John Rung, President and CEO
My first real job – at age 16 – was an usher at the Fox Valley movie theaters in Aurora. I believe my starting pay was $3.35 per hour, but it was a great job for a movie-loving teen.
Management generally frowned upon us watching movies while we were supposed to be working. However, it was often my job to spend the last 10 minutes or so of each showing standing just inside the exit doors. As the movie concluded, we’d open the door to let the patrons spill out into the lobby. It was this duty that began my (extremely annoying) habit of reciting movie quotations verbatim.
Final scene, "North Dallas Forty" ...
Nick Nolte: “We sure had ‘em goin’ in Chicago.”
Mac Davis: “Best catch I ever seen.”
Nolte: “Not a bad pass either.”
“Meatballs,” “Muppet Movie,” “Caddyshack,” “Airplane” … I’ve got them all memorized. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife.
During my time as an usher, I learned an interesting tidbit: They play the movies even when no one shows up to watch it – or at least they did back them. Apparently, it had something to do with the projectionists belonging to a union. I’ll never forget throwing a football to a fellow usher across a massive empty theater as “American Graffiti 2” flickered on the big screen.