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‘As a cinema worker at Vue this is REAL’: Movie theater worker shares the horrors of working at a cinema

'Why are people so messy?'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jun 17, 2023

Some people hold the conviction that if it’s someone’s job to clean up after them, then they can be as messy as they want. Whether it’s hotel guests who go out of their way to trash rooms, or theatergoers who cannot enjoy a film unless they’re re-enacting scenes from Bubba Sparxxx’s “Ugly.”

Throngs of people have aired their grievances online with folks who go out of their way to make movie theaters dirty. Even local news outlets have conducted bacterial evaluations to see just how filthy theaters can get, with some shocking results.

A TikToker named Lily (@lilyphillipsfr) posted a clip that recently went viral, showcasing just how much some guests blatantly disregard hygiene and common decency when going to the movies.

Lily intones that the realities of the job squash any enthusiasm one might have for working in the theater business, and her post sparked a litany of remarks from viewers who shared their own horror stories.

Lily starts her video looking into the camera, lip-syncing audio of someone saying, “Man shut the-” before the screech of what sounds like a flashbang grenade going off, followed by a smash cut photo montage of various messes left behind by guests in a movie theater.

One of the photos shows popcorn strewn across the floor, another shows what appears to be some kind of liquid akin to chocolate milk spilled somewhere, followed by a spilled tray of nachos left on a seat with a container of salsa turned upside down. She shows even more popcorn spilled on the floor of the entranceway into the theater before the video cuts out.

@lilyphillipsfr I still dk what that was in the third pic #fyp #retail #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Cory Hunter Winn

One commenter shared how shocked a movie theater employee was after seeing them clean up after themselves.

“I remember I was out with friends and they made a mess so I got a bag and cleaned the area,” the user wrote. “The guy working there almost cried thanking me.”

Someone also said the window of time they have for cleaning theaters after the movie is over is often stressful as guests will stay throughout the credits of a film.

“When you only have a few minutes to clean everything cause everyone stayed till after credits even though its not a marvel movie,” someone said.

Another person intoned that some genres of films culminate in messier clean-ups than others.

“Cleaning up after despicable me 3 was quite an experience,” a user said.

One user wrote that working at a movie theater was too much to handle and that they left the gig as soon as they were able to, sharing, “WORST TWO MONTHS OF MY LIFE I QUIT AS SOON AS I COULD.”

While there’s no shortage of garbage being left behind by movie theater guests, there are also tons of forum posts shaming folks for this behavior.

And as unsightly and inconvenient as it is to plop down in a movie theater seat only to be surrounded by a wasteland of Raisinet boxes, kernels of popcorn, spilled slushies, and god-knows-what-else, there are other things guests might have to worry about when visiting the theater—pests.

Dirty movie theater guests who are unknowingly carrying bedbugs have been known to sit in cloth theater seats and transfer the pests to other theatergoers. In fact, a popular midtown New York City AMC theater location has purportedly been found with bed bugs, leaving throngs of guests feeling the itch.

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jun 17, 2023, 5:29 pm CDT