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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
I’ve worked in this industry for 22 years. This was my first job at the age of 16. I originally applied to AMC in Vallejo, CA but was never called for an interview. My brother and my sister-in-law both worked for Cinedome 8 (Century Theatres) in Vallejo and asked me if I wanted a job. At first I was hesitant because I didn’t want to work with my brother but decided to take the position. However, twenty-two years later I have worked at 12 locations (7 as a GM), and had a 6 year stint in the corporate office as an auditor.

What’s the best part of your job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
The best part of this job used to be about being a part of the Hollywood experience and seeing customer’s reactions. How customers wait in-line for hours in order to get lost in a film for 2 hours. Although this is still why I’m here, now it’s more about giving others an opportunity to succeed. I never thought I would still be here after 22 years. I appreciate all that I have gained and the relationships that I’ve formed just from serving popcorn. I try to teach others to not take it for granted. Yes, we serve popcorn all day long but you are also learning about leadership, customer service, cash handling, inventory control, balancing a budget and much more. I remember how important I felt when individuals like David Shesgreen, Hal Sawyer, and Mike Wegner remembered my name; or when early in my career I was able to thank John Café and Eric Martin for giving me my first opportunities in management. 

 

My most memorable experiences have come from working here at the Century SF Centre 9 and XD. At previous locations I never had the opportunity to host so many events such as the NATO seminar and promos for the studios. This by far has exceeded my expectations since returning to the field after being an auditor. NATO and the studio reps have been awesome to work with.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
My first movie premiere, Fast and Furious 6 and the after party.

How old were you when you went to your first movie? Do you remember the theatre and the city?
The first movie I have memory of seeing was Return of the Jedi in 1983, I was 4 years old. I saw it in Richmond, CA at the Hilltop Mall theater.

What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
My favorite movie is the Goonies. It’s a classic kid adventure. This is a movie that cannot be duplicated.

Do you have any special interests that you would like to share? 
I’ve been a culinary student at the Art Institute in SF since 2013. I’m only a part-time student since full-time has been compared to having a full-time job. I will graduate in 2019 with a BS in Culinary Management. This started out as a hobby but since the theater industry now has restaurant concept theatres, it’s beneficial. Also, you never know who in Hollywood may need a personal or private chef.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
I love how NATO really supports us in the field. It is nice to know that someone is fighting the fight for us and also offering training and scholarships. Being a part of NATO also brings different exhibitors together. Yes we may come from different companies but we’re all in it for the same reasons. NATO promotes community and togetherness.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
I really like the seminars and information NATO provides. We are always informed about what’s going on in the industry. I would really like to see NATO provide scholarships for part-time students, especially for those of us who are GM’s or in upper management. It’s tough to meet the requirements of a full-time student while also tending to our theaters.