House Manager Manual
The House Manager is usually the first volunteer an audience member comes in contact with. It is important that their first impression of Footlite is favorable. Listed below are the responsibilities of the House Manager.
Before Opening the Front Doors
- Turn on all lobby and restroom lights. Switches are located near the front door.
- Inspect both restrooms to make sure there is plenty of toilet paper, paper towels and soap, both available and visible for replenishment. Additional rolls of paper should be in the janitorial room located just off the board room. Please make sure the bathrooms are clean.
- Make sure all waste baskets are empty and with a liner in them.
- Sweep areas of the carpet that are dirty.
- In the concession area you will now make popcorn for the performance. Information on this procedure is available at the theatre, and it's best to have someone who's done it previously demonstrate the process. It's important to be attentive so the popcorn doesn't burn.
- Inspect the drawers in the half tables located near the auditorium doors to make sure flashlights are present and working.
- Your volunteer ushers/concession people should be arriving by now. You will need to assign duties to each and briefly explain their responsibilities. Our rules may differ from other theatres, so it's important the volunteers know what is expected of them.
- USHERS: You should have two ushers to seat the guest and make sure they understand how the seating numbers work and impress upon them to show the audience member to their seats and not stand by the door to pass out programs. It is this added touch the guest will feel at home with if you direct them to their seat. Tell the ushers they need to pick up all leftover programs after the production is over and flip up the seat cushions.
b.) TICKET TAKER: One needed stationed beside the double doors and will take tickets when you give the go ahead to open the auditorium thirty minutes before show time. He/she should inspect the ticket and instruct the guest which way to turn upon entering the auditorium. c.) CONCESSION: Usually works best if you have two people working this. One taking the money and the other acquiring the product the guest ask for. Three people get a little crowded in there. These people will also be responsible to bag the popcorn and replenish any soft drinks if necessary. After intermission, they should also clean up the area of food. d.) GREETER: If you have an extra volunteer, please station them near the door and impress upon them to welcome the guest to Footlite and direct them to the ticket windows. This person should also be able to answer simple questions for the guest such as ‘where are the bathrooms?’ 8. One hour before show time, the outside doors should be unlocked. You will find this key in a utility closet near the TV screen in the lobby. The key will be on a big ring. To unlock the inner lobby doors you merely turn the dead bolt to the left. Then open the left door and on the inside of the right door will be two toggle levers (one up & one down) you need to flip them in the opposite direction it is in. This will unlock the right side door. To unlock the outside door, you will look for the allen wrench on the key ring. On the inside of the crash bars is a little hole. Stick the allen wrench into this hole, depress the crash bar and turn the wrench till the crash bar is locked in place. Now the door is open for the public. 9. Return the keys to the utility closet and in the fuse box in this closet, flip the ‘outside dome lights’ and ‘inner lobby lights’ to the on position. 10. You will need to go to the box office to retrieve all cash for concession and whatever else the lobby is selling that night and bring it to the proper people. 11. Once your crew is in place and the public is entering, you will need to go backstage to find out who the stage manager is for the production. This person will eventually tell you when the show is ready to start so it is always wise to find out who this person is to look for. Once this is done….you can relax and wander around occasionally making sure everyone is doing what is expected. 12. You will need to turn off the popcorn popper at some point before long.
******** PRODUCTION IS ABOUT TO START **********
13. Five minutes till curtain, check with the box office on the number of unclaimed tickets. Stage manager will come out to state they are ready & ask you if you are ready. Make the decision based on the number unclaimed tickets. Then turn off almost all lobby lights so the audience knows to go into the auditorium. 14. Once the show starts, close the auditorium doors & you need to stay in the lobby in case any late comers come in. You will need a flashlight to show them to their seats. Remember the flashlights are in the half table drawers near the auditorium doors. 15. During the first act inspect the bathrooms to make sure everything is fine and supplied. Be cautious when entering in case someone is still in there. (You may have Epilogue members using the bathrooms) Also pick up any ‘messes’ there might be in the lobby during this time.
************ INTERMISSION **************
16. Open the auditorium doors and turn on the lobby lights. Make sure your concession people are back in place and be on ‘call’ in case someone needs you for something. Make sure the concession people clean up towards the end of the intermission. 17. Stage manager will come out again to inform you they are ready for the second act. You should know if lines to the bathroom are low or not and tell the stage manager you are ready too. Flick the lights several times so the guest knows to return to their seats. Once the lobby is clear, shut off all lobby lights and close the door. 18. Occasionally an audience member needs to use the restroom during the production. You should always assist them back to their seats with the flashlight. It is common courtesy.
*************** END OF THE PRODUCTION *************
19. Open the auditorium doors and turn on the lobby lights. Now you will have to wait for about twenty five minutes for the guests to greet the performers and clear before you can shut down the lobby. 20. Please personally thank all your volunteers of the night for their help and ask if they enjoyed the show. 21. After you flash the lobby lights, start locking the outside doors by reversing what you did before. As the crowd dwindles down, start locking the inner lobby doors and keep one door open for the remaining guest. Once they have cleared, double check the outside doors to make sure they are locked and lock the remaining inner door. 22. Return key to utility closet, turn off dome lights & inner lobby lights switch. Check bathrooms to make sure water isn’t running and turn off those lights. If kitchen light is on, turn that off. Shut auditorium doors and turn off lobby lights.
Thank you for all your help !!!!!! Footlite