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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
In ’97 I decided I wanted a typical “High School” job for the experience, so I started walking to McDonald’s to apply. On the way I walked by Regal Cinemas Peninsula 9 Theatre. They had a hiring sign out so I filled out an application and was hired as Floor Staff on the spot. I never even made it to McDonald’s.

What’s the best part of your Job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
The best part of my is any time I am able to find a way to help make running the theatres easier or better for the people on site, or when I can use my knowledge of theatre operations as well as corporate processes to do things in a way that makes more sense.

 

Also, any time I get the chance to interact with a patron and make them feel like our company is more than just a business and really part of the community.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
In ’98 the Regal Peninsula 9 (which had been the first Krikorian Theatre) closed and was going to be rebuilt in the same mall. They had the staff stay on and help dismantle the theatre and move a lot of the equipment to other locations.

 

We were a really tight-knit team of 20 teenagers and a General Manager, who wasn’t much older than us, and there we were, dismantling a theatre where we had shared an amazing period of our lives. It was really sad but amazing and fun at the same time…and maybe a little bit dangerous.

How old were you when you went to your first movie? Do you remember the theatre and the city?
The first movie I remember going to was “Santa Claus: The Movie” with Dudley Moore playing an elf. I saw it at the Mann Old Towne 6 in Torrance, CA when I was 4. I remember having the coloring books for the movie and everything.

 

I saw tons of movies when I was a kid at a lot of different theatres and, to this day, I can remember the theatre and even the auditoriums sometimes better than the movies. Movie theatres were fantastic because they were always there to welcome you and offer you a great adventure any time you wanted to come by no matter whether you were with friends or family or even by yourself.

What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
My favorite movie of all time is “Life is Beautiful” with Roberto Benigni. It is beautiful and warm and funny, but what I love about it is the idea that a lot of forces will impact your life and there is a lot you can’t change, but you can always control how you react and how you choose to live.

Do you have any industry related hobbies or experiences? Please explain.
Unfortunately, I’ve been in a movie slump lately, but I LOVE going to the movies. It isn’t just that I love watching movies; I love the act of going to the movies. I love checking out different theatres and paying attention to the ways they are running differently than the way I am used to seeing them run. I like to try to figure out what led to decisions and whether or not there is something to take from the example. What is their candy selection? Why did they choose that mix? How do they list movie titles on their reader board? What is their process of providing passes for complaints? What logic went into their senior pricing scheme? How are they packaging their hot dogs and why?

 

If I am awake, I am constantly thinking of a way I can get someone to go see a movie with me later; and they will usually have to hear way more than they want to about random things I noticed on the way in to the auditorium.

Do you have any special interests that you would like to share?
It might sound sad, but outside of work, I like to…work. I like finding second jobs in areas that I am not already familiar with. I enjoy getting to know new industries and products and all the ins and outs of different businesses. There really isn’t a much better way to do that than by diving in at the ground level. I have also met some of my favorite people that I’ve ever known working at various companies for a few hours a week.

 

I think what might be most valuable to me though, is that I am constantly reminded how the decisions of the Corporate Office, and Middle Management, of a company affect the health of the organization as a whole. I always want to remember what it is like to be a new employee who is just learning the ropes, or even a seasoned employee who has been working somewhere for years, because being mindful of their feelings is the best way to create a healthy team.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself?
At home, I have a register that is the same TDS model as the ones we used in Concessions when I was hired in my first job as Floor Staff.  I have moved several times since I got it, and really could use one less box to move with me, but I just can’t seem to let it go.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
The NATO of CA/NV organization is what makes me feel like the industry that I love is really a community.

 

At least in my day, no matter what company you worked for, as an Assistant Manager, there was no greater achievement than getting to attend your first NATO product seminar. If you were one of the two people from your theatre who got to go and end up with one of those coveted goodie bags, you were now officially part of the movie theatre business.

 

When I was a senior in High School, the only Scholarship that I applied for was the NATO of CA/NV Scholarship because I thought it would mean something for the industry I loved to believe in me enough to help me with my education. Then, when I was asked to be a part of the Scholarship Committee years later, I was grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of a program that brought people together from all different exhibition companies in an effort to help the community of movie theatre employees as a whole.

 

And now when I attend NATO of CA/NV events, I am grateful to see so many faces of amazing people from different companies that I would never have gotten the chance to know without NATO of CA/NV.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
Of course, I have to say the Scholarship Program. It gives me the chance to help to do some good.