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How to Become a Cinema Theatre Attendant in the US

Do you love the cinema or live theatre? This is the perfect venue then for those who enjoy not only watching motion pictures or dramatic plays, but also who want to help make the experience a lot more pleasurable for patrons. Working as a cinema theatre attendant is also a great stepping stone to enter the entertainment business since it’s a fantastic networking route.

What Do Cinema Theatre Attendants Do?

From welcoming patrons to providing important information about the show, a cinema theatre attendant is a customer service oriented employment opportunity. Of course, there are plenty of perks, such as free/discounted tickets and insider information, but it does come with an abundance of regular day-to-day duties, whether it’s a movie house or a live theatre venue.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Greeting patrons and informing them that you’re here to answer any questions
  • Checking, selling and/or reserving tickets for theatre goers
  • Directing or showing customers to their seats or the cinema number
  • Answering any type of question that a customer may have regarding the show
  • Selling programs or handing out pamphlets relating to the featured program
  • Gathering litter, cleaning up all of the aisles and seats and organizing items
  • Stocking and restocking food and beverage kiosks and trays
  • Ensuring that standard health and safety rules are met each day
  • Monitoring the behavior of patrons to ensure they are not sneaking in or too rowdy
  • Cleaning washrooms and check every auditorium to make sure everyone has left

Salary & Hours

Source: Chicago Chronicle

Median Hourly Wage

Median Annual Salary

United States



The hours of a cinema theatre attendant are relatively normal. Each employee can be offered full-time and part-time hours and are provided with a handful of eight-hour shifts (early afternoon, late afternoon, evening and weekend). There are times, however, such as the holiday season or a major premiere is playing then additional staff members may be needed.


The position of a cinema theatre attendant will require these professionals to have the following skills:

  • A polite demeanor, excellent communication skills and admirable professionalism
  • Strong ability to work in a team-oriented environment and coordinate with others
  • Observant of one’s surroundings to watch out for thefts, assault and sneak-ins
  • A heightened acumen in terms of handling money, counting change and using machines
  • A rudimentary understanding of the entertainment industry to answer questions


A cinema theatre attendant is an entry-level position, and thus requires very little education or training. If one wishes to move up in the company then the theatre group would encourage their employees to go onto college and attain additional studies and certification. For instance, if the theatre is hiring a manager then it’s likely the business will want someone with a background in business, marketing, communications or perhaps entertainment. Alternatively they may hire from within provided there are staff members who have worked at the cinema for a sufficient amount of time.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cinema theatre attendants can expect to see employment growth of approximately 10 percent between the years 2012 and 2022, which is about average when compared to the industry, though it is slower than the national overall. This field also experiences a high turnover rate because it’s mostly filled by teenagers and college students.

The role of a cinema theatre attendant can be rather interesting since you’re working in the business side of the entertainment industry. Working as a cinema theatre attendant won’t offer you the opportunity to work alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey or Woody Allen. However, it does provide its workers with great sales training, an understanding of the relationship between theatres and studios (or play producers) and extra industry skills.

So if you are in need of a teenager or college student in need of some extra cash then this could be the job for you.


Photo by Direitos Urbanos via Flickr.

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