Marquee Madness

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Well, last night was truly a series of unfortunate events. (That’s also a movie title. See? I’m so good at drawing parallels, since I was working at a movie theatre last night.) Everything seemed to go wrong, and so I shall attempt to explain last night to the best of my ability.

Basically, on a marquee shift, there are three main responsibilities: changing upcoming movie posters, changing the signs outside by the street and outside the theatre entrance, and changing the movie posters of the movies that are playing. Of these three responsibilities, at least one thing went wrong in each of them. To start off, things were going wonderfully. Our theatre got Doom and North Country, and someone had already gone and taken down those posters from the “Coming Soon” section and put them on the box office counter for me. There was also a Cheaper By the Dozen 2 poster rolled up, laying on the table, which I assumed was for me to put into one of the empty movie cases, and another poster in a standing case that goes in the centre of the lobby area. Since we have two movies playing at different times in one theatre, what is normally done is to put one of the posters in the “Now Playing” case, and the other in a standing case right in front of it. So I took the poster that was in the standing case and inserted it into the empty “Coming Soon” case. I thought that my job was done in regard to movie posters. I thought wrong.

First off, Scott told me that he had taken out the Cheaper By the Dozen 2 poster because we had gotten a giant standee for the movie. So I had to take that one back out, roll it up, and take it upstairs. I did so, and picked out a new upcoming movie poster, which I put in the empty case. The second problem, however, was that we only had one poster for one of the new movies, Doom. That’s quite a significant problem, because we need at least two posters – one for the “Now Playing” section, and another to put in the case right outside the appropriate theatre where it’s playing. I asked Scott what to do, and he told me to put the Doom poster outside the theatre, and then take the posters for the theatre playing two different movies and put both of them in “Now Playing” cases. That was fine, and it made sense, but that meant that I suddenly had to go pick out two more movie posters for this still-empty standing case that I had planned to use for the theatre with the two movies. I had to go back upstairs, get two more posters, and then put one on each side of the case. I came down with Curious George and Zathura. Scott then told me that I needed to put the Curious George poster in a “Coming Soon” case (which have a lock on them), or else someone would walk away with it. So that meant replacing one of the movies posters I had just replaced with the Curious George one, and then putting that and the Zathura poster in the standing case.

This whole process took me about an hour. That was the time spent figuring out what to do, running up and downstairs, actually doing it, and then having to redo everything all over again because of complications. By this time, I was already wanting to go home. I was just looking forward to the fact that one of the new movies only had four letters in it, and therefore would be easy to put up on the sign. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I got the letters ready to change the sign, got the ladder out, and got all set up. North Country was rated 14A, and Doom was an 18A movie, so I got out the appropriate letters and numbers and was all set. I took down the movie that was leaving our theatre, and then put up the new movie titles – and then hit a snag. The numbers 4 and 8 in the ratings wouldn’t fit in the track that holds the letters. They would fit in some of the ones lower down, but not in the ones that I needed to put them in. On the first side of the sign that I did, it wasn’t too much of a problem. I was over to the right far enough that I could slide the numbers in from the side. On the other side, though, I was too far over. They wouldn’t fit on that side either, and I ended up having to get down, move the ladder over, go back up, and then slide the numbers in. It was frustrating, and just another problem that I didn’t need to deal with at that point.

The signs got changed eventually, and I was just starting to feel like things were getting back on track, when another unfortunate situation happened. When training me on marquee, Eric had told me that we were to glue a small description of the movie that was playing onto each movie poster. This description told the rating of the movie, a few of the actors in it, and a brief synopsis of the plot. So I had gone ahead and glued those on both of the new movie posters with rubber cement, and that was that. However, Scott came along and told me that he had been talking with the managers about it, and they had changed their mind about that idea. I was just to glue a sticker with the rating of the movie onto the poster, not the description. So I had to go back, take off the description part, glue on the rating, and then hang these new posters up. It was frustrating once more, but I got through it. My next job was to switch around the movie posters so that they were in front of the appropriate theatre, since they tend to move around each week depending on where they’re needed. I went and switched them around, and then halfway through realized that I had put Doom in theatre 4 instead of theatre 3, so I had to go back and switch it around once more.

In all, it took almost the full three hours that I was called in for to do the job. It normally should take about two hours – the only reason they call me in for three is because they’re required to by law. But with all this stuff to do and then redo, it took a lot longer. But whatever – eventually it got done, and that’s all there is to it. Of course, then there was the moral dilemma that I faced, with one of the security guards coming in and asking me to give him the In Her Shoes poster to give to his neice. Normally what happens with those posters is that they go into a draw, and the employees sign up for whichever posters they want. When he asked me the first time, I had said I would put my name down for the poster, and then if I won it, I would give it to him. But he was asking me to just say I won it, scratch it off the list, and then give it to him – in other words, theft. I said no, and he kept asking me, even offering me ten dollars for it. But I stayed strong – theft is theft, right? I just laughed at the irony of a security guard coming in and asking me to steal from my business. It kind of makes you wonder about the condition that the Brantford Mall must be in with those kind of people protecting it.

But whatever. Today was boring, so I won’t even bother talking about it. The most interesting part was Physics class, where we shot bottle rockets outside – sorry, Mr. H shot bottle rockets and we all watched. Later on, I was declared the president of the table I sit at, which was pretty cool. I’m going to start to enforce slave labour. But anyways, that’s all I’ll say because that was the only interesting part. Tonight, I have to spend my Friday night working, which kind of sucks, but I was the one that took Graham’s shift anyways. And besides, that frees me up for worship practice on Monday night, so I’m cool with that. But that’s all I’ll say for today. I have bigger and better things to attend to – I just have to find out what they are.

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