Working with the Movie Theater

Two months before our first preview service, we had no idea where the church would meet.  We’d been working on the movie theater and got the go ahead just in time.  It’s been our home for the first nine months of our church.  We’ve grown from 140 people at that first preview service to nearly 550 last Sunday.  We’ve gone from using one theater and some hallways for children, to using a bunch of theaters.  We have a GREAT relationship with Carmike and with the local management.  We’ve never had a problem – they have been very flexible, and we just love working with them. 

I think a key in dealing with a theater (or school or other rented facility for that matter) is to simply be a nice person.  This is so simple, but so many people don’t do it.  Being nice will go a long way, not to mention it’s a Christian thing to do.  We’ve had the privilege to work with two different managers and we’ve liked both of them and we’ve been nice to both of them.

How do you act nice?  I go by during the week sometimes with no agenda, just to say hey.  We get extra donuts and leave them for the staff.  We do what’s expected of us.  We are kind with our words.  We chit-chat with the staff.  We give Christmas presents.  I don’t act like a jerk. (that’s hard for me sometimes)  Last week, the manager asked us if we would promote the Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser that they are doing to our people…we’re glad to do it.

I understand that the place we use for church doesn’t make their income from us – they show movies.  We’re guests.  And we act like guests.  We don’t complain about things and we pay our bills.

Because we are nice, when we need something, we can ask.  We’re working on getting Internet access so we can go to online check in of our kids.  We were able to get a Pod and put it behind the theater.  We didn’t ask for this on day one…we built a relationship and asked naturally.

A bunch of the employees come to work early on Sunday so they can attend the service.  The very nice lady who takes tickets comes to part of the message every week (the music is too loud for her) and she calls us "our church."  She’s the one who got me free movies.  Some of the employees actually help us tear down! 

So if you’re portable in a theater or school…that’s my advice.  Be nice!

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