Usher Guide

The Usher's Role

Welcoming audience, keeping them and the auditorium safe.

Arrive hour before show.

Find the Front of House manager (FOH), and introduce yourself, they can help you with any questions you have etc. at start and during event.

Setting up

  • For films with no Q&A, the stage steps should be removed and placed at the back right hand side of the stage or in the Zone. Always get someone to help you with this!
  • Sweep / Hoover the auditorium if needed, and ensure there are no empty glasses / bottles / cans between the rows of seats and on the stairs.
  • Check all seats are upright to make it easier for people to move along the rows.
  • Check the green emergency lights over the 2 front fire exit doors are on (switches on the underside) and that the fire exit doors aren't blocked.
  • Check with FOH if its tickets (get the bag for collecting tickets stubs) or handstamps and ask for the Usher's torch and the Usher's Hi Viz jacket.
  • Check what the COVID rules are for the event.
  • Check if event is sold out, this will help you with seating people once it starts, also check the exact start time so you can tell people if they ask.
  • Put hi vis on the seat nearest the door as this is where you will sit.
  • If you have some spare time, just generally clean the Cube if needed or ask if anyone needs help and pop to the loo and get a drink as you will need to be in the auditorium the whole time the film is showing.
  • Get a chair to sit outside of the auditorium door, so you can sit there and take tickets.

If it's cold:

  • Switch on the auditorium heaters. If you don't know where the switches are, ask someone to show you. Don't use the switches under each heater, they must always be left on! There is a thermostat on the far wall, but don’t adjust this unless its not set to around 20 degrees.
  • There are blankets in the void (left hand side of stage behind curtain) that can be put on side of stage, make sure they don’t cover heaters.

Letting people in

  • Don’t let people in until the projectionist has setup, ask them to let you know.
  • The auditorium has 107 spaces, we usually sell 100 and leave 7 for volunteers, if sound booth is not being used 3 volunteers can also sit there.
  • Once ready to let people in, turn off the cleaning lights switch is just outside the auditorium by the door.
  • Latch the door open, as people come in check for hand stamps or tickets. If people have the cube sixer, this is the card you get stamped every time you come (6 stamps equals a free film) then they may give you half card for their entry.
  • If someone with a disability needs extra room, ask someone in the front row if they wouldn’t mind moving, we cannot have wheelchairs in the auditorium due to fire regulations.
  • If event sold out ask people to not leave one space between them if possible.
  • Help people to find a seat, using the torch to point to spaces.

At the start of, and during, the event

  • Sit next to the door, make sure you have got torch will need it to see latecomers tickets or hand stamps, close the door, stay in the event to the end.
  • Make sure nobody is smoking or sitting on steps.
  • If member of the audience is being anti social, deal with it if you feel comfortable or refer it to the FOH.
  • If there are any problems with the sound or picture, go and tell the projectionist, often sat on the back row or in projection room.

At the end of the event

  • Latch the door open, let people stay to the end of the credits if they wish to.
  • Once everyone is out turn on the cleaning light and put all the seats up, check for rubbish and bottles etc. and clean up, sweep the floor if needed.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Switch off the heaters if on, not on the eaters themselves, under the velvet seat by the stairs leading up to auditorium.
  • Don’t turn off the exit lights and cleaning light until all members of public left and the garden is locked, as this is against our fire regulations.
  • Give tickets stubs if appropriate, torch and Hi Viz jacket to FOH, check if any other cleaning is needed.
  • Tell FOH when you are leaving, but don’t rush off if you don’t have to stay for a drink and a chat.

The Usher's role in emergencies

As an Usher, your job is not just collecting tickets, it's keeping the audience safe in the auditorium.

The FOH Manager has overall responsibility for everyone in the building during an event. If anything goes wrong you will need to react, so stay sober. If there is a serious medial emergency, switch on lights, stop film or performance and get help from the FOH.

Fire Evacuation Procedure: (Usher role in bold)

In the event of the Alarm sounding

  1. KEY HOLDER (or FOH MANAGER if present) locate fire zone on alarm panel & identify cause. IF EVENT RUNNING & PANEL SHOWS FIRE IN RED ZONES (2- 7) COMMENCE EVACUATION IMMEDIATELY
  2. USHER (If event running) check with FOH MANAGER whether evacuation required if possible then if possible:
    1. Turn on lights, put on Hi Vis jacket and use torch if needed to calmly direct persons to fire exit points (far side of auditorium or through the lounge if safe to do so)
    2. Don’t let people go through the projection room as no fire escape there.
    3. FOH will direct people coming through the bar area
    4. Once everyone is out, let FOH know if possible and then go to Kings Square
  3. In event of NO FIRE reset alarm
  4. In event of ANY FIRE TRACE commence procedure below

If a fire is found

  1. SOUND FIRE ALARM using nearest call point
  2. FOH MANAGER stop event (if running) and commence Building Evacuation
  3. If no event running KEY HOLDER to commence evacuation
  4. USHER calmly direct persons to exit points (far side of auditorium or through the lounge if safe to) as outlined above under point 2.
  5. PROJECTIONIST to close tabs & shut down all equipment if time allows
  6. FOH MANAGER (KEY HOLDER in their absence) to do full building sweep to ensure everyone evacuated
  8. FOH MANAGER (KEY HOLDER in their absence) to call Fire Brigade ONLY ONCE EVACUATION UNDERWAY