Cinema or theatre manager

What they do

Cinema or theatre managers organise and supervise the operation of cinemas and theatres where films and live performances are shown/exhibited. They manage staff in areas such as the box office and front of house, behind the candy bar, and ushering. They train and supervise staff to ensure their work is undertaken correctly, and perform a range of administrative duties such as coordinating rosters and payroll. They also choose and schedule performances and decide on the screening times of films. Cinema and theatre managers work mostly in cities and towns where there are large enough populations to attend regular performances and screenings.

Working conditions

Cinema or theatre managers work in cinema complexes, and independent theatres. They often work in both the office and the front of house. They usually work regular hours, but these hours often include late nights and weekends. They are often required to wear a uniform.

Tools and technologies

Cinema or theatre managers use cash registers, computers, calculators and EFTPOS machines. They may need to be familiar with word processing or data management programmes. If they work in a large cinema complex that carries large quantities of stock (in the candy bar for example) they may also use equipment that measures stock. In some cases, and although they are not technically required to use such equipment, it can be useful to have a basic knowledge of projection equipment, or stage lighting and audiovisual equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a cinema or theatre manager without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in retail management or a related area.

You can also complete a traineeship. A retail management  traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.

Certificate IV and the Diploma of Retail Management are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

Learn more about your study options.


Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing