Glossary

Just so you know what the hell I’m talking about, here’s some movie theater lingo:

Seater: That’s me, most of the time. If I’m working a “seating shift,” it means I hang out in a theater before showtime and greet guests as they arrive, and I take them to their reserved seats. I’m there to make the guest’s life easier, especially because our seating arrangement is completely weird and no one can ever figure out where their damn seat is. I’m also there to be a police officer of sorts, to make sure people actually sit in the seat they reserved, because if only one person decides to switch seats, and the show is sold out, it causes this horrible domino effect. Suddenly I’m standing there with three hundred unhappy guests and no seats for them and the movie is about to start and oh God I’m going to get fired.

Ticket-Taker: The most mind-numbingly boring position in a movie theater. You stand in one spot for eight hours and tear ticket stubs. Seriously. That’s it. SO FUCKING BORING. But you get to see more celebrities that way. Because you’re the gate-keeper. You’re the only worker in the whole place who has to talk to every single guest, no matter what.

Theater: I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I want to clarify: when I say “theater,” I’m usually talking about an individual auditorium within the whole movie theater. As in, “Which theater is Batman playing in?” “Theaters 2 and 7.” Or, “Get to your theater, your movie is about to let out and you need to exit-greet!”

Exit-Greet: This is what seaters do as each movie lets out. We stand and thank people for coming, and help them with any other questions they may have. (“Where are the bathrooms?” “How do I validate?” “Why did I just watch a movie about a board game?”)

Theater-Checking a.k.a. Theater-Watching: There is a lot of downtime at a movie theater. When all movies in a set have gone in, we are supposed to do “theater checks” which just means we walk into each movie and make sure no one is talking, texting, whatever. But usually on a slow day, there is so much time to theater-check, that it just becomes “theater-watching.” And you literally get to stand on the sidelines and watch the entire movie, just because you have nowhere else you need to be.

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