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TOPIC: Entry Level Mgmt Skills -

Entry Level Mgmt Skills - 06 Jul 2003 20:11 #24048

  • Alysa
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Hi All,

This weekend I saw “Whale Rider” (at a small 5-screen independent theater) and “Finding Nemo” (at a large 6-screen chain multiplex). In both cases I went very early (before the first screening) in order to talk with the respective managers. After I convinced them that I was not “hitting them up for a job” and that I was not some “space cadet”, they agreed to talk with me.

I told each of them essentially the same story – that I wanted to learn the business, had taken early retirement from a large blue computer manufacturer, and that I was planning to take the Kodak projection classes in order to gain some initial theater skills. I then asked for their opinion –

The independent owner agreed that having this knowledge could help me get my foot in the door. In his world managers have to be able to do almost everything, and having some worthwhile skills (e.g. projection) could help get me started.

The manager of the large chain theater said such knowledge would not be of much use in his world – unless my goal was to join IATSE. His advice to me was to first treat the theater as a business – and to get the necessary skills in business management, accounting, and especially HR.

I found both these conversations to be very illuminating (no pun intended) – and would like to ask the owners/managers on this forum if they have any opinions they could share?

Thanks for any comments,

"Living & Learning"..

Time passes .........
(PS: Darn, I was hoping to edit this BEFORE anyone replied - I didn't mean to infer going directly into management. What I meant to say was to enter at ground-zero but have some worthwhile skill-set to prepare for a move into eventual management - sorry for appearing so presumptous)

[This message has been edited by Alysa (edited July 07, 2003).]
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Re: Entry Level Mgmt Skills - 06 Jul 2003 20:59 #24049

I work for a large chain running a 20 screen & IMAX and I would agree with the independent owner more. Even if the theatre you were to work at was a union theatre as the manager it’s still you theatre. I have worked with union operators and it makes my job and theirs much easier if I know what I’m talking about. The theatre that I am at now we have projectionists/managers running the both. Running a high volume theatre I don’t get to run the both more than every few months but I know what should & should not be done. I am a generalist. I have to know to know HR, cash management, projection, and how to clean up vomit all over my seats. I guess what I’m saying is learn all aspects of your building
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Re: Entry Level Mgmt Skills - 06 Jul 2003 23:17 #24050

  • outaframe
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HELLO ALYSA <> I have read enough of your posts to realize that you are a real movie fan, and believe that you will really enjoy learning the "nuts and bolts" of how film ends up on the screen... Whether this knowledge will gain you a prominent spot with some future employer, depends on who you end up working for (or with)... My short experience with a major chain was made possible in part because I was an experieced projectionist before I arrived there, yet after I was on the job, they wouldn't allow me near the booth, and wanted me to put all my efforts into pushing concession sales and profits... I also worked shortly for a smaller chain where I was both projectionist and manager... But the real fun, challenge, and opportunity in this business lies in having your own theater, and when you do, you'd best be able to do every job in the house better than anyone you hire, 'cause sooner or later, you'll likely end up doing just that... In your case, I'd say take the course, and go for it all... Good Luck!

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Re: Entry Level Mgmt Skills - 07 Jul 2003 13:43 #24051

Take the course you might work in a non union theatre. Not only did I already know projection before I went to work I also knew a lot about the industry.
I also can repair all of the projectors I worked with because I spent the time taking stuff apart and putting back together ( on my own)
Go for it.
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