Multiplex - a comic strip about life at the movies

Multiplex Workplace Poster series

In honor of Labor Day here in the US of A, I wanted to share with you guys something I’ve been working on. Multiplex Book Two backers and those of you who follow me on Twitter or the Multiplex Facebook page will have seen earlier versions of a few of these, but they’re Multiplex-themed movie theater/workplace posters featuring the main Multiplex cast. I came up with Jason’s poster for one of the Book 2 Kickstarter rewards and liked the idea enough to keep making more.

An 18″x24″ version of Jason’s poster will be available in the coming weeks from the Multiplex Store; they’re being printed this week, so if you want one, stay tuned for that! I’m also planning to make the full set of five posters available as 11″x17″ mini-posters (most likely for $20 for the set). I will need to do a pre-order in order to finance the printing for the set, though, since, y’know, I’m a grad student. We’ll see.

If these sell well, I’ll make more! Feel free to suggest themes for what they could touch on in the comments — though keep in mind, they’re meant to double as half-serious PSA’s, not just be snarky posters.

I’ve got a (late) comic to finish, so without further ado, here are the posters!

Multiplex Workplace Poster - Franklin

Multiplex Workplace Poster - Becky

Multiplex Workplace Poster - Jason

Multiplex Workplace Poster - Kurt

Multiplex Workplace Poster - Melissa

15 Responses to “Multiplex Workplace Poster series”

  1. shadebug says:

    I’ve never bought the whole “we make no money off the tickets” argument. It’s not that it’s wrong, it’s that it’s irrelevant. Imagine you ran a shop that only sold popcorn, it would be suicide to charge that much for it. Now imagine that on top of that you have a twelve screen cinema to run, why the hell would you intentionally be losing money on the food?

    I know when I worked in a cinema our average spend, per person, on concessions was £1.70. The cheapest item was £2.00 for a bottle of water. Most people are simply not buying. If they were to drop the prices to something less than a full meal at a half decent restaurant then people might actually buy food and drink and the cinema might actually make money.

    • Robert N. says:

      *audible gasp*

      Shadebug! Your logic is infallible! The movie theater industry must be on the verge of collapse! All those people in the company and no one thought to make it cheaper! This must be the end of movie theaters as we know it!

    • Gordon McAlpin says:

      This is a common argument, but it’s not that simple. It ignores that lower prices not only means more sales, but greatly increased costs — more concessionists to pay, more ushers to pay to clean up after all of us slobs, obviously the cost to buy and store and keep inventory of the additional food and packaging and napkins and “butter”…

      Selling twice as much product doesn’t mean twice as much profits, and if a string of shit movies comes out, they’re sitting on a lot of product that could go bad. (Granted, not very quickly; the shit they serve at most theaters could last through a nuclear holocaust.)

      • shadebug says:

        But the costs should be no higher than a normal restaurant would be. Restaurants have the added costs of needing staff that can actually cook beyond throwing wedges in an oven and sausages on the rollers, not to mention waiters able to organise more than which of the twelve screens is fit for the public to enter. That and cinemas are pretty good at working out when they need to stockpile and when they don’t.
        I’m not saying that the food should be sold at cost, I am saying that raising the price won’t get you an increase in revenue. People will just stop buying and will instead bring in their own food (or just steal in the case of stuff on shelves/in hoppers). Hell, I stopped working there because I couldn’t stand to watch a poor weekend dad turn up with his son and all his friends and be forced to pay those prices (on top of the ticket prices, which we’ve already established the cinema has little control over).
        Don’t get me wrong, whenever I go to the cinema I order the large combo because I want to support my local cinema (by which I mean my local chain because there isn’t a proper local cinema for 100 miles), but I’m definitely the only person I know doing it. And absolutely, if I had a few million quid to burn I would be setting up a cinema tomorrow and doing it my own way, but I don’t, so I’ll comment here where people who care about these things might be reading and I leave feedback for my cinema when I’m asked for it because that’s all I can do.

        • Gordon McAlpin says:

          Restaurants are a fraction of the size of a movie theater (rent) and don’t have to pay for $500 light bulbs. It’s not just about the food.

          And how doesn’t raising the price increase revenue? It absolutely does. You lose some sales, but you make up for in the long run. The proof of this is… the entire US movie theater industry right now.

          • Alex Hollins says:

            There is a law of supply and demand for just this reason. There are a lot of things where the prices make me wonder if anyone ever ran an analysis on just what the cost to purchase ratio is, or just raise prices until they hit the break point.

          • shadebug says:

            I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m saying it doesn’t work well. I can’t comment on how the US cinema industry works but the UK cinema industry is in a bad way. There are 3 cinema chains and they’re as bad as each other. None of them have any sort of added value to the cinema experience other than the cinema experience itself. These are not the cinemas we talk about when we say we need to support our cinemas so clearly the model is only working as a straight business model without taking into account what the consumers want and why the cinemas exist in the first place.
            Staff to sales is not a proportional thing. If you double concessions sold you do not need to double the staff so what you need to do is get that food moving and increasing prices doesn’t do that.
            Put it another way, I work in a shopping centre with a cinema attached. When I’m really thirsty the ideal drink would be a tub from the cinema, but I can just buy 5 large drinks from McDonalds for less. You have to make concessions something people want, not something they’re forced into by their own laziness.

  2. Blue Ninja says:

    I run a twelve screen, everything and i mean everything comes from our concession sales which is based on attendance. Our Per Capita goes up means we need more ppl to serve you, either in concessions or ushers cleaning your mess so that you have a nice clean environment to enjoy the film. If our Per Capita goes down that means there’s no customers so now we have to send employees home to save the payroll. These “high” prices also bay the bills for the building, electricity water, garbage, payroll, Rent /lease of the building, parking lot care and repairs and maintenance all cost vast amounts of money. The projection systems alone cost thousands of dollars to run every day the bulbs inside of them cost around 350 to 500 dollars per bulb, and usually only last 3 to 4 months depending on the size of the bulb. Here is another inside secret your local movie theater doesn’t have control of what movies they get. The studios choose what movies go where. if your town has 2 theaters they will pick which theater gets what movie. and Remember just because we get paid to clean up after you our wages are based off of attendance, if a theater is in a bad area or just to far out of the way for ppl to travel they will be paid minimum wage and not see very many wage increases even if they are super man/woman and clean very well. Here in California minimum wage is 8 dollars an hour we start our wages at 8.25 and even with 80 hours on a paycheck the cost of living is still to high, hence why most of are employees are teenagers. So be kind place your trash in the receptacles located outside the auditorium floors, and Enjoy the show!

  3. towyomama says:

    OMG these are so funny … especially because I work at a theater (for many years)

  4. RDW0409 says:

    I was looking at these and going “eh, McAlpin was right, the Dreamworks one doesn’t really fit…” but then I pictured it hanging in an employee break room next to one of those corporate mandated “smile for the customers!” signs and now it’s my favorite of the bunch.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the sentiment of the texting one— I loved that PSA they did where they decapitated Angie; I think I requested it for my print in the last Kickstarter— but the different (metafictional?) context of this still tingles my hard-knocks-personal-experience spider-sense in regard to how little humor corporate can have about death threats to customers (no matter how oblique or risible). Puts me in mind of Basic Instructions’ “How to Threaten Vengeance” ( ).

    What if it were more along the lines of the (brilliant) trash or popcorn posters, something like “we don’t want to be yelling at you in a dark theater any more that you want us yelling at you”?

    • Gordon McAlpin says:

      Yeah, that’s the same reasoning why I decided to include it after all. It’s a little different than the rest, in that it’s for the employees more than the customers, but I like it. I think I should make a couple more that are for the “back of the house,” if I ever do a second batch.

      The Jason one is one of the two most popular ones, by the way (Melissa’s has gone sort of viral on Facebook). :) I think I’m sticking with it.

      • RDW0409 says:

        Hey, your posters of course– congrats on the viral success of Melissa’s! Her “I hate this job” smile really sells it.

  5. Oh I wish these existed when I worked in movie theaters. I would have slapped them all over the place. Texting and slobs would have covered the walls of the hallways, the concessions one would have been posted three times under each register, and the kids would have all but sealed the front doors shut. And just to round out the collection, toss a couple of the Dreamworks face ones behind the customer service counter.

  6. Sarah M says:

    I love these, they are perfect.
    As for other ideas….
    Bringing in fast food?
    When people don’t bother to remember the name of the film they’re seeing?

  7. NotEd says:

    The “Please Throw Away Your Trash” poster really hits the nail right on the head. I worked in a theater the last year and a half of high school and was horrified at some of the things people just left on the floor at the movies.
    (Used diapers more than once left in popcorn buckets during a run of a Disney film was right up there and made me live in fear of any cartoons.)
    To this day I always clean up after myself when I go out to the theater. I do my best not to be the dick who makes the employees’ lives more difficult at the end of the day.

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