Cinema Screening Training: Cinema Ushering

Cinema screenings are very similar to live performances, but since house managers are not present, ushers have a few different expectations:

  • Ushers have a call time of 45 minutes prior to a screening vs. the 60 minutes of a performance.
  • Upon arrival, start your clock in the projectionist’s booth inside Door E of the cinema using the iPad provided.
  • Grab an usher locker room key.  Because cinema ushers never know whether the locker room is unlocked for other performances downstairs to retrieve sweater vests, this key will gain you access into the locker room….but don’t forget to bring it back!
  • Decide the position you will be working with the projectionist on duty: Kevin or Chris.
  • Since the scanner emits light and makes noise, they should not be used inside the Browning.  Re-dock scanner since ushers will only tear ticket stubs for the remainder of the screening.  Give the stubs to your projectionist following the screening.
  • During a screening, cinema ushers watch for late patrons to tear their ticket stubs, monitor and subdue any unacceptable behavior of patrons, and keep the aisles & back of the venue clear of patrons. (Remember that no one is allowed to sit on the stairs!)
  • While on duty if you need to speak to the projectionist about an issue, please keep conversation to a whisper while a screening is going on because the projectionist’s booth is not completely sound proof.
  • At many screenings there is a Pre or Post Talk that is part of your shift. The projectionist will inform you if there will be one for the screening. For a Post Talk please stay for the duration of the talk.
  • Most cinema shifts with the exception of MET Operas are general admission. Please make sure that for non-MET Opera shifts that the ADA signs are out on the designated ADA chairs. These seats are the free standing chairs in Row N1-4 as well as Row A1 and A14 and Row B1 and B15.
  • Following the screening, all ushers pick up the larger trash items during a “sweep” of the house.  Popcorn spills will typically be cleaned up by housekeeping.
  • Repeat the process of grabbing a locker room key, return your sweater vest to the locker room, and head back to the projectionist’s booth to stop your clock.