There’s nothing quite like going to see a movie at the movie theatre. I’ve loved it ever since I was a little girl, and although, then and since, I’ve not gone more than a few times a year, it’s always been one of my favorite things to do.
There’s nothing like the smell of popcorn and the crush of stray Hot Tamales underfoot. There’s nothing like waiting, breathlessly, for the lights to darken and the screen to quiet. There’s nothing like previews, which are often more entertaining than the movie itself. There’s nothing like sitting in a theatre with hundreds of people, and hearing everyone sob at once, or laugh at once, or scream at once.
Movies, I firmly believe, are best when shared. They’re best when more than one hand digs into a bucket of popcorn, and several straws are poked into one giant Coke (although who ever remembers which straw is which?). They’re best, of course, when seen in a theatre.
Which is why, as we all knew I would, I thoroughly enjoy my volunteer gig at the local movie theatre. As of right now, I’ve worked a concessions training shift and a ticket booth training shift. Both were enjoyable, but what I really want to do is be a projectionist (yes, that’s an actual title). I’ve wondered for some time now about the man-in-the-tiny-room-behind-the-theatre, and it’s time I found out. The theatre I work at, additionally, still uses old-fashioned reels. They’re saving to buy a digital projector, but before that happens, I want to nudge myself into that tiny room.
One of my English professors (let me tell you, I’ve seen several, several professors today, between the theatre and the grocery store and walking down my street) is a projectionist, and he offered to let me shadow him on any Monday when he works. I think I’ll take him up on that offer. Tomorrow.
In the meantime, friends, please stop sneaking snacks into the movie theatre. I know that jumbo box of Charleston Chew is cheaper at Walmart, but here’s what I’ve learned: individual movie theatres only get to keep about 6% of every ticket they sell. The movie production companies get the rest. Ergo, almost all theatre profits come from concessions. It makes sense, then, that concessions are overpriced; because if they weren’t, the theatre likely couldn’t stay afloat. So every few months, when it’s rainy, and when you decide to go see the new Nicholas Cage, please please buy concessions at the theatre. I know I will from now on.