Why are movie ticket tellers behind glass?

It is universally the case that when buying a ticket for a movie, you talk to the teller through a bad microphone and pass your money and tickets back and forth through a tiny slot. I assume this is for security, but what is it about selling tickets that makes it more likely that someone will reach in and grab you, as opposed to most other purchasing experiences where there is usually unimpeded communication.

They used to be out in front, and in unheated booths. Also, bank tellers are behind glass nowadays.

It’s because the box office is outside. I’ve never seen a glass-enclosed ticket booth when it’s located inside the building.

I always thought it was because they are dealing mainly with cash, and it would be fairly easy for someone to reach over and grab a handful of money and take off…

Last time I bought a movie ticket, I used a machine that looked like an ATM. Time before that, we redeemed a coupon, and the cashier was not behind glass at all. This was at the Paramount* in the Entertainment District in Toronto.

Okay, it got bought out and changed its name, but people still call it that.

Sometimes I get those “1 free movie pass” from the cinema

but it seems liek everytime I want to go see a movie that particular movie is “no passes allowed”

why do they even sell the passes if some movies are excluded

I am mad as fuck. Those tellers are lucky that glass is there

Some banks have glass walls. Many don’t.

The difference is that banks are staffed by fairly well-trained professionals (the odd trainee teller aside) and are under tight FBI scrutiny; you really want to try and grab money and run, power to ya, pal. (Been there, done that, would you like to know what a shotgun shell looks like, looking down the barrel?)

Ticket counters are typically exposed, have limited protection (certainly not the umbrella of the feds) and are staffed by minimum-wage droids. Even safety glass means that idiots on either side can’t do a number of stupid things.

What I like are public service agencies that have to put their receptionists in bulletproof vaults.

Maybe some places tellers are behind glass, but not in the area West of the St. Louis metro. We must be friendlier folks.

In many cities, robbery is an issue. The glass offers minimal protection from an armed robber and may allow the cashier time to signal law enforcement using a hidden alarm.

There’s also the fact that some movie-goers may become angry if they are unable to purchase a ticket for the showing which they are intent on viewing. The glass may offer a minimal amount of protection against an angry patron who might assault the ticketeers.

Because you don’t understand how the movie theater business works. :slight_smile:

You do realize that first-run theaters make between 0% and about 20% on most movies they show? Yes, zero. The money goes to the film distributor, and to get rights to show other films from that distributor, they sometimes have to take major films on a zero-income basis. Most theaters really do make their money on (1) volume and (2) concessions. Those drinks and popcorn cost a fortune for a reason other than you being a captive market. (And you’re a captive market - no outside stuff allowed - because they really, really need every dime of that $4.95 to stay in the black.)

Shitty business, really. Always has been, even in the glamour days.

I’ve never seen a movie ticket seller behind security glass.

They were probably inside the lobby of the theater then.

Neither have I, and I’ve lived everywhere from back east to out west.

Back in the 1970s my local (British) rail ticket office had a glass screen with some sort of acoustic device that looked like a metal diaphragm to transmit voices. Written around the edge was some text alluding to the hygienic properties of the device. I always assumed it was to stop transmission of airborne infections and it’s age (it was clearly rather old even 40 years ago) would have put it into the era when TB was a significant public health risk. I wonder if protection from the public’s coughs and sneezes was a motive in cinemas also.

The newer theaters here (Boston and Boston suburbs) do not have glass. The older theaters do. I don’t think there’s any more to it than “Ticket sellers were behind glass when the ticket booths were outside so ticket booths inside will have glass, too” and, later, “Why the hell do indoor ticket booths have glass? We’re not doing that in our new theater.”

I always thought it was strange to buy a ticket, walk 10 feet, and then give it to someone else…

actually, it’s kind of stupid…

Apparently not…ignorance fought!

I’ve never seen or been to a movie theatre that had the ticket seller outside. Sounds like something out of Dickens, if Dickens would have had movie theatres.

They were outside in little booths, for many years.

I’ve seen them in booths outside, but that was back in the 90s the last time I went to a theater like that. The theaters I currently go to have them unboothed indoors.