Everyday people: Flanders says working at the movie theater has helped develop his sociable personalityFor more than a year on and off, Taylor Flanders has been one of the friendly faces selling tickets, serving up popcorn and offering candy behind the counter at Red Wing Cinema 8.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
For more than a year on and off, Taylor Flanders has been one of the friendly faces selling tickets, serving up popcorn and offering candy behind the counter at Red Wing Cinema 8.
The 20-year-old knows the theater inside and out, but was familiar with it before he even started his part-time job there. Having grown up in Red Wing, Flanders had several friends working at the cinema before he was hired as part of the team. Now he’s one of many who share the responsibilities of creating an exciting movie-going experience for hundreds of locals each week. It’s a role he really enjoys, especially when interacting with people.
“It’s the little things, like the customer that cracks a joke. Stuff like that makes my day,” Flanders said.
From quiet weekdays to extremely packed midnight showings, Flanders said there are positives to every kind of night. Still, a full house means there’s less time to interact.
“It can get monotonous doing 200 popcorn orders a day,” he said. “But when it’s slower you can talk with your customers.”
A majority of his job puts him right on the floor amidst the live action, but when Flanders is scheduled to run the projectors, he’s controlling the action that’s portrayed on each of the establishment’s eight screens. Currently the theater utilizes 35mm film projectors, and they’re far from similar to a typical device used to watch movies at home.
“There is no rewind,” Flanders said. “The reels spin one way.”
Red Wing Cinema 8 is working on switching to digital projectors but Flanders may not be around to see it happen.
Having originally enrolled at the University of Minnesota, he later decided a different school would be more suitable for his future. Flanders will begin classes at Brown College this month, working toward a degree in network management/design.
Between controlling the adventures that movie-goers see onscreen and starting his own with a new education endeavor, Flanders maintains adventure in his everyday life as well.
He said he plays a fair amount of video games, but a lot of his spare time is also spent with friends outside now that warmer seasons have come around. One of Flanders’ favorite ways to get exercise outdoors is by free running. The idea behind it is to move freely, using acrobatic techniques to climb or pass obstacles found in an urban environment.
“It’s not just straight climbing. There’s finesse to it,” Flanders explained.
Unfortunately, his sense of adventure has gotten him in trouble in the past. While first picking up on the skill of free running, Flanders took an unwelcomed fall 7 feet down onto concrete.
“I was being too ambitious too early,” he admitted.
Still, the incident didn’t stray him from having the courage to continue what he likes to do.
While he may have always shown courage, Flanders said he used to be a lot more of an introvert. It wasn’t until working at the movie theater, in fact, that he opened up and developed his sociable personality.
“I used to be shy,” he said. “Now I can talk at 90 mph.”
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