30 Secrets A Movie Employee Won’t Tell You

By Nick Hadji 10 months ago

1. The popcorn probably isn’t fresh

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

You would probably assume popcorn served at the movie theatres is freshly made on the day, especially because it is usually served straight out of the popcorn maker behind the counter. However, it turns out popcorn can sit there for days on end and they only make a fresh batch when they run out!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. Employees get to watch movies before they are released

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

One of the main perks of working at a movie theatre is the employees get to watch new movies before they are released. This is to make sure that there are no technical difficulties before the public get to watch it and so they can answer questions about the movie.

3. You can get a refund if you have a bad experience

Image Source: Reddit

Most people just think it is just bad luck if there are technical difficulties  or the actual movie itself is really bad, but employees are keen to make sure you come back and so theatres will offer free tickets to come again as compensation if you have a bad experience.

4. Combo meals don’t save you any money

Image Source: Reddit

Although they are advertised as a cheaper deal and most movie theatre employees will try and persuade you to purchase one, combo meals rarely save you any money. The catch usually involves upgrading in size or buying items you didn’t want in the first place, so don’t bother with them!

5. Employees can get into trouble if you sneak in your own snacks

Image Source: Reddit

There isn’t much anyone can do if you manage to sneak your own food and drinks…the employees are the ones who will get into trouble! They are supposed to be monitoring what is brought into the movie theatres and managers won’t be happy if they let someone in who is breaking the rules.

6. Parents leave dirty nappies under the seats

Image Source: Reddit

As you can imagine this usually happens in children’s movies, but it is still pretty gross! Parents are clearly too lazy to get up and take their baby to the toilet and use the changing facilities so they just change them in the movie theatre and leave the rubbish behind.

7. Don’t be fooled by the alcoholic drinks

Image Source: VideoHive

Serving alcohol at the movie theatre is a relatively new trend as it only used to be available in privately owned establishments. However, it has now become quite popular to enjoy drinks at the movies…just watch out for the prices as this could make it an expensive night out!

8. There is a reason the popcorn smells so good…

Image Source: The Seattle Times

Although you might think the movie theatre naturally smells like fresh popcorn because so many people are eating in whilst watching the films, there is actually a reason why this smell is so strong…the employees mix the popcorn with canola oil and other chemicals for extra potency!

9. The theatres are only cleaned at the end of the day

Image Source: Reddit

Although you might expect each theatre to be cleaned between screenings, this usually isn’t the case as there isn’t enough time to give them a deep clean before the next set of customers arrive. This means they are only given a proper clean at the end of the day…gross!

10. Employees probably won’t pass on your complaint to the manager

Image Source: VideoHive

Although they don’t mean to, movie theatre employees probably won’t remember to pass on your complaint to the manager about something minor like the price of popcorn. They are extremely busy and often get bombarded with requests, so they can’t do it all!

11. People get really mad when the slush puppy machine is broken

Image Source: Flickr

One of the most popular items purchased at movie theatres are the famous slush puppies, but unfortunately the machine always seems to be broken…according to employees, people get really angry if they can’t get their hands on their bright blue cup of iced slush.

12. It is easy to sneak into a R-rated movie if you're underage

Image Source: Vulture

According to the movie theatre employees, there is no point risking buying a ticket for an R-rated movie if you’re underage as they will probably ask to see photo ID before letting you in. The trick is to buy a ticket for a different movie playing at a similar time and then sneak into the other movie!

13. They are slowly increasing the volume of adverts

Image Source: Head In A Blender

You’ve probably noticed that the adverts displayed before the movie starts can feel like they’re going on forever…well that’s because sometimes they are! The companies are slowly increasing the volume of adverts shown, meaning you can sometimes be sat there for 30 minutes before the movie begins.

14. People leave inappropriate items in the movie theatres

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

This one might surprise you…but people actually leave inappropriate and sometimes explicit items in the movie theatre! According to some employees, moviegoers thought it would be funny to leave cucumbers behind after watching the premiere of “50 Shades of Grey”.

15. They don’t use real butter to make ‘butter popcorn'

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

Don’t be fooled when you order butter popcorn at the movie theatre, because you won’t be eating any real butter! Employees have revealed that the ‘butter’ they use is actually a huge container of peanut oil which they hide behind the counter so customers can’t see it!

16. Nobody will notice if you sneak into a second movie

Image Source: The Mirror

Although you’re technically breaking the rules, employees probably won’t notice if you never exit the theatre after the movie you actually booked a ticket for. If it happens to be a quiet day and you’re not stealing anyones seats, you could easily sneak into a second movie.

17. Don’t look under your seat

Image Source: Box Office Pro

This is one rule everyone must live by…do not look under your seat! As we mentioned earlier, movie theatre employees have admitted that the theatres are only properly cleaned at the end of the day and not in between each screening. This means you will probably find some pretty gross stuff lurking around.

18. People get frisky in the theatres

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

Employees have revealed the rumours are true… people really do get frisky in the movie theatres! Apparently a lot of people like to take advantage of the dark atmosphere, but the other customers aren’t always happy about it and complaints have led to people being thrown out.

19. Lots of fights break out

Image Source: YouTube

We bet you weren’t expecting this one…employees have revealed that a lot of fights break out at the movies! It can be really frustrating when people jump the queue or make noise during the movie, but a physical fight between two customers seems like a step too far.

20. Avoid ordering the hot food snacks

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

If you take any tips from the employees at movie theatres, make sure it is this one! They’ve warned customers not to order hot food like pizza and hot dogs, as they are heated up in a microwave and sit on the counter all day long and usually go stale.

21. Nobody cares if you buy a child’s ticket…unless you’re rude!

Image Source: Sussex Express

Pretty much all movie theatre employees have admitted that they often let adults sneak in with child tickets because they can’t be bothered to deal with the hassle. As long as you’re not rude to the staff, they will probably let you get away with it.

22. Employees have the power to kick you out

Image Source: Masterfile

Although they will only do this with good reason, employees do have the power to remove you from the movie theatre if you are causing problems for other customers. They are instructed by managers to respond to complaints when necessary and ensure everyone has a pleasant experience.

23. They will serve you food that has fallen on the floor

Image Source: The Daily Edge

This one might shock you, but this is a real claim from one of the employees at a movie theatre! Apparently the managers don’t care if food is dropped on the floor, instead of wasting it they will instruct the staff to pick it up and place it back on the serving counter…gross!

24. Lots of celebrities go to the movies

Image Source: SHEmazing!

It might surprise you that a lot of famous celebrities regularly enjoy going to the movies…even if they happen to know the people featuring in them! But if you think about it the movie theatre is the perfect place to enjoy a discreet night out, as nobody would even know they were there.

25. They will call the police if you try and record the movie

Image Source: Medium

Movie theatre employees are pretty chilled out about most things, but piracy is not one of them. If you are caught trying to record the movie, they will remove you from the theatre and call the police! They can get in serious trouble if they don’t follow the rules.

26. The popcorn is made days in advance for big movie premieres

Image Source: Yahoo

Think back to some iconic movie premieres…’Harry Potter’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’ for example. Employees know they won’t be able to keep up with the demand from so many customers all at once, so they make the popcorn a few days before in batches and store them in boxes.

27. People hang about in the theatre for ages after the move has finished

 Image Source: iStock

One thing the employees can’t stand it when people hang about in the theatre when the movie has finished in anticipation there might be a post-credit scene. They have warned people to check online before to see if this will actually happen, otherwise they can’t prepare for the next showing.

28. There are mysterious items in the nacho cheese sauce

Image Source: buzzfeed.com

If you’ve ever seen the big buckets of nacho cheese sauce they use to pour over the chips, you will understand what we mean! Employees have revealed that all sorts of strange items are found in the buckets which can sit there for days on end until they are used up…yum!

29. Half of your drink is probably ice

Image Source: reddit.comAccording to some movie employees who have revealed their secrets about working at the theatres, they are instructed to fill the cups with as much ice as possible to save on product. So the likelihood is you’re only getting half a cup of your chosen beverage so they can save money!

30. There is a secret red button hidden in the office of all movie theatres

Image Source: Newsweek

One ex-employee revealed that all movie theatres have a secret red button which is locked away in a plastic case in the box office. They were too scared to press the button, but apparently it is only used in emergencies to evacuate the theatre or cancel all movies.

31. They use lower screen quality on purpose

Image Source: buzzfeed.comThe movie theatres do not use the best quality, because it is easier to maintain. In fact, when you see “Extreme Digital” quality advertised you'd likely think this was extremely good quality. But it's actually lower than normal IMAX digital. So, this is a tip to look out for.

32.  The concessions are the money maker

Image Source: cinemapickYou may be surprised to find out that it's not actually the movie showings themselves that are the real money spinner. In fact, it takes a lot for them to make money off movies alone. It's the drinks and snacks where they manage to make the money. So, if you've ever wondered why the prices are so high, now you know...

33. Stick to the classic movie's snacks

Image Source: cinemapickNow employees or ex-employees of movie theatres will reveal that they personally would not be opting for the cinema food. The classic movie snacks yes, for example, candy, popcorn, slushies... But the hotdogs and nachos...probably not. So, we will use this tip next time we make the choice.

34. The size of the popcorn changes all the time

Image Source: cinemapickThe buckets of popcorn, small, medium, and large are certainly not set in stone. You may think that one time you get a lot for your small bucket. The next time you may wonder where the popcorn has gone. This is because the sizes are constantly changing.

35. The microwave foods aren't instant

Image Source: foodrawA tip from employees; don't complain when your food is not ready immediately. The microwave takes a few minutes. These things need heating up. Unless you want a room temperature hot dog. And we aren't sure that people would enjoy that too much either.

36. They don't give extra cups

Image Source: YahooPeople are always asking for extra cups. This is usually so they can buy one drink and split it into two cups to save buying another. But no employee will give you the second cup. It has to be accounted for as part of the inventory at the end of the night.

37. The movies start late

Image Source: storyblocksYes, employees have admitted that the movies do start late. So, if you are wandering in on the minutes don't worry too much because it probably hasn't even started yet. But somehow, they do finish on time. Otherwise, there would not be enough time for the changeover.

38. The food might be warm...but maybe not fresh

Image Source: PinterestLike we said before, the food can lie around on the counter for a fair few hours at a time just waiting in the counter. And maybe it gets put back in the microwave to heat it up before you consume it. But don't let that fool you. It probably does not mean that it is fresh.

39. For the couple of months of screening, the money goes to movie studios

Image Source: storyblocksSo, for the first couple of months that the movies are paying in the theatre, the money does not go to the movie theatre as profits. Instead, all of those ticket sales go to the movie studios. Then, after the first couple of months the profits start to go to the cinema, and they can then start to profit from it.

40. They know all of the ways you're trying to sneak in

Image Source: RedditIf you think you have found some ingenious way to sneak in the movie theatre for free without paying for a ticket, employees hate to break it to you but - it's been done before. Numerous times. They know all the tricks of the trade and are wise to it.

41. The manager will pretend to be on your side

Image Source: blogspotWhen you complain, the manager will probably go along with you and make you think that they are taking your complaint seriously and that there may even be repercussions for the employee. But, in reality they will probably totally ignore it as soon as you've gone.

42. Employees have played X-box on the big screen after hours

Image Source: YahooIf you're an X Box player, then this will sound pretty awesome. Imagine playing on the huge screen, with all of the surround sound with your friends. Maybe this is even better than the movie discount... Although this is definitely not standard movie theatre practice, and only happens in certain ones with lenient bosses.

43. Popcorn became popular during WWII

Image Source: facebook.comNow here's an interesting fact that most people would not have thought. But it was actually during the WWII when popcorn started to become increasingly more popular. And reached its popularity peak. Since then, it has been maintained and it seems a snack that's here to stay.

44. 14 millions of quarts of popcorn are consumed by Americans

Image Source: buzzfeed.com144 million quarts of popcorn.... now that sounds like a HECK of a lot of popcorn, doesn't it? But if you go to the movies then it's pretty much essential to grab yourself some popcorn, right? It's the ultimate movie snack. And Americans especially love popcorn.

45. Digital projectors cost a lot to operate

Image Source: ebay.comIn recent years especially, cinemas have struggled. In fact, the large costs to run the digital projectors has forced some of the smaller movie theatres to permanently close because they cannot afford to run them. Especially when there are only a few seats taken. The profit is less than the cost.

46. The level of the sound can affect your ears

Image Source: YelpIn some cinemas the level of volume is so loud that it can almost actually damage your eardrum. It's not good to subject your ears to it so often. Otherwise, you may notice that your sound is slightly, more muffled immediately after the film. It all depends on which cinema you go to of course.

47. A lot of popcorn is wasted

Image Source: YankerIf you think about those huge buckets of popcorn - does anyone actually manage to finish them? More often than not, around half of them goes wasted. That's including the whole lot of popcorn that is spilled everywhere in the dark and rolls all over the seats and the floors.

48. People get up to all sorts in the cinema

Image Source: blogspot.comNot only do people get frisky, but people do all kinds of things. Nowadays, vaping inside the cinema is a problem - and it will most likely get you thrown out. Smoking is less frequent inside the cinema but there definitely have been instances. Now it's a cinema guys go to eat your popcorn and watch your movie and save the other stuff for later...

49. They get discounts!

Image Source: ebay.comIt makes sense that as an employee, they get an employee's discount. So, they can come back on their day off and enjoy the movies for a discounted rate as a reward for working for them. And... best of all, they also get discounted snacks too. It's only fair, right?

50. People get kicked out more frequently than you'd think

Image Source: buzzfeed.comYou probably think it's a threat that if you misbehave or try to sneak in etc, you probably won't ACTUALLY get thrown out. Wrong. It happens way more than you think. In fact, employees are quite used to doing it as part of their job when someone is repeatedly doing something they shouldn't.

51. You might be sat next to a serial killer

Image Source: a&eOne movie theater employee has revealed that they later found out a regular customer at the cinema they worked at turned out to be a serial killer. So when you go to the cinema and there's that awkward moment of being sat next to a stranger if there's a spare seat, it might give you a chill to think who they could actually be...

52. Explosive diarrhea happens more often than you'd think

Image Source: redditIf you've never experienced this a single time in your life in the movie screen you're in, count yourself lucky - and it could still happen, because apparently it's very common. Workers have to clean up diarrhea on a regular basis, and sometimes it's a case of cleaning up after someone who's had to run out of the theater screen after having an accident - which may even have other moviegoers caught in the crossfire.

53. Managers take inventory very, very seriously

Image Source: pinterestWorkers can be expected to count out all the cups, for example, that they're given in a sleeve at the start of their shift. They then have to account for any missing cups and update management on cup inventory. All cups counted at the end of the shift would have to correctly match what has been sold. Apparently management take inventory very seriously!

54. Some employees do push the little red button

Image Source: imgflipThe red button inside a plastic case in the box office of a movie theater of course gets pushed every now and then by a rebellious employee. One such time was when a worker was told it was for making announcements for the sidewalk outside the theater - only for them to find out, after messing around and joking that all the movies had been cancelled, that it actually gets broadcast throughout the movie screens inside the cinema.

55. Workers hate it when you wait around for an after-credit scene

Image Source: redditAt the end of the day, they're working long hours and they just want to crack on with cleaning up that spilled popcorn and possible diarreah. So when movie-goers are waiting around for an after-credit scene, it not only infuriates them, but it's worse when the movie doesn't even have one but people haven't bothered to check before waiting!

56. Employees might eat your food after confiscating it

Image Source: redditAs you know, there's a strict policy on bringing your own food into movie theaters (because they need to make as much money as possible from concessions, of course). And if they do end up confiscating your food - especially big items like huge family-sized pizzas - they don't throw it away... they might actually eat it in the storage room instead.

57. They might use diet coke to clean stains on machines

Image Source: redditWhen cleaning down their stations, employees might ignore traditional cleaning products and use the stock of diet coke for cleaning instead. Some workers have found diet coke effective for cleaning the stains off the hot dog machine! Well, it makes sense seeing as coke has acid in it - including diet coke!

58. If you're rude, you'll get less drink

Image Source: redditDisgruntled workers will get their own back on you in drink-form if you're particularly rude to them. We already know most places try to save money on customer drinks by overfilling with ice so you get less, but if you're rude then you might find you get even more ice than you usually would - meaning barely any drink that you've paid for.

59. And you'll also get the popcorn scraped from the bottom of the bin

Image Source: redditIf you're feeling extra rude today and you've really annoyed a movie theater employee - or you've ordered popcorn instead of a drink - then you can be fairly certain that the popcorn you're going to get is going to be the very, very awful bits that have been scraped from the very bottom of the bin leftover from the more tasty pieces of popcorn. So probably best not to be rude and order both a drink and popcorn!

60. You might find loose change in your nacho cheese

Image Source: redditWith the nacho cheese sauce being made in huge buckets and stirred by employees, it's actually been known for loose change to fall out of employees' shirt pockets while they're bent over stirring - and there's no way of finding that change once it's in there. So you might want to be careful of biting into anything hard the next time you order movie nacho cheese!

61. You might even find skittles in your nacho cheese

Image Source: redditThe loose change we can maybe forgive because it's a genuine accident (though after the first time you think they'd put their change in their pants pocket instead). But in the case of skittles, this one is purely intentional - some movie theater employees would decide to have a laugh by putting other stuff in the nacho cheese, like skittles. At least they're edible!

62. Christmas is the worst for movie employees

Image Source: youtubeNobody wants to work on Christmas, but hey, there's always the bonus of double-time if you're getting it! But apparently movie theater workers in particular hate working the holiday season for a few reasons. First, it's movie-goers commenting on the fact that they're working - yes, thanks for stating the obvious - and secondly it's because family fights are actually likely for people forcing themselves to go to the cinema together 'because it's Christmas'.

63. People have sex in Pixar movies

Image Source: redditIt's bad enough the idea of people fully having sex in the movie theater with other movie-goers around, but it's even worse when the film being screened is a kid's movie. You'd think at the very least a rom-com or something raunchy would inspire the bad habit, but nope - apparently people have been getting down to the background music of Disney Pixar flicks.

64. Popcorn butter is gel and oil

Image Source: redditMovie popcorn tastes amazing so you may be able to blissfully ignore the awful truth behind this one - but yep, apparently popcorn butter is not butter at all, but some weird half-gel, half peanut oil concoction, which is only stated on the label hidden behind the counter from people seeing it. Everything else states that it's 'butter'.

65. You're going to have your ID checked if you're rude

Image Source: redditMost workers will actually make an effort not to check your ID for an R-rated movie if they're having a good day, and if you're a nice customer. But if you're rude or just generally a bad person, you can bet your bottom dollar they're going to demand to see your ID and go out of their way to not have you sneak in.

66. Before digital, movies in canisters had to be pieced together

Image Source: redditWe know how much digital has made a lot of things easier, but before the times of digital movies, films would actually be delivered in physical canisters and then need to be pieced together by employees. A standard movie might be six separate film reels needing to be put together. They'd then need to be previewed to check for problems or scratches.

67. ... And then taken back apart to be sent back!

Image Source: redditIt wasn't enough that they'd be pieced together and then just kept safely at that theater - no they actually had to be separated again back to their original canisters so they could be sent back to the distributors! Set nights would be chosen for films to be taken apart, called "tear down" nights. It could also take an entire night to fix an unravelled movie.

68. Poop isn't just a problem in the screens themselves

Image Source: redditEmployees have seen utter horrors in the actual bathrooms of movie theaters. You'd think it'd be a plus for it to happen where it's supposed to happen, but that doesn't make it any easier when employees are faced with entire bathrooms trashed with diarreah. On some occassions it's even been found to be trailing from the bathrooms to the screens, like some weird Hansel and Gretel adaption.

69. People have actually taken their pets to the theater

Image Source: redditWe get it - you don't want to be parted from your furry best friend, and there's nothing better than curling up together to watch a movie. But that only counts in your own home! An ex theater employee once found someone's pet cat under the seats during a cleanup - which begs the question why the owner not only took the cat in the first place, but why they left it behind!

70. Handicapped bathrooms can be the go-to for sex

Image Source: redditYou've got to hand it to the people who decide to be a little more discreet by having sex in the cinema bathrooms instead of the screens themselves - but that doesn't make it any better. Especially because the handicapped bathroom seems to be the hot-spot for hooking up with people in a movie theater. Apparently employees would catch people in there doing the dirty all the time!