"Everything that concerns you"

The Eagle's Eye

"Everything that concerns you"

The Eagle's Eye

"Everything that concerns you"

The Eagle's Eye

Movie theater usher shares harrowing tale of Eras Tour movie chaos

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Tristan Hargrove

As an employee at Cinemark in Southpark Meadows, the release of the Eras Tour concert movie had me dreading going to work because of how crazy I knew it would get when hoards of Swifties took over our theaters and generally disrupted the regular movie-going experience.

Our managers held meetings with staff to prepare us for the release and how they planned to handle the influx of Swifties.

It was the preparation for it where the managers were telling us this was going to be one of the hardest things that we would have had to do all year with the amount of pre-sale tickets and the number of walk-ins that we were going to have. And we were all just mentally and physically preparing ourselves for the chaos that was going to come with the Eras Tour movie. I was nervous about the whole thing. I was thinking about how many people were going to be there and how much stuff I would have to deal with. And mainly going into it. I was just ready to see what was going to come of this and how this was going to turn out.

When opening day happened, we got a boatload of people coming in. Every single hour about 100 to 200 people were flooding in. The entirety of the lobby was packed with people who were going to see it. And with all of those people came a lot of problems and people who were unhappy with their experience.

Usually, I have to deal with this every day and with every new thing. Some don’t like their popcorn. Some others are upset with their movie. Others want a refund, and still others are mad that someone else has taken their seat. Basically, every reason you can think of to be mad. I’ve seen people mad before.

And the Taylor Swift concert caused a lot more of those things to happen a lot more often. And with the amount of craziness that came from it, a lot of fans especially younger teenage girls, tended to really worship and just praise everything that was related to her at the theater. For example, when I was checking tickets, there were mini posters that we had to pass out for every Taylor Swift concert ticket that we sold. Every single time I passed out that poster to a fan, they would be either screaming in my ear or they would be the most shocked I’ve ever seen a person and they would want more than what I can give them.

There were also multiple times when I have been walking past the lobby to see people taking photos of them praying to the Taylor Swift poster, which has me wondering how we as a society have progressed thus far only to get to this point, but that’s a story for another day.

One of the big things that comes from having so many people at the theater is having a really messy theater to clean up. I’m mainly an usher and basically what I do is clean the theaters. We clean the floors and basically act like a custodian for the day. And the amount of mess left in each theater after each screening of the Eras Tour movie was astronomical. We sold Taylor Swift merchandise at the concessions stand, and one of the most popular items that we sold was a Taylor Swift popcorn bucket, which became a collector’s item for the Swifties. After the concert movie ended many fans would still have popcorn in their bucket and decided to dump it onto the floor because they didn’t want the popcorn anymore and just wanted the bucket.

Someone did this right in front of me. They looked right at me, didn’t say a word, and just walked out, leaving me to sweep it up. How inconsiderate could someone be that they would just dump a whole bucket of popcorn on the floor, especially when they see an usher right in front of them with the broom? It felt really disrespectful to the employees. Others threw drinks and popcorn. People would have a bunch of candy and smash them on the floor as they walked by.

Others disrespected fellow moviegoers when multiple people stood up in the movie theater during the film. She will be doing a part of her act where she’s standing and holding hands with people. And then a select group of people in the theater will also start standing up and going around and singing out loud and dancing. We had multiple complaints of this throughout the entirety of the movie showings.

Another big problem was the volume of the music. Now typically, for concerts and Bollywood movies, the volume would be a few levels higher than an average showing. I’m not sure why it’s for Bollywood movies. But I know for concerts, it’s so that people can hear the music better. But with the music being almost twice the volume as our normal speakers are for Taylor Swift, you could open a door on one side of the theater, and down the long hallway, you can hear it almost perfectly clear.

And with it being that loud came a lot of complaints from people watching different movies than the concert and still hearing the music from the concert while they were watching the movie, which is very disruptive. And it interrupts the experience of the other people. Let’s say you’re watching Killers of the Flower Moon. You don’t want to hear Taylor Swift while you’re watching it. That’s a completely different movie, that’s a completely different time period, and your immersion breaks when you hear Taylor Swift music in a neighboring theater.

That was unfortunately the case for a lot of people where the music was just so loud, that every other theater had to deal with the consequences of it. There was nothing that we could do about it because we would lower the volume and then others would get mad asking why it was so low. We would raise the volume and then non-Swifties would ask why it was so loud. There was no in-between that we could find and it was stressful to manage with the amount of people and the amount of struggles that came with working for the Taylor Swift Eras tour.

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About the Contributor
Tristan Chance, Staff Writer
Grade: 12 Academy: ECHS Number of Years on Staff: 1 Title: Staff Writer Why do you enjoy being on staff? The people here are great and it's a fun environment to be in. What do you do for fun? I watch movies and like to write screenplays in my free time. I also play video games but so does everyone else on staff. What are your hobbies? Writing, Playing Guitar, and Video Games. Hopes & Dreams after high school? Well IF I manage to graduate I would like to be a Movie Director.
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