Arclight Cinemas Reviews | Glassdoor

Arclight Cinemas Reviews

Updated May 24, 2017
72 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.2
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Christopher Forman
28 Ratings

72 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • free movies and 50% on popcorn are awesome (in 39 reviews)

  • Free movies, quality work environment, crew members can easily become friends and being part of the premier theater feels pretty good (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Corporate wants to capitalize on your life being there for minimum wage (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack ability to give an excellent work life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "It's not bad, but it's not great either"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Arclight Cinemas part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You learn a lot about working with a large team and the communication skills that go with it, as well as basic skills required for most any job. Being such a large building there's an area for anyone to work in regardless of what type of person you are. The schedules are pretty flexible overall so almost anyone can find time to work.

    Cons

    You're not really a part time employee, so you're missing out on those benefits.

    From the day you're hired until the day you leave you're likely to never see any change in pay, no matter how many tasks or skills you pick up (Most work doesn't require advancement though so a change in pay probably isn't necessary anyway.)

    Events booked by outside groups/festivals are almost always a nightmare, and they happen a few times a month. Doesn't matter who it is using the theater, it seems like 80% of the time they won't communicate with anyone and then when the demands they never made aren't met it's all on you as an employee. Although that could just be my experience with it.

    Advice to Management

    I don't really have any advice for the management but I need 20 words. Maybe better communication with the large groups who rent out the theaters?


  2. "Don't recommend working here."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in El Segundo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -great co-workers who are lots of fun to be around
    -free soda and popcorn during your break
    -up to 4 free movie tickets a day

    Cons

    -definitely a high stress environment especially Thursday thru Saturday
    -no work/life balance
    -don't expect the managers to help with much, they leave everything to the leads
    -constantly deal with rude customers


  3. "dirty"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    flexibility with schedule, mind-numbingly easy, free movies with friends

    Cons

    too high of expectations in staff when mgmt failed to make improvements for employees. despite requests, no brush was purchased to help clean movie theater seats, so kids use the same broom that was just in the bathroom sweeping up tampons and dirty diapers.
    Just a filthy environment, ill-equipped for improvement. The tattered, split seats were great sponges for sodas, but difficult to make ready for the next crowd in the quick theater turn around. I had the misfortune of discovering several bio-hazard materials in theaters, and often times mgmt forgot to reorder vinyl gloves to protect employee sanitation.
    When I asked for mediation between myself and an employee who I felt was disrespecting me, mgmt decided to cut my hours to a pathetic amount, forcing me to quit, rather than providing a productive solution for either party.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your seat and actually look at what's going on in the lobby, theaters, and concessions, before blindly ordering employees around based on the assessment of shift leads, who are kids with biased opinions.

    Be honest. If there is not really potential to move up into bar and other better paying positions, don't keep people hanging on, as if their experience will improve, it only harbors resentment between staff and management.

    Actually acknowledge when things are done well, balance your petty critique.

    FOR upper, upper management, fix things that are broken to improve morale and encourage employees to enjoy taking care of property.


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  5. "Great for teens. Bad for people with bills."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Hollywood, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Hollywood, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Cool stories. And that's about it. 50 percent discounts and free tickets to the movies, first job experience for the unskilled.

    Cons

    Aside from being a cool story (seeing so many celebs, seeing how Hollywood works, premieres and the nice displays from studios) -- this place not only has subpar standards when it comes to employees, they actually acknowledge it but dress it up to wanting to "teaching and making you grow" e.g you will make minimum wage while having to learn the job of 10 people in case we get short or can't staff enough people. While yes, jobs like this are good for teens or for people who have no life or job experience -- so many people in LA and in life work here too that need to pay their bills.

    While on a given night you will be drained to the bone (they believe if you have "time to lean you have time to clean") at times you won't even be able to drink water or use the bathroom all while, again, making minimum wage -- working the job of over four people and never fully having even full time (unless you're on a peak period?).

    So this job is fine if you're in a pinch for work but it's not worth draining every fiber of your being for such little money, super entitled managers who think they know everything (having managers constantly watching and breathing down your neck). And a climate that believes every single moment that you're there needs to be spent working (no human can work hours on end without at least taking ten minutes to pee or drink water or gain some composure)

    No popcorn, movie tickets, or 50 percent discount can return your integrity or energy that is taken and placed in making this company their profits.

    While in one shift a worker will make 50 - 60 dollars, you in a concession night will make them about 600 - 1000 dollars every night you work there (unless it's slow). So with that being said companies like this are the problem in our country as they reap all the rewards themselves while masking the fact that the employee in return gets close to nothing in any rewards. Hell, you can barely make rent with the way they schedule people.

    And the time I worked there the management was supremely arrogant and difficult to work with as they took their jobs so seriously and placed and shouldered everything as apocalyptic to the employee. Too many people trying to lead even though they didn't know where they were going, or trying to go.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves. Pay higher wages. Give your employees breaks. Let them at least use the restrooms. This is the bastion of Hollywood and the conditions you provide to the employees are far from the painted image you all provide to the celebrities and studios you work so hard impress and retain.


  6. "Crew Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager Champion in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Manager Champion in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to network with like minded people starting out in the LA Film industry. A fun way to learn a lot of basic and customer service skills and observe employee management styles (as you do a lot of supervisor work without being a supervisor).

    Cons

    You are instantly replaceable no matter your tenure or status here and management will make it clear to you from day 1.

    Advice to Management

    Make your employees feel important like your philosophy states and your workers will care to live up to expectations. You potentially have a great company in the making, live up to its mission statement and this place can actually thrive and be a landmark.


  7. "Really Awesome company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Crew Member in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Crew Member in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas full-time

    Pros

    Very fun place to work.. Staff feels like a family and all oppurtunities are within the company. Very flexible schedule

    Cons

    They dont offer a benefits package..

    Advice to Management

    Please look into health insurance package


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Lip service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Easy work. Discount on food, free films (as many as 4 a day), convenient location, great company philosophies and policies (at least on paper). Very LGBT inclusive company, actually to a fault. Senior company managers are unafraid to mingle with employees when they visit.

    Cons

    Very immature and sometimes rude staff is constantly allowed to make far too much noise and give terrible customer service, while management does nothing about it. No advancement opportunities for crew whatsoever, unless you're already a manager. Several under qualified people in leadership positions, while qualified, experienced employees who are not among the favorites are ignored when trying to advance. Management lets many people slide when there are conflicts between coworkers (and there are every day), but punishes others severely. The company philosophies, while great on paper, are mostly just lip service. For example, they always talk about trust, but give little to employees. They talk about wanting people to grow and develop. Not one employee has been promoted from within, while two managers have been hired from outside, and the team leaders cause major conflicts all the time without any consequences.

    Advice to Management

    Only hire people who want to work. Never ignore employee concerns. Promote from within, rather than hiring outsiders and/or temps, when there are qualified people already around. Hold managers to the same standard or higher as you would anyone else. Do a better job of pretending there is trust - the lack of it is blatant. Treat employees equally. Get rid of dead weight sooner. Become sincere and committed about developing employees, not just people who are already managers, or only/mostly employees in the queer community. Be far more consistent in dealings with employees.


  9. "A very easy job but it is made difficult by incompetent managers."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Manhattan Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Manhattan Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free movies except on weekends . Easy job of you don't mind cleaning. Friendly crew and 25 cent raises every six months.

    Cons

    Managers change policies every month. Everyone gets a turn to be shift leader which means no one respects anyone else.

    Advice to Management

    Do not become personal friends with crew. It causes favoritism and upsets other crew.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "A simple job complicated by incompetent management."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in El Segundo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas part-time

    Pros

    The usual movie theater guff, free tickets and discounted snacks, though still horrendously overpriced compared to a pharmacy or gas station. Most of my co-workers are good people and I enjoyed working with a lot of them, hoping to stay in-touch.

    Cons

    Arclight seems to really not care if you know what you're doing as long as you're not throwing away money. In my time there I was not trained once for any position. I would regularly clock out late due to poor scheduling that ends up having you forcing to finish a line at concessions instead of having someone else take over for you.

    Arclight has a strict policy to get you to clock out on time, yet they don't want to assign hours to employees to actually encourage this. I probably clocked out late due to this sort of idiocy 2-3 times a week. No one likes working past their scheduled time. On top of this, there will be many mornings where just a single concessionist is expected to open by themselves. This requires them to get there an hour and a half before the first movie to get everything done. This even happens on weekends when we are expecting tons of business. It would be more beneficial to have 2 openers and have them come in 45 minutes to an hour before opening as opposed to an hour and a half, but that would cost the company "hours".

    Hours is another thing. If you are looking to afford rent, save up money, or do anything besides get a tiny amount of spending cash, DO NOT work for arclight. As of the end of my employment, I did not receive a single week with more than 25 hours scheduled. If you ask for more, you will not receive it. But, rest assured, you can hope to be called in on an off-day due to the fact they can't schedule properly and end up sending people home that you needed.

    Speaking of scheduling, it is extremely inflexible to accommodate everyone's weekly routines. Upon being interviewed, you are told you MUST have weekends available. As-in, you're not even allowed to request a day of the weekend off most of the time. On top of this, they expect you to be open up to 4 AM in the morning just in-case you get the short end of the stick one weekend and end up with a bad shift. But despite their insane demands, they still manage to not give out enough hours to make employees happy and end up stressing their workers due to not enough workers being there most of the time.

    The place is constantly understaffed and the company knows it. There are regular complaints about how slow the concessions lines are (something that could be mitigated with proper scheduling and adequate employees!) Arclight has a policy that employees should be able to do anything a manager should do, including refunds, ticket swaps, and similar things. This would all be fine if not for the fact that you never receive training to actually do these things. On more than one occasion I would ask a lead employee a question about a coupon I received only to be met with a blank stare and response of "I don't know". Later that same day, we had a lead who was going to throw away a half-full bib of oil from the popper because "I don't want the morning manager to get mad at me". How on Earth are there lead positions that are this clueless? It's extremely basic stuff that even a wageslave like me knows the answer to, yet there are leads who don't know?

    Even the way the theater is laid-out is extremely inconvenient for its employees. Concessions workers rely on so many things THAT THEY CANNOT FIX THEMSELVES in-case something goes wrong.
    You get low or run out of hot dogs? You have to leave the concessions stand.
    You need to get extra candy? You need to leave the concessions stand.
    You don't have any more beer glasses? You need to leave the concessions stand.
    You run out of change? You need to leave the concessions stand.
    Soda bib runs dry? Pray that someone can change it because it's on the second floor.

    Too many concessions items make it so concessions workers are constantly leaving the floor, slowing down lines, making people mad, and making employees stressed.

    Advice to Management

    Take a long hard look at Arclight as a business and tell me that more hours and more employees is going to hurt business. It's not. More hours means more job security for employees, more employees means less stress for the day, less stress means happier employees, which means more efficient employees, which means less turnover, which means less untrained newbies.

    Stop being cheap or you will never hold onto employees.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Cool perks but management problems trickled down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Arclight Cinemas part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great, awesome people you work with. Free tickets for you and 3 of your guests, for 3D and regular screenings.

    Cons

    Little to no work life balance. Terrible management at the La Jolla site (Glad one of the managers got fired!)

    Advice to Management

    Management issues trickled down to crew members but since I left, crew workers seem to be more happy. Glad the appropriate manager was fired.


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