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Picture perfect

education Updated: Apr 11, 2012 19:27 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The lowdown
Today, the movie-watching experience has changed altogether, with theatres like Wave inviting you to enjoy a screening in their Platinum Lounge, boasting a ‘chesterfield with 168 degree reclining facility... projection systems from Kinoton-Germany, audio systems from Martin Audio-UK, screens from Harkness Hall-UK and Dolby Cinema Processors from USA.’ A PVR lets let you download its app on your cellphone and order tickets, or redeem your air miles for a ticket. Cinema management is all about providing a wholesome, rich and superior customer experience to the audience. A cinema manager’s job is to ensure that the guests get the best hospitality ranging from ease of ticket booking, cordial reception at security to snacks and drinks and a comfortable environment. Managers have to supervise technical and customer services staff, including those looking after core operations such as frontline staff, housekeeping and security, supporting team (for projection, IT, maintenance, accounts, marketing and liaisoning). They are also responsible for realising revenue, achieving maximum profitability for their companies with the budgets they are given

Clockwork
Working hours can be flexible. Under normal circumstances, a cinema manager would either do an opening shift (starting 9am) or a closing shift (ending after the shows are over) or a mid shift (starting 2pm till the entry of the last show). This is a typical shift of a cinema manger:
9am: Review the attendance of the staff, review the performance of the previous day
Noon: Brief the team members, take a round of the entire property
2pm: Oversee and supervise entries, intervals and exits

The payoff
A fresher can look at a package of Rs 4 to Rs 5 lakh per annum. According to working professionals, a cinema manager’s payscale is the best in the retail industry. To make it more attractive, most companies have started devising target-based incentive programmes with star performers getting good money

Skills/TRAITS
* Should be a leader and team player. S/he is required to lead various teams and customer services staff
* Should be a fast thinker and an able decision-maker
* Should have a flair for handling communications and responding properly to customer queries
* Should have ability to handle difficult situations & offer timely troubleshooting
* Should have a flair for analysing figures and forecast sales and budget
* Should have good knowledge of food and beverages
* Should have sound technical knowledge

Getting there
Having a degree/diploma in hotel management is always desirable. Another option would be to do a professional course in retail management/operations. Good experience in the cinema industry or retail/hospitality industry with good managerial and team leading skills is desirable. At the entry level, fresh hotel management graduates are preferred. Individuals with prior experience of working in organised retail are also preferred. Thereafter, your growth would depend on your performance, leadership skills and ambitions. This industry is full of success stories of individuals who have joined this industry at the entry/mid level and risen to the positions of department heads and CEOs. Right attitude, flair for learning, education and good performance is all that matters if you want to rise in this industry

Institutes and URLs
* Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, New Delhi
www.ihmpusa.net/home.htm
* Institute of Hotel Management, Catering technology and and Applied Nutrition, Mumbai
http://www.ihmctan.edu/website/ihmmumbai.htm
* National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Noida
http://www.nchmct.org/
* Indian Institute of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts, Hyderabad
http://www.iihmca.org/

Pros and cons
* If you love movies, then it is an exciting profession to be in
* Money is good
* Managing various teams helps you hone your leadership skills very well
* You may have to work in shifts

The box office collections are increasing every year with new multiplexes being added. There is always a need for people who understand cinema exhibition business and are willing to relocate Manish Kumar, cinema manager at Glitz Cinemas, based in Kurukshetra