At age 16, most teenagers find themselves in the position to look for a job to enter the workforce. I found that in the Portage 16 IMAX. Having been my first and only job for the last six and half years, until Ideas in Motion Media recently, I have experienced anything and everything you could imagine from working at a movie theater.
The atmosphere is great. You are surrounded by movies and people who love movies everyday. I have a strong passion for movies, so being able to talk to customers and co-workers about that everyday is definitely a perk. The film industry is extremely fast-paced because movies come and go on a weekly basis. This can create a stressful environment, but when customers and the staff are having a good time it makes the job all the more fun.
I started out as a staffer working all of the floor positions: box office, concession, usher, and later on projection. This is a great place to start because it teaches a person how to handle money, develop time management skills, and provide customer service. I think this is a great perk because these are important life skills to learn as a teenager before entering a larger workforce as an adult. Every 90 days the staff gets evaluated by a manager, which results in raise to their hourly rate. This gives the staff the opportunity to prove themselves as hard workers, and then get rewarded for their work. The big perk is that we are given a pass to watch one free movie a week with a popcorn and drink combo.
Opportunity is another great aspect to this job. Goodrich Quality Theaters is a large enough company to move up to a bigger position or even a career. For the last two years I have held a hourly shift manager position. This has allowed me to take on more responsibilities. No matter if it's a hourly, an assistant, or the general manager, we have all learned to run the building solo with handling customers, managing the staff, and making sure all of the “behind the scenes” is running properly. I have developed a lot of skills from doing these day-to-day operations. Managers get the same perks as staffers, such the passes, evaluations, etc. We also can pre-screen movies for testing to make sure there is nothing wrong with the film before opening day.
I think the biggest perk of working at the Portage 16 is the great people that I have met over the years. We operate like a giant 90 person family. A lot of us have become great friends inside and outside of the workplace, but we are also disciplined enough to keep our friendships professional while we are at work. We've been through a lot together as a group, which has created both good and bad memories. We've always stuck together in the end. All in all, this has been a great place to work because of everything I have learned, the people I've met, and the memories it has created.