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Primary Duties of a Movie Theatre Manager

by Rick Suttle, studioD

Movie theaters sold a record high of $10.8 billion in tickets in 2012, according to a CNNMoney report. Movie production companies rely on theaters to provide clean, comfortable and enjoyable ambiences for movie enthusiasts, which adds to the movie-going experience. This job primarily falls in the bailiwick of movie theater managers. As a movie theater manager, you will have several key duties -- all of which are geared toward generating sales and profits for your unit.

Recruiting and Training

Movie theater managers recruit and train cashiers, ushers, concession stand attendants, shift supervisors and assistant theater managers. In this job, it's advantageous to hire friendly and outgoing employees who can interact with customers and serve their needs. You teach cashiers how to run registers, process credit cards or cash transactions and dispense tickets. You show concession stand attendants how to upsell customers, which involves recommending drinks and other snacks to go with their popcorn. Moreover, you train assistant managers and shift supervisors how to run the theater when you're unavailable, schedule work hours for employees, and receive deliveries from vendors.

Customer Service

Customer service is one of your most important duties as a movie theater manager. You must ensure that all employees strive for excellence in this arena. Your customer service duties include answering questions and resolving problems, such as replacing undesirable snacks or issuing refunds during electrical outages. To gain repeat business, you might offer patrons a free movie pass in addition to letting them see the missed movie. Theater experiences should be superior to what customers experience at home. Otherwise, they may choose to wait for the movie to come out on DVD.


Many movie theaters are open from morning to late at night, and a multitude of operational activities take place during this time. During the morning hours, you may open the theater for employees, deposit the previous night's cash at the bank and obtain enough change for the cash registers. You also open and close cash registers at the beginning and end of shifts. At concession stands, you ensure all drink and snack machines are functioning properly. If there is a machine malfunction, it is your responsibility to contact the repairman. Other important duties include ordering snacks, drinks and supplies for your theater. You are in charge of your staff and ensuring that everybody is doing their job.


If a corporation owns your theater, you will be responsible for assembling large displays and window banners to promote new movies. When promoting discounts or loyalty programs -- which reward moviegoers for continued patronage -- you may need to program cash registers and computers to accommodate the promotions. Moreover, your duties may also include placing ads in the local papers or distributing fliers to nearby residents to promote your theater. The more customers you draw, including repeat visits, the greater your revenue and profits.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images