by Alex Chiles, who you can follow on twitter here: @axchiles
As of today, Warren Theatres has been sold to Regal Entertainment. But this story isn’t about that.
When I was 16 years old, my friend Jason and I drove around west Wichita one day looking for a job. We applied nearly everywhere we could. The only call-back? The Warren. When I began working there, I thought of the Warren as its own little high school. The shifts were the classes, managers the teachers, the sneaks the late-night parties. It had cliques and its fair share of drama. There were crushes, flings, and heartbreaks. But as I got older, it became clear to me that the Warren wasn’t a high school- it was a family.
This family gave me a sense of belonging. On slow nights, it was conversations with co-workers, the kind of silly and fun conversations that only people that are being paid to be together for long periods of time could have. On busy nights, it was a war- one in which we had to work together to survive the constant rush of customers, after which you felt a distinct sense of accomplishment.
This family supported my dreams in life. They allowed me to come and go, go to college and return seasonally, go to graduate school and work sparingly. It helped me save for college, slowly chip away at student loans, and gave me countless hours of entertainment in the form of sneaks and free movies. I absolutely loved discussing movies with co-workers and customers, which has recently inspired me to start writing down these thoughts in the form of film reviews.
This family helped me connect with others. Customer interactions forced me to develop people skills, something which will help me significantly in my career as a physical therapist. Not only did I improve my people skills, I met actual people. Several of them became friends and one particularly special one became my wife (we’re one of the many happy Warren couples out there). It’s hard to imagine my life today without these people in it.
Going forward as a part of Regal, there’s a lot that’s currently unknown. But this story isn’t about that. It’s about a family that I’ve been extremely proud to be a part of. Thank you to everyone that has made it so special.