A cinema or theatre manager needs:
- a passion for film and/or performing arts
- good organisational skills
- strong leadership and motivational skills
- excellent time-management and scheduling skills
- good communication skills.
Cinema or theatre managers work in cinema complexes, and independent theatres. They often work in both the office and the front of house. They usually work regular hours, but these hours often include late nights and weekends. They are often required to wear a uniform.
On average, cinema or theatre managers, classified under hospitality, retail and service managers, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Whilst managers of cinemas that are part of a chain may earn a salary, the income of managers of independent theatres may vary according to the level of business that their theatre attracts.
Cinema or theatre managers use cash registers, computers, calculators and EFTPOS machines. They may need to be familiar with word processing or data management programmes. If they work in a large cinema complex that carries large quantities of stock (in the candy bar for example) they may also use equipment that measures stock. In some cases, and although they are not technically required to use such equipment, it can be useful to have a basic knowledge of projection equipment, or stage lighting and audiovisual equipment.
You can work as a cinema or theatre manager without any formal qualifications, however, you can also complete a traineeship. A retail manager (franchise) traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.