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United Artists Northstar 8 Cinema – Garland, Texas

I saw lots of movies that summer, including Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Prizzi’s Honor, Desperately Seeking Susan, The Black Cauldron, Return to Oz, St. Elmo’s Fire, Back to the Future, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Before I was allowed to run the projectors, I was an usher which entailed tearing tickets and cleaning theaters in between shows. During the shows, it was mostly standing around or taking out the trash. As the trash compactor was right outside the doors at the end of the hall, a lot of flies would get in. Me and my fellow ushers got really good at shooting flies with our squirt bottles of glass cleaner from up to 20 feet away.

My favorite part of this job (besides all the free movies) was running the projectors. There were seven 35mm projectors with three platters each, and one 70mm/35mm projector with THX. I liked the responsibility of keeping all those machines running on time, and it was fun splicing the reels together when we got new films in.