Cinema or theatre managers take overall responsibility for running a cinema or theatre, booking the performances and making sure everything runs smoothly and it makes a profit.
You may be one of a team of managers if you are working in a large complex, or the only manager in a small cinema or theatre.
You could be:
- keeping up to date with up and coming films and productions
- contacting agents to book films or performances and planning well in advance
- implementing marketing activities
- interviewing, employing and training staff
- arranging catering and cleaning services
- organising the repair and maintenance of the building, seating and equipment
- being responsible for keeping laws on licensing, censorship and health and safety
- making sure that the cinema or theatre is profitable, keeping accounts, balancing the budget and negotiating funding if needed
- writing regular reports for your directors.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
As a trainee or assistant cinema or theatre manager, you would probably earn around £18,500 to £21,000 a year. As a manager, as you gain experience, you might earn between £25,000 to £50,000 a year. Salaries tend to be higher in the large chains, which also might provide pension schemes, than in small independent cinemas.
Free tickets for shows are generally a perk of the job.
- You could work in a small local theatre or cinema, a large city theatre, a multi-screen cinema, a concert hall or a large arena.
- You would work from an office in the cinema or theatre.
- This is not a 9 to 5 career, you must be prepared to work unsociable hours including evenings and weekends.
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There is no single way into this job. The following qualifications could be useful.
- Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or degree in events management, marketing or business studies.
- For entry you normally need 1-2 Highers for HNC or HND or 4-5 Highers for a degree.
- For a cinema specialising in independent and art house productions, an arts degree such as film and media studies might be seen as being relevant.
- Some work up from lower level cinema jobs. However, because of the film certification laws all staff must be over 18.
- Some move into cinema work after experience in retail management or customer service.
- You should have a strong interest in and a good knowledge of cinema or theatre.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- good at organising your time
- enthusiastic, with a vision for the future of your cinema or theatre
- able to work well under pressure
- good at networking and able to get on well with a wide range of people
- able to deliver excellent customer service
- assertive and willing to take responsibility
- able to lead and motivate a team.
- Introductory training is usually on the job.
- In a larger company you would probably take the company’s own management training courses.
- UK Theatre offers short courses for theatre managers. Subjects covered include, arts marketing, finance, management skills and media and networking.
- You would probably start as an assistant manager.
- After training and with experience you could become a manager.
- You might move to manage a larger cinema, multiplex or theatre and then to manage a group of cinemas or theatres.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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