How many times a month do you go to your local movie theater?
According to a survey done by Harris Interactive and as reported by MarketingCharts, on average, American adults go to the movies about 5 times a year.
And if you are one of those people, you probably spend quite a bit every time you go to the movies.
The average price of a movie ticket is just under $9, but add popcorn and drinks and you’re looking at $20-$40 easily.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually get paid for watching movies at the theater?
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It would be, right?
Well, what if I told you it actually is possible…
There are companies that will pay you to do just that.
It is a kind of market research known as “Theater Checking”, but we like to call it “movie mystery shopping.”
As a Theater Checker, not only you are paid, you also help to shape the way your local theaters operate.
Once you are approved to be a Theater Checker, you have access to a whole range of paid tasks that are needed at theaters around the nation.
What Does a Theater Checker Do?
Most of the time, the opportunities for work as a Theater Checker occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Each job is different, but you’ll usually be doing one or more of the following things:
- trailer checks – you take a note of all the trailers that are shown before each feature
- on-screen ad checks – you take a note of all the advertisements shown before the trailers
- open checks – you count the number of theater patrons, and also collect information from the box office
- blind checks – you secretly count the number of theater patrons
- sneak preview check – you visit the theater to watch a sneak preview of a movie that is not on general release, counting the number of patrons, detailing their reactions and commenting on the picture and sound quality
- theater lobby check – you visit the theater and check for promotional materials
- audience reaction audit – you watch the audience reaction to specific trailers and provide feedback
- mystery shopping – posing as a typical patron, you go to the movie theater and evaluate the customers’ experience, including theater layout and cleanliness, staff friendliness, and other factors
Sometimes you will be asked to perform several of the above checks.
How you report on the movie theater will influence and improve the theater-going experience for the general public.
How Much Do You Get Paid?
The amount you can earn depends on what tasks you are asked to do.
For instance, you may earn $30 or more from doing a trailer check. It should take you less than an hour, and is usually a flat fee.
You get paid every time you go on assignment, and can even be reimbursed for your movie tickets on select jobs, such as mystery shopping.
How Do I Get Theater Checker Jobs?
There are a few big companies that offer movie mystery shopping jobs.
MarketForce is one of the most trusted mystery shopping companies around, and one of their division is focused on theater mystery shopping where this theater checker job comes in.
To sign up, go to http://www.marketforce.com/get-in-touch/theatre-checkers.
It is free of charge to register, and you can join from the link given. You’ll be asked to fill out eight pages of information, and this ensures that you are well matched for the job and helps in selecting assignments for you.
They’ll also help you to become what is called a Certified Field Associate (CFA).
2. VeriTES (Theatrical Entertainment Services)
The second company you can try is veriTES.com, where the TES stands for Theatrical Entertainment Services.
If you join VeriTES, you become part of their Field Force which numbers 50,000 individuals around the United States and Canada.
In this case, you are asked to email to find out further information about joining.
To apply for this position visit http://www.verites.com/corp/main/Index.aspx.
The third company is Imyst. With this company, you get to visit movie theaters and collect various information.
Their theater checking assignments include Blind Checking, All Screen Trailer Checking, Sneak Preview Checking and more.
To apply, visit http://www.imyst.com/mysteryshopping.asp, fill out the form and wait for them to get back to you.
Becoming a Theater Checker is a great way to earn some extra cash on the side while also getting to watch free movies.
Of course, you can’t expect it to replace your day job, but it’s a great side hustle.