Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Ayers
September 29 (Friday)
Volunteers are vital to The Cinematheque, from serving our famous popcorn to welcoming cinephiles from near and far to our cinema. Without their enthusiastic effort we simply could not deliver the exceptional film programming we’re known for. We ❤️ our volunteers.
How did you become interested in volunteering at The Cinematheque and when did you start?
I moved to Canada at the end of 2020 and didn’t really know anyone here, and since I’m a freelancer and work from home, I didn’t really get out and see people very often. I started attending films at The Cinematheque when it reopened in 2021 (my first film there was Tokyo Story). One day I saw a Facebook posts about volunteers and decided to sign up.
What do you like most about volunteering at The Cinematheque?
It’s not just one thing. My first job was working in a movie theatre and I loved all the different aspects of it. I love the sense of community and seeing the same people from week to week, whether it’s the other volunteers or the regular patrons. Every screening is a chance for someone to have a life-changing experience, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Also, I have a strong sense memory of the smell of popcorn that reminds me of my first job, which is probably why I like being the Thursday night popcorn guy.
What’s your favourite memory of volunteering with The Cinematheque so far?
I had been working from home for about a year after moving to Vancouver and never saw any of my clients in person and wasn’t finding much satisfaction. The human experience of Zoom meetings is quite lacking. During my first month at The Cinematheque, I helped a woman with a very specific and complicated popcorn order, and I think that experience was more satisfying than any of the freelance work I did that year.
If you were a movie, which one would you be?
I’m afraid that I might be a little too much like Max Fischer from Rushmore. I wasn’t like that as a teenager, but I think I’ve grown into that as an adult. Specifically, I mean having too many different interests at the expense of focusing on things that actually might make me successful.
What’s your go-to movie snack, and/or what’s your go-to popcorn topping?
I’m very traditional. Popcorn with butter and salt. I haven’t yet worked up the courage to try the Spike.
Anything else you would like to add?
The Cinematheque has become my home away from home and my social circle in the last couple of years. I can’t imagine Vancouver without it. I have two cinema-related hobbies. I design alternative movie posters, which you can find here. I also co-host a podcast about the filmography of the Coen Brothers.
Visit our Godzilla: King of Kaiju series page to see Chris’s illustration work in action.
Our team of volunteers plays an important role at The Cinematheque. They are the public face of our organization, selling you tickets at our box office and popcorn at our concession. They help in our film reference library and archive, deliver our program guides and posters, and assist with our Learning & Outreach programs and tasks in the office.
Want to get involved? Check out our Volunteer Enrollment Form for more information, and to register your interest.
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