hear everything that goes on at the concession stand. I can also hear the projectors running in the booth and if anything goes wrong I will hear it instantly and can be in the booth within 10 seconds. I can't see the boxoffice but the doorman can at all times, and on the slow weekdays I take tickets myself so I see what is going on anyway. I'm only in the office between shows or during the day when the theatre isn't running. I always make it a policy to be on the floor when people are coming in or leaving. The office is easy for the public to find, and for business people to find during daytime office hours as well.

The office is the nerve center of the theatre, and should be located where it has easy access to the important parts of the theatre and easily accessable for the public as well, but of course be able to become private for interviews, money counting, and occasional naps when the day has been a really long one. If it can be designed to allow money to flow to it from the box office and concession stand without going through public areas, all the better, but that is not always possible.

It is best to have a private money counting room for larger multiplex theatres, but a single or twin can easily get away with doing that in the main office.

I also believe that an office should be comfortable and nicely decorated as many hours are spent there, and you want to make a nice impression of your theatre to business visitors who may never see the rest of the theatre. As a booker of 13 other theatres, I spend a lot of time in my office, especially during the early part of the week.

Make it convenient, comfortable, and well designed for the work that you must perform there, and your workday will be all the better for it.

(Now if someone would tell me how to post pictures here I would post a picture of my office)
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