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Being a movie usher isn't just about cleaning gum off seats anymore

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An aptitude for public speaking isn't a typical requirement for working at a movie theater -- unless you're employed at the Bowles Crossing 12, a Kerasotes-owned venue located in southern Jefferson County. (It's across the street from Clement Park; then-Vice President Al Gore gave a speech from its steps following the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School.) I've gone to a couple of flicks there in recent weeks, and each time, a young usher has stepped into the auditorium as the previews were ending to welcome patrons and encourage them to contact a staff member if there are any problems. These introductions initially struck me as rather weird, but I soon came to see them as a positive. Not only do they emphasize customer service (a rare commodity at chain cinemas), but they give audience members the opportunity to watch teenagers in dorky uniforms squirm uncomfortably while facing a bunch of strangers. Which, in some cases, can be more fun than the movie.

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