At the age of sixteen I got a job at a movie theater. It turned out to be a fantastic place to work for teens and was one of the most fun filled experiences of my early years.
A teen job at a movie theater is great for a student because the work hours typically fit pretty well with school schedules. The busiest hours at theaters are in the early evening and on weekends, when school is not in session, so teens are available to work.
The first teen job position they put me in was Ticket Taker. That’s the guy who stands at the little podium, asks for your tickets, tears them in half, and tells you which way to go to find your movie. It’s not a hard job by any stretch of the imagination. My boss liked the work I did there because I kept myself clean and presentable and I smiled all the time. So when customers walked in I created a good first impression for them. I also made sure to encourage people to stop at the concession stand first and buy some goodies. I would usually say something like, “Hi. Your movie is in theater 7. We just popped a fresh batch of popcorn, so grab a bag of that and enjoy your show.” It may sound corny to you now, but my boss loved it. And it never hurts to have the boss happy with you.
My next teen job post was as a helper in the concession stand. I would stand beside one of the cashiers and listen to what each customer was ordering. Then I would run and grab it. I filled bags with popcorn, filled cups with Coke, and fetched bags of M&Ms and Milk Duds. So by the time the cashier had finished counting out the change for the customer, all of their snacks were sitting on the counter ready to go. The Manager of the theater would give a prize (usually passes to get friends in for free movies) to the two-person team that sold the most at the concession stand every night. So there was always a competition to keep our line moving quickly and encourage customers to buy more and bigger stuff.
After a few days, I got a good feel for the concession stand and I started operating the cash register. Again, being clean and presentable and greeting customers with a smile made customers feel warm and fuzzy so they naturally wanted to buy their food from me; which meant I sold more and usually won the nightly competition. It also meant I was valuable to my Manager. So he worked to keep me happy by giving me the hours that I wanted and by not breathing down my neck while I was on the job.
As I continued in my teen job at the movie theater I got several pay raises and bonuses, and I rotated through several other responsibilities. Some nights I would sell tickets in the box office. Some nights I was on clean-up crew (sweeping theaters between movies) which was actually one of the easiest jobs for teens at the theater. I eventually moved into the role of Projectionist, which is the guy who runs the projectors up above the theater. Now that was a cool job for a teenager. I got to watch all of the movies. Because he trusted me not to goof off, my boss would occasionally let me have a friend up there with me (chicks loved it!)
Most of the other employees at the movie theater were teenagers too. So we were all friends and we had a great time. If I was a teenager today, using a Teen Job Finder service to locate a job, I would start by looking at teen jobs in movie theaters. My experiences as a teen in that job were great, and I hope yours will be too.