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9 to 5, It's Not

One way or another, I've been working nights for a while now.

Hippodrome CinemaThe Seattle Times
Spinal TechWinston-Salem Journal
Independent Florida AlligatorAMC Theatres

Hippodrome Cinema

6 p.m. to midnight.

I'm a movie projectionist at the Hipp right now. Thursday and Friday are my usual nights.

What I love about working at the Hippodrome:

  1. Free movies
  2. Free plays
  3. Lots of nonstudents, both patrons and employees
  4. The regulars who come back every week no matter what movie is playing
  5. Friendly and always entertaining co-workers

See what's playing.

The Seattle Times

6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

A 1999 summer copy desk internship at The Seattle Times turned into an 18-month adventure. At the end of the summer, I got promoted to a three-year internship. I spent the rest of my time at The Times working on the six-person Business copy desk.

My duties included:

  • Regular ol' copy editing
  • Cover and inside page layout
  • Clearing pages off the boards
  • Filling in for the Sunday and Monday section editors

Some of the crazy things that happened while I worked at The Times:

  • We switched from afternoon to morning publication on March 6, 1999, flipping everybody's brains and work schedules upside down. (I got to clear the last ever afternoon pages off the boards. They were the stock pages.)
  • We switched from Atex to full CCI pagination. If those terms are familiar to you, then you know what a big deal this was.
  • The Business editor resigned, and no one was hired for eight months. This resulted in everyone filling in for everyone else all the way up the line, and I got to do things I normally wouldn't have been able to do, like edit the entire Sunday Business section.
  • The Newspaper Guild struck The Times at midnight on Nov. 21, 2000, four days before my last scheduled day of work. The striking employees published their own newspaper, both in print and online. The strike lasted seven weeks.

Spinal Tech

6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

During my undergraduate years, I had a couple of different jobs at Spinal Tech, a student-run sound and lighting business that operates out of the Reitz Union at the University of Florida. The first one actually was a day job. I was the manager of Spinal Tech for a year, in charge of about 30 student employees.

But the other job is the more interesting one. I was, yes, also a movie projectionist at the Reitz Union Cinema. This was back in the old days, before it had a fancy Web site. This is how I met my husband. He was a projectionist there, too.

Photos of the Reitz Union Cinema
These were taken in 1997.

Platters Theater 35mm projector
Platters Theater 35mm projector

Click on the photo of the platters to learn about how they work.

Winston-Salem Journal

4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

In the summer of 1998, I was a copy desk intern at the Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, N.C. I got the internship through the prestigious Dow Jones Newspaper Fund program.

The program included a two-week copy editing "boot camp" at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., for about 15 interns who would be working in the South. We practiced editing, spelling, headline writing and lots of other good stuff from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, the only time I've been a daytime copy editor.

In addition to the standard recommendation letters and transcripts, a timed, supervised editing test was required of each applicant. Think this stuff is easy? Check out the 1998 DJNF editing test, the same one I took.

Independent Florida Alligator

5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Like most other journalism students at UF (the smart ones, anyway), I did my time at The Alligator.

I started off as a lowly copy editor and worked my way up to copy desk chief. I designed pages by hand with a dummy sheet and a pica pole, experience that helped me tremendously later when it came time to design pages on the computer in the "real world."

AMC Theatres

6 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

I wouldn't be surprised if still to this day I've logged more hours at AMC than I have anywhere else.

I got my first job ever at the local movie theater at age 16. I worked there during my last year of high school and for summers, spring breaks and winter breaks all through college.

Why did I want to work at a movie theater? Free movies, of course!

There's something magical about dimming the lights for an auditorium full of people excited to see the latest film. Flip a few switches, press a few buttons, and you can transport the whole crowd to another time or place, just like that.

And projecting and copy editing have a lot in common. Nobody ever thinks about the people who do those jobs, but if those people weren't there, you'd sure notice in a hurry when the film burned or the newspaper story about your kid's karate class emphasized the instructor's expertise in the "marital arts." The purpose of both jobs is to keep things running smoothly, often anonymously, behind the scenes.

You didn't think the movies ran themselves, did you?


Copyright Angie Brammer 2002 all rights reserved
Last revised March 14, 2002
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