By Kent Larsen
Picking-up Popcorn Paves The Way For LDS Mission
DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA -- Jed Parker is preparing for his LDS mission to
Athens, Greece, by cleaning up popcorn. Parker works 32 hours a week
at the Regal Hacienda Crossing 20, a 20-theater multiplex where he
cleans after every show, earning money for school, he is a freshman
at Delta College in Stockon, California, and for his mission.
Like the other ushers at the Theater, Parker spends his time cleaning
the sticky floors, selling concessions and taking tickets to keep the
theater running. His job on the night he is interviewed is cleaning
the theaters in the roughly half-hour between shows. More than 11,000
people visit the multiplex every night, and it seems most of them
ignore the advice to discard cups, bags and trash in the receptacles.
"It's more like being a janitor" than an usher, Parker says. "But
it's OK. I like it. It beats working at Burger King."
Burger King was his previous job. But unlike most of the other
ushers, he doesn't see many movies, despite the free passes given to
employees. Before taking this job he did, but now he is too familiar
with the moviegoing experience. Only one movie interests him now, "I
do want to see 'The Grinch,' " he says. "That looks cool."
The job is like a mission in a sense, however. There is a
never-ending amount of work to do. The cleaning needs to be done
after every show, and they never quite clean it all, "I have a
saying," Parker says, "that we make things look nice but not nice. I
mean, we'll clean up the obvious stuff, but not under every single
seat. We just want to make it comfortable for the customers. We don't
have time to make it spotless."
In Dublin's Fair Cineplex, He Sweeps the Popcorn Underfoot
San Francisco Chronicle 24Nov00 P2
By Sam McManis: Chronicle Staff Writer