Contact us

Chat with us

Phone: 13 64 64 or (08)9224 6500
TTY: 08 9225 7831
(Hearing impaired only)
Site search



Occupation search

Occupation Search

Cinema or theatre manager

Back to top

Summary of occupation

Cinema or theatre managers organise and supervise the operation of cinemas and theatres where films and live performances are shown/exhibited. They manage staff in areas such as the box office and front of house, behind the candy bar, and ushering. They train and supervise staff to ensure their work is undertaken correctly, and perform a range of administrative duties such as coordinating rosters and payroll. They also choose and schedule performances and decide on the screening times of films. Cinema and theatre managers work mostly in cities and towns where there are large enough populations to attend regular performances and screenings.

ANZSCO description: Organises and controls the operations of a cinema or theatre. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names:
Job prospects: Average
Back to top

Knowledge, skills and attributes

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.
Back to top

Working conditions

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.

Back to top

Salary details

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.

Back to top

Tools and technologies

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.

Back to top

Education and training/entrance requirements

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.

Related courses

Back to top

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.

Related apprenticeships

Back to top

Recognition of prior learning

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.

Back to top


Related links

Related occupations

Need advice?

Profile and social options