One of my first jobs as a high school kid was at a local movie theater. It was actually kind of fun. A lot of my friends also worked there, along with a handful of cute girls from other schools who didn’t know how awkward I was in advance of meeting me. I had about 5 minutes to make a good impression. Guess how well I did?
Alas, fleeting youth.
Anyway, at the movie theater, there were good “assignments” and bad “assignments” for the nightly team.
The bad: Working the concession stand. This was where everyone started out, because it kind of sucked. You were on your feet the whole shift, had to deal with cranky customers who couldn’t figure out what they wanted until they got to the front of the line despite waiting for 15 minutes behind dozens of other people, and you had to constantly refill the popcorn maker without burning yourself. On busy nights, the time passed quickly, but on slow nights, you just had to stand there and stare into space. There was nowhere to hide.
The good: Being an usher. What’s fun about carrying about a broom and dustpan and cleaning up the messes the customers make? Well, if you walked into an empty theater, you could usually sit down and watch 10-15 minutes of whatever movie was playing before anyone missed you. Plus, it was dark, so if you did a half-assed job, no one cared. I would often time my entrance into a theater so that I could pick up the movie where I left off 2 hours ago. For some movies that played in multiple theater simultaneously, I could watch the whole thing (more or less) in one shift.
Apropos of nothing, a quick movie theater story because it remains to this day one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen to me, but was relayed by a friend of mine.
(Customer walks up to the concession stand)
Customer: Yeah, I’d like a hot dog and some lemon chips?
Friend: Lemon chips? I’m not sure what you mean.
Customer: Yeah, lemon chips. (Points)
Friend: Um, you mean nachos?
Yes, people, the world is full of geniuses.
So why am I telling you about my movie theater days today? Well, because the days of movie premieres (Fridays) were always the busiest. This was an era where you would actually sell out the entire theater, sometimes hours in advance, for a film that had a lot of hype. I can’t imagine with all of the avenues of entertainment available at our fingertips today that that ever happens (yes, yes, we’re making the whole pre/post-COVID assumption).
It’s the same deal with CMEpalooza. On the day that we put out our meeting agendas for public consumption, we get a massive rush of traffic to our website that dwarfs what’s been going on with the Robinhood thing-a-ma-bob (but hey, if you made a million dollars last week, buy a CMEpalooza sponsorship, won’t you?).
We’re ready for the big rush, because today indeed is the day when we unveil the CMEpalooza Spring agenda. As always, we’ve put in quite a bit of thought into our sessions, and we think we have a really interesting mix for you. There are definitely a few quirky, out-of-the-box formats we’ll be trying out that may or
may not work (Of course they’ll work! We are professionals here!). We always try hard to bring in some new stars that haven’t been on the CMEpalooza marquee before, so you’ll hopefully see some names in here you don’t recognize but can’t wait to hear from.
So take a look at what we’ve got in store, double check your calendar to make sure you have Wednesday, March 24 blocked off (yes, Derek, this is a reminder specifically for you), and order up a box of Junior Mints to be delivered that morning. Or lemon chips. That works too.