Here’s what the picketing outside the Admiral Theater is about

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Admiral Theater is open today, according to its owner and management, despite picketing outside.

We went to the theater this morning after a media advisory from City Councilmember Kshama Sawant‘s office announcing what was on flyers posted around the area (thanks to everyone who sent us photos of those late last night and this morning) – a “rally and strike” alleging that an Admiral Theater staffer had been fired for trying to organize a union and that there were problematic working conditions, plus making demands including a $25 hourly wage.

Sawant herself wasn’t there but a community organizer from her office, Adam Ziemkowski, who said he also is with Workers Strike Back (founded by Sawant), emceed the rally and a news conference for us and the other media crew that showed up. The former worker spoke, as did two men who identified themselves as current workers, and other local labor activists.

First, some background: The Admiral Theater is owned by a Bainbridge Island-based company called Far Away Entertainment, which also owns five other small theaters around the region. At the Admiral, they own the business, but not the city-landmark building, though Far Away led the renovations that converted it into a first-run moviehouse in 2016-2017.

At this morning’s event, we spoke with Kylie (above center), the former manager who was fired; one of the demands is that she be reinstated. She said she had worked for the Admiral for a year and told us her firing earlier this month followed two days in which she had sent messages to management calling out problems. She says she was being “asked to break labor laws” and that the small staff was so overworked they weren’t getting breaks. We checked state systems but couldn’t find any past complaints on record; Kylie said an unfair labor practice claim would be filed today.

We also talked to current employee Matt, who said he has been working for the theater for about six weeks. He’s a West Seattleite and says he “really appreciates what the theater means to the community” and that’s why he wants to see improved working conditions, Besides the demand for a higher wage, he expressed concerns about pest problems in the building, rodents and termites, noting that he had four years of experience in the pest-control business. He said his advice to company management for dealing with the pest problems was disregarded.

Here’s what they and a third worker, plus the event organizer, said at the news conference:

After returning to our HQ, we spoke with Far Away Entertainment owner Jeff Brein by phone. First, he said, since there’s no union, “there’s no strike” – the picketing is “a protest.” He says the protest “took us by surprise” because a proposal to organize a union had not been brought to him or upper management, and they of course would be open to talking about it. “I’m not anti-union, I’d be happy to sit down and talk.” He said Kylie was fired “for what we believe to be just cause.” As for a $25 hourly wage, he says what his company pays is “a fair, workable wage … at or exceeding what Regal and AMC [corporate theater chains] pay.” Business at the Admiral still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, Brein says. “We’re slowly growing back.”

He denies all the other allegations, including that labor laws were broken. “We’re fully compliant with every workplace regulation and have never had a complaint.” He also says they have regular pest-control visits and that the recent sighting of apparent termites was addressed promptly. Mold? He’s not aware of that, though acknowledges some water trouble from a roof leak had to be dealt with, but he says the building is safe. (We checked the city code-compliance files, and no complaints were on record there since one about trash in the alley last year, ultimately ruled unfounded.)

Most of all, Brein said, he’s puzzled that a city councilmember would lash out at his business without attempting to contact him first, but he says he’s never heard from Sawant or her staff.

So what happens now? The picketers say they’ll be there all weekend. (Checking the view of the sidewalk outside the Admiral via the nearest live traffic cam, it appears at least one person is there handing flyers to passersby.) Former manager Kylie says their request for the community is, “Don’t go to the movies right now.” Owner Brein says his message is, “The Admiral is open,” and wants to stay that way: “It’s disheartening to be subjected to this harassment.” Meantime, we’ll watch for the formal filings in the unionization matter.

320 Replies to "Here's what the picketing outside the Admiral Theater is about"

  • Niko November 10, 2023 (1:26 pm)

    Sorry no sympathy here $25 an hour is absurd! Time to stop making careers out of starter jobs. Do they want to see this place go under because of greed? Would they rather see it be apartments?!

    • Two Job Hustle November 10, 2023 (4:09 pm)

      Have to agree, most of us have second jobs along with a career to live in this city!

      • Jeff November 10, 2023 (4:50 pm)

        You having two jobs is an argument FOR a company paying low wages? Huh? 

      • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:22 pm)

        have you considered this may not be an ideal trend?

        • Two Job Hustle November 10, 2023 (9:27 pm)

          It’s unrealistic to think that a small business would be able to support your living in this day and age. Of course I’d love to have one job to afford the cost of living but that’s also not realistic.  It’s extremely entitled to expect otherwise

          • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (1:12 am)

            This is doormat thinking. Glad these workers are standing up for themselves and not preemptively letting themselves be taken advantage of.

          • Todd November 11, 2023 (10:53 am)

            This is a wild comment. 

    • Brian November 10, 2023 (4:47 pm)

      Starter Job sounds like made-up nonsense to distract from the power imbalance that exists in workplaces without labor organization. 

      • Canton November 10, 2023 (7:29 pm)

        A starter job, is a job for a (usually) younger person to START in the job force. You don’t need college training for a starter job. You don’t need a high school diploma for a starter job. You don’t need ANY… work experience at all… for a starter job. ALL you need to do, is just show up, and DO the job.

      • Hidari November 11, 2023 (3:39 pm)

        Sorry, Brian, shall we right-name so it doesn’t feel like a micro aggression? Working at a theater is definitely not a “starter job” — it’s an Initial Vocational Opportunity for Pre-Maturated Entities. (IVOPME)

        Isn’t that better?

        I myself held such a IVOPME position while in high school, without the expectation it would last as a post-secondary-educational living salary. It was for fun, not a lifestyle choice.

        • Brian November 12, 2023 (9:18 am)

          Congratulations this makes zero sense. 

    • Rumbles November 10, 2023 (8:09 pm)

      Completely agree, Niko.  Entry level job, if you don’t like your job that is the incentive to move on!  Don’t bankrupt our theatre please!

      • The King November 10, 2023 (10:27 pm)

        No kidding. They’re just going to usher in automation that much faster. People are about to be obsolete in starter jobs. 

      • Hal2001 November 13, 2023 (7:26 pm)

        I agree.  In today’s market this theater is barely surviving.  It’s like picketing a town’s general store.

        • RayWest November 15, 2023 (8:51 pm)

          It’s more like what universe are they living in. I’m all for fair wages, but $25/hour to sell tickets, scoop up popcorn, etc. is ridiculous. They may have legitimate labor complaints, but are they trying to put the Admiral out of business? Where will they work then? These are indeed starter jobs, requiring no training or prior experience. At the rate they want, a full time person would be making $50,000/year. That’s obviously unsustainable. I hope a reasonable compromise is worked out.

    • Katy Fleming November 12, 2023 (1:24 pm)

      I am confused by your comment, are the employees be greedy or Far Entertainment?

    • Hal2001 November 13, 2023 (7:07 pm)

      I suspect this theater is barely surviving at this point. 

    • Hal2001 November 13, 2023 (7:17 pm)

      I suspect this theater is struggling to remain open. 

  • justme November 10, 2023 (1:28 pm)

    25.00 an hour? Get another job if you want wages like this. Ridiculous. I’m not anti-union, but a starter job, like a theater, should not have to offer such high wages. Move up the ladder and move on.

    • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (6:29 am)

      Nothing good ever comes after “I’m not anti-union, but…”

      • Katy Fleming November 12, 2023 (1:26 pm)

        Exactly! What city are they living in?

  • Michael waldo November 10, 2023 (1:33 pm)

    I am so happy that Kshama Sawant will be gone soon.

    • jeff November 10, 2023 (3:27 pm)

      Why? Why hate on workers standing up for themselves because there’s a tie to a politician you don’t like? So weird.

      • Alki resident November 10, 2023 (5:24 pm)

        Not weird at all. She’s caused so much drama in our city it’s unreal.,

        • MyThruppence November 10, 2023 (6:53 pm)

          Almost seems like weaponized activism, huh? Both ends of our political spectrum are actively participating in this btw. There’s a whole lot of money being spread around with the hidden purpose of rending us apart at the seams. Moral of the story. Don’t be a tool. PSA complete. Thank you.

    • Rockatansky November 10, 2023 (6:46 pm)

        Sawant was isolated & basically powerless on the city council. She stated her next move was into labor organizing. Expect much more of this, she’s not going anywhere, she’s no longer constrained.  

  • Derek November 10, 2023 (1:37 pm)

    Love love love this! I stand with the workers! You should always never settle if the owner is reaping from cheap labor! He is wrong about Regency. They do indeed pay more than Admiral.

    • Jethro Marx November 10, 2023 (5:18 pm)

      Your catchphrases sound straight out of a comic book.  And I think there’s a math problem with minimum $52k/yr salaries. How much would you need to charge for tickets? This sounds and looks like some people hungry for some time in front of a camera and likes on the Internet. Do any of them have a film degree or any relevant technical training? Besides the pest control expert who can’t take care of the alleged pests?

    • Rhonda November 10, 2023 (5:49 pm)

      Derek, why stop at $25? They should be paying a SEATTLE living wage of $80,000 per year, right? Then they could afford the requisite $40 movie tickets the owner would have to charge to pay their over-priced employees. Then they’d only hire a few, over-qualified, middle-aged employees with master’s degrees instead of young people living at home with their parents.

    • Canton November 10, 2023 (7:41 pm)

      This owner is not “reaping” anything but massive responsibility, regarding the business itself, and taking care of theater employees. If you believe there’s a magic business fund, for the upkeep and personnel obligations, would say you are sadly mistaken.

      • Frank November 10, 2023 (10:02 pm)

        If your company can’t find a profit without cheap labor then you shouldn’t be a company.Starter Job is a boomer term to convince young people you work for low wages and not question anything.Any business that relies on dirt cheap labor to return profit is a detriment to the community they are located in

        • R November 11, 2023 (12:20 am)

          Tell us about your company. What is the wage you start employees at. When do they receive benefits? 

        • w November 13, 2023 (10:17 am)

          And if you as an employee can’t find livable wages without increasing your skill set, being willing to commute, et al….you shouldn’t be complaining about the job you do have.Did I do it right?/s

    • Penny November 10, 2023 (9:50 pm)

      These are unskilled entry level jobs where hopefully one learns the responsibilities associated with work.  The value that these positions are not worth 25 dollars, sorry buttercup that’s the reality,  get on a pathway to increase your marketability certainly don’t take a job and month later complain about the wage you accepted for a job you applied for.25 hr is just silly, I for one will be taking the family to the movies this weekend if folks can’t go , go on line and buy a ticket to support 

      • wssz November 10, 2023 (11:08 pm)

        Thanks to your comment I just now purchased a ticket for a show tomorrow that I’ve been wanting to see. Have been avoiding crowds bc of risk of complications re covid so not sure I’ll actually be able to go. But I will buy tickets to make sure the Admiral Theater is supported.

        It’s really frustrating  that Sawant continues to pour gasoline on small locally owned businesses. This is a starter job. $25/hour is insane and not sustainable for the owners of the theater, unless they increase the cost of tickets — then no one will go to the theater and it’ll be forced to close.  Doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. Jeez.

    • Adam November 11, 2023 (8:29 am)

      You know what’s weird? Thinking the wage someone pays you is tied to your station in life, rather than the service you provide. It’s insane. 

  • MikeWS November 10, 2023 (1:53 pm)

    If he’s only worked there 6 weeks and has a problem with the wage, why take the job in the first place?  Isn’t that disclosed prior to accepting a job?

    • onion November 10, 2023 (3:14 pm)

      I wonder whether city funds were used to print the flyers and pay Sawant’s reps at this rally? This would be a misuse of city funds.

    • Derek November 10, 2023 (5:14 pm)

      Why are people supposed to take other higher paying jobs possibly far away or inconvenienced for them? Maybe they want to work closer?

      • Canton November 10, 2023 (7:43 pm)

        Ideally “wanting”, and getting are not feasible for small business.

      • Confused November 10, 2023 (8:02 pm)

        But I’m confused, is it not a choice to work there? Obviously these people have worked in other jobs, like pest control industry. Met Market right next door has $18 starting salary with benefits like retirement and healthcare. If you don’t like the wages at the theater, then you can, like, quit? It’s a right to work state, so you don’t even have to give them any notice besides “peace out!”. I’m not arguing for or against unions, because they have great benefits. But in this instance, this location has less than 15 people. That was the whole reason for Obamacare- so that people could apply and get healthcare when their companies that have small amounts of people can’t get good rates and thus don’t get any healthcare. And when it’s a free market out there and there are *other choices,* I’m not entirely sure what this strike is about here. This isn’t highly skilled labor, like the metal workers or cement drivers. This is people who are selling tickets, starting a movie, giving food and then sitting around for chunks of time, too. 

        • Jason November 11, 2023 (7:12 pm)

          Washington actually ISN’T a right to work state, thank god.  

          • Dad November 11, 2023 (9:30 pm)

            Washington is an at-will employment state, which is the relevant designation for this situation.

      • Alf November 11, 2023 (9:26 am)

        That’s life, you’re logic doesn’t make sense.  If you want a higher salary gain a skill set that increases your value.people have to commute, or often move if they want advancement.If that is where the jobs are that you want for content or salary you need to make that decision, not expect a wage that is not  reasonable for your job/skill just because you live nearby 

  • Rhonda November 10, 2023 (1:54 pm)

    Seems like the ghost of Sawant will be with us long after she’s gone and this is just an early haunting.

    • Ivan Weiss November 10, 2023 (3:26 pm)

      It’s ridiculous to make this about Sawant. Workers were organizing for better workplaces long before Sawant was born, and will be doing it long after she is gone and forgotten.

      • Rhonda November 10, 2023 (4:20 pm)

        Sawant did more damage to the local labor movement than anyone else. She weaponized it and is the leading cause of Amazon building their shiny new downtown  Bellevue campus (and I’m a union employee myself)

        • Ivan Weiss November 10, 2023 (5:51 pm)

          That’s nonsense from beginning to end Rhonda.

          • Rhonda November 10, 2023 (6:56 pm)

            Ivan Weiss, are you a union employee from a pro-labor family like mine? Please explain how Sawant helped, not hurt, Labor in Seattle. 

          • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:52 pm)

            For a supposedly union person, you sure don’t seem interested in anyone else getting the protections you have. 

          • Rhonda November 10, 2023 (10:48 pm)

            Delridge420, I’m for fair wages and good benefits, not insane wages and ridiculous benefits. A good job means nothing if it puts your employer out of business.

          • CAM November 11, 2023 (12:25 am)

            SPOG has been kicked out of the King County Labor Council. They aren’t a union, they’re a mafia. 

          • Dairmuid November 13, 2023 (8:45 am)

            “A good job means nothing if it puts your employer out of business.”Well said Rhonda, from another union supported family.

          • Ice November 13, 2023 (1:02 am)

            Saying “I’m from a pro-union family” is meaningless rhetoric, Rhonda. Labor in Seattle has surged in the several years and several different unions have negotiated incredible contracts that have raised the bar across the entire country. Sawant, like her or hate her has been a part of that, and disingenuously stating that she has hurt the labor movement because you personally don’t like her is ridiculous. 

      • Quiz November 11, 2023 (1:59 pm)

        Sawant was literally on the flyer they were handing out.

  • josh November 10, 2023 (1:59 pm)

    The word of multiple people with not really anything to gain by making false accusations and much to lose by doing so against the word of one person who has every reason to be misleading.   While I dont know exactly what took place just using simple logic makes one lean to believe the former.  

  • Alki resident November 10, 2023 (2:08 pm)

    Sawant can’t get out of the city council fast enough. All she has done is caused problems, ignored actual issues people were pleading her help with . 

    • onion November 10, 2023 (3:08 pm)

      This is a business treading a fine line between profitability and survival. With limited operating hours and the nature of the theater business it seems to me (an outsider) almost impossible for them to provide full time wages to all their employees. That isn’t to say they can’t do better by their employees. Perhaps they should. But this seems like grandstanding by the Sawant cabal, an overkill response to a narrow problem. I suddenly feel like going to the movies.

      • Ferns November 10, 2023 (4:36 pm)

        Yep. I just bought a ticket to support local business and have no intention of going. That’s my counter protest. 

  • WS Res November 10, 2023 (2:10 pm)

    There’s no movie theater without its workers. I seem to recall a notice on WSB a couple of years ago that the theater couldn’t open on time because the only scheduled staffer overslept? called in sick?  In any case, I love going to movies at the Admiral but won’t do so until they address the workers’ complaints, especially if there are violations of labor laws going on.

    • Anne November 10, 2023 (3:34 pm)

      Did you read the owners response??Seems like they  have addressed workers complains/violations, unless you’re talking about the   $25 an hour  demand-that’s is absurd. 

      • Als November 10, 2023 (5:06 pm)

        Do you read the comments? Absolutely nothing in the owner’s response indicates confirmation of RESOLVING any labor law concerns. They denied any wrong doing as relates to labor law compliance issues and claim they are compliant which I highly doubt. It’s only a matter of time until the Office of Labor Standards gets involved to determine if they are in violation of wage and hour, meal / rest periods and the like. 

      • WS Res November 10, 2023 (6:17 pm)

        Right, because owners ALWAYS come right out and say “well, you got me, I did it!” when workers call them out on violating labor laws.  They never obfuscate, deny, and outright lie.  Oh wait, wage theft is the most common form of theft in America, who knew? 

        • waikikigirl November 11, 2023 (9:52 am)

          And then there are employees who steal from the company. They get back to the shop at 12:30pm and goes home at 12:30pm but write on their time card they were done at 2:30pm so it goes both ways—who knew?

          • Brian November 12, 2023 (9:21 am)

            These aren’t congruent offenses because labor is never fairly compensated at any job. 

          • Neigbor November 12, 2023 (6:20 pm)

            Brian, what?  Do you mean that by definition labor can never be paid a fair wage?  Or that labor has never been compensated fairly, even after all the efforts of organized labor?

          • LawnOrder November 13, 2023 (9:17 pm)

            Nonsense. Utter nonsense. This is the type of anti intellectual nonsense that caused the downfall of Seattle. Wait, you are going to tell me Seattle is doing great and downtown is safe, right?

    • W November 13, 2023 (10:18 am)

      There’s also no movie theater if the employees unionize and demand wages that the business owner can’t pay because no one is willing to pay the required amount for a ticket.

  • Nadmiral November 10, 2023 (2:16 pm)

    I have lived in this neighborhood for decades.  I was one of the people that helped keep that theater from being demolished years ago.  it is a beloved landmark in our area, and it has been supported by owners and operators that sincerely care about the theater and our community.  It’s always easy to complain but it’s tough to run a small business and try to make a profit.  They have been very innovative and trying to keep their head above water.. I do not support what you’re doing (picketers)  the best way to earn money is to get an education and work hard (like they do) NOT ok with your picketing. If you don’t want to eork there: then don’t. STOP making it even harder for the Admiral theater to survive..

    • justjosh November 10, 2023 (3:55 pm)

      Plenty of people have gotten an education along with the crushing amounts of debt that it cost (because all spending on public education has shrunk considerably among other factors) and work hard and still can’t make a living wage especially in expensive coastal cities like Seattle.I’ve read recent reports that show a living wage (a wage that keeps you above the poverty line) in Seattle is ~$21/hr assuming a 40/hr work week. That’s for bare bones life.

      • Canton November 10, 2023 (7:52 pm)

        Right. If one has no skills to earn that wage, they must rethink their approach, and possibly their location. No one has a right, to live how they “FEEL” they should, in a area that they cannot currently afford. Hard knocks life…. Earn it.

    • CAM November 11, 2023 (12:28 am)

      Owning 6 theaters is not “small business.”

      • Blbl November 11, 2023 (10:09 am)

        Exactly, Cam. 

      • Dad November 11, 2023 (9:41 pm)

        According to the federal government, a small business can have up to 1500 employees and $40 million in revenue.  I think they’re probably in there.

  • Elle November 10, 2023 (2:39 pm)

    So the workers are protesting but never filed any formal complaint before? I believe and support the owner in this one, and if the workers are not happy, why not look for a job some place else? Seems to me the owner has some recruitement to do, hiring people that will keep his theatre clean (it was not a good look when I went two weeks ago, and the worker that was there  didn’t seem to care?) and not ask for others to avoid going to the movies (!!!)

  • Mel November 10, 2023 (2:41 pm)

    Do people realize that things just keep getting more expensive around here as we keep increasing wages? Groceries, activities, eating out at restaurants…you can’t just increase wages at a small business without it being passed on to the customer. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I also don’t believe people deserve $25/hour for a job that doesn’t require skill. When I was growing up, kids in high school worked in these jobs.

    • Odd son November 10, 2023 (4:35 pm)

      I agree. I think a lot of people (consumers and workers) don’t realize wages are connected to the cost of the product. 

    • Common Sense November 10, 2023 (6:20 pm)

      Things get more expensive everywhere, with or without minimum wage increases. There is, in fact, an inverse correlation between an area’s minimum wage and the cost of household goods.  A literally elementary-aged child could verify this by putting a map of US minimum wages next to a map charting year-over-year inflation by state. Places of with the highest inflation are almost entirely states with minimum wages that either match or actually UNDER the federally set wage. 

      • Mel November 10, 2023 (7:33 pm)

        I know for a fact that a lot of states with a lower minimum wage have much more affordable essentials- especially groceries.

        • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:53 pm)

          are you unaware of the concept of cost of living Mel?

          • Mel November 11, 2023 (5:08 am)

            Yeah I’m very aware. I live in a city where I consider myself middle class and people keep voting for tax increases. Also where it feels impossible to feed a family of 4 on a budget. You cannot increase wages and think the prices of goods will not increase. 

        • Common Sense November 12, 2023 (12:48 pm)

          You do not know that for a fact, because that is a verifiably false statement.  Goods are, by definition of the word, less “affordable” in states where consumers have less spending power.  “Affordability” does not track to minimum wage. Again, a small child could verify this by simply looking at the maps I mentioned. You are objectively, demonstrably incorrect.

          • LawnOrder November 13, 2023 (9:27 pm)

            Totally and completely false. I love how you say how easy it is to verify. Two Washington areas – including Seattle – have the highest income to grocery spending ratio in the US. San Francisco and NY are on the list too – both of which have exceedingly high minimum wages. Any other falsehoods you want to peddle here on the blog in the interest of propagating untruth?  

    • Tracey November 10, 2023 (6:37 pm)

      Thank you Mel.  I work in healthcare with 7 years of post secondary education required for my job plus a state issue credential.  I make $50/hour.  Get a grip people.  

      • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (6:34 am)

        sounds like you’re getting underpaid

  • Blbl November 10, 2023 (2:42 pm)

    As a frequent patron of the theater, I absolutely believe and stand with the workers. The lines of people down the street during Barbenheimer with at most four employees trying to manage everything in the building. Nuts. At times they looked like they were about to cry or scream, yet they were all professional. They don’t make nearly enough. I wonder the last time Jeff Brein was even there. 

    • Bee November 10, 2023 (7:26 pm)

      Agreed. I’m curious about how many of the commenters disparaging the workers have actually gone to the Admiral within the past year. I find the employees assertations completely believable. It’s wild how many folks are here in the comments saying that the employees should just leave and get another job, making assumptions about their education levels, and downplaying the difficulty and amount work of the employees have to do. So disrespectful. No wonder service workers are miserable these days.

  • WSRez November 10, 2023 (2:50 pm)

    I would disagree that $18.69 an hour at a movie theater is cheap labor. I don’t understand why someone would take a job knowing what it pays and then complain about their salary. Shouldn’t you negotiate that at the time of hiring? I feel like half of the comments here are just like the people protesting, paid to do so by Suwant and her minions. Guess I need to decide what movie I am going to see at the Admiral this weekend.

    • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:54 pm)

      Love to announce publicly when I cross picket lines!

      • Nope November 11, 2023 (2:19 pm)

        There’s no picket line, there’s no strike, the theater is open – there are just some soft employees (you’re probably one because you respond to every post here…) who think they should make $25hr picking up trash, after lazy theater goers leave, protesting outside.$25 is more than McDonald’s – no theater employee deserves $25 or works harder than an entry level fast food employee, it’s the easiest friggen entry level job on the planet outside pumping gas for people in Portland. Want more? Get a job that requires actual skills 🤡I will support the theater by going to movies, not by supporting undeserved entitlement.

        • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (7:58 pm)

          I have a high paying job but thanks for the concern. But I was once a service worker screwed over by an employer so I can relate to sticking up for yourself and demanding better. I also don’t feel entitled to low wages from service workers in a high cost of living city. Hope that clarifies!

        • Briam November 12, 2023 (9:23 am)

          You really can’t help but show your contempt for workers. There’s no such thing as an unskilled job. If there was then you could just show up on day one and run the theater operations and I know that you can’t do that. 

          • Nope November 12, 2023 (11:37 am)

            Yea, you could actually learn to do this job in a day 👍🏻 $18 is plenty for this gig, anything more is a joke!

  • ModerateSeattleite November 10, 2023 (2:52 pm)

    More Suwant grandstanding. She didn’t reach out because than she would miss out on an opportunity to make a public statement. This is why the city council is getting cleaned out. People are sick of bullhorn politics. 

  • What $25 Gets You November 10, 2023 (2:52 pm)

    What is $25 an hour based on? Is that really the going rate for the job? A few years ago I was offered $25 an hour (with bare minimum benefits) as an urban planner at a firm in town and that’s with a masters degree and previous work experience. Was the firm outrageously cheap, yes of course (and yes I turned it down). Why should the theater job be $10 over minimum wage? Not a criticism, no judgement here, I’m honestly curious what the basis is for that figure. 

    • justjosh November 10, 2023 (3:44 pm)

      Unless these workers are getting any kind of healthcare benefit they are set to earn just under $20/hour January 1.  A 25% pay increase above the minimum wage is not common, but not exactly unheard of.

      • Canton November 10, 2023 (8:00 pm)

        If you bankrupt the employer with business costs and wages, you bankrupt the employees that lose their jobs.

    • Ex-arch November 11, 2023 (9:58 am)

      Similar here. 9 years ago, hired as architectural designer (also with a masters degree) at $22.50/hr at probably one of the most prominent and profitable firms in the city. Wages certainly went up over the years, but I bailed to another industry that placed value on my skills. I’m totally on board with unionization, but I’m also a little concerned about banding together against small, low-profit industries like movie theaters. I guess I’ll miss Admiral when it’s gone. 

      • drobo November 18, 2023 (4:15 pm)

        Totally agree except I don’t want to have to miss the neighborhood theaters.  Low work, low wages.  It isn’t even that busy.  What a ridiculous thing to picket about.  Got some ideas about getting out the vote, the Ukraine, Lebanon….  low pay to take tickets is just a pathetic issue to even discuss.  If they actually had to go to college or get certified for that job (or work) I would be sympathetic.  

  • Westieeeeeeeeee November 10, 2023 (2:53 pm)

    I think it absurd that someone who works at a movie theater thinks they should be paid far and above minimum wage. The job involves little to no skill and is most likely part time for a bulk of the employees. The business is in no way obligated to offer healthcare, so their cries about this are just silly. It’s also none of their business how “upper management” deals with pest and building issues as long as the city/county says its safe.  Their claims are a REACH.I don’t believe a thing these inarticulate complainers have to say. Sounds like more “activists” that believe they need to be taken care of without providing any hard work or value to businesses or the community. Don’t take a job if you don’t like the pay or benefits, period. Stop wasting everyone’s time.

    • Do you know November 10, 2023 (9:22 pm)

      Sure the business doesn’t have to offer healthcare but do you actually know how much healthcare premiums, let alone deductibles/oop maximums are for an individual payer? Many people in this comments thread clearly have no idea how much the real world costs in a system that leaves every person to fend for themselves.

    • Linda November 10, 2023 (9:59 pm)

      If they don’t offer healthcare, employees can apply on the healthcare state exchanges and based on income will have free or reduced healthcare plan. 

    • CAM November 11, 2023 (12:33 am)

      Trust me, dealing with people for 8 hour shifts nonstop is a skill that few people who have never had to do it would be able to demonstrate. There is no such thing as unskilled labor and there are entire reality series on TV dedicated to people with advanced degrees learning that lesson. 

    • Blbl November 11, 2023 (10:19 am)

      Westie sounds just like Trump. Not paying taxes is smart! Not paying living wages, not providing benefits, and not creating clean working conditions is good business!! 

    • drobo November 18, 2023 (4:20 pm)

      They need to get real jobs and leave taking tickets to high school kids for pt.  pocket money.  Lots of retail is hiring and they have benefits, health care you can climb to higher positions.  Of course those jobs require you to actually work 8 hours for those benefits and that salary.

  • Erik November 10, 2023 (3:05 pm)

    I used to manage movie theaters for years. People usually see the prices of concessions and think “oh they must be rich”, but the fact is that movie theaters operate on very tight margins. About 80 percent of the box draw goes back to the studios, so concessions is really the only moneymaker. I could easily see a $25 an hour wage putting them out of business. They only charge so much in concessions because they wouldn’t exist if they didn’t. Can’t personally speak to the working conditions since I have only been to the admiral a few times. But I do know that the demand for such a high wage is unrealistic. I know it’s probably not the popular opinion in the comments, but it’s the truth. Theaters are extremely expensive to operate. Think of the huge leasing costs, some theaters pay upwards of 10k a month for rent, although this theater likely pays less. equipment and repairs for $100k+ projectors, maintenance, custodial costs, bimonthly lamp changes at $1k a pop per projector, utilities costs, pest control, concessions supplies, and then labor costs…it’s a lot. Sometimes I just want to put a basic profit and loss statement in front of people who think theaters can pay more and be like “so where’s this huge pool of money that you somehow think can go to employee raises”? If increasing the employee wages meant several dollars being added to every concession item you purchase, would you be ok with that as a consumer?I would also mention that the manager that said that they worked for 10 hour shifts without a single break may be responsible for their own issue with labor laws. Having managed employees during busy times at a movie theater, it can be difficult to find time to take your own break. But you do it because you’re required to by law, and there’s really no excuse for not doing it during the downtime that you have between sets. Admiral theatre doesn’t have that many houses and has a lower patron load than other theaters in the area. They don’t have 10 or 12 houses to manage. For example, today their midday set would be starting times between 3-340. Which means their rush period is only about a hour. Next show time is at 545. Which means they have more than an hour to coordinate breaks and restock concessions before they need to start cleaning what will likely be a mostly empty theater (not that difficult to clean up before the next set). Unless she is the only employee on staff period during her shift, she should be able to fit a 30 minute meal period in there somewhere, and there is also a lot of downtime between sets where theater employees are just standing around not having anything to do. but maybe management need to hire more people, would the employees be ok with having their hours cut just to have more people on staff? Typically I would say that they need a manager on staff, plus box office, plus concessions (box and concessions can be combined during slow weekdays occasionally), and an usher. That’s really barebones staffing. The manager could even take the role of one of the other employees if things were really tight and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And yes, they aren’t unionized yet, which means it isn’t a strike, but a protest. If Sewant can’t tell the difference between a strike and a protest then that is very concerning. 

    • alki_2008 November 10, 2023 (4:22 pm)

      Great info. Sounds like the theater owners could benefit from investing in some technology machines.
      Maybe a couple touchscreen machines in the lobby where patrons can buy tickets, and some vending machines for patrons to buy candy. The vending route would be responsible for re-stocking those machines. That would cut into the theater’s profit on concessions though, depending on how they arrange the lease space with the vending route owners.
      I haven’t been to a movie theater in a long while, so I don’t know how many staff people could realistically be replaced by machines. They would still need someone to sell popcorn and someone to check tickets.

      • Ferns November 10, 2023 (4:51 pm)

        I like being helped by humans. Each machine is different and requires every customer to learn it and it to be properly maintained. They are expensive. Often it is confusing, slow or glitches. I don’t patronize businesses in-person that do not offer human help. It’s not worth it for me. We are paying more than ever for less service. I think there’s been a bit of a backlash as customers don’t really like this frustration when they are already there in-person, typically with an employee standing nearby and watching the customer LARP as a cashier or ticket seller, whatever. 

        • Erik November 10, 2023 (6:56 pm)

          Agreed. I don’t think vending machines are the answer. They would run out really quickly and be useless within a day or so. Ticketing machines are ok but then you get a bunch of people that don’t know how to use them and the ticket stock runs out and it’s a mess. Employees are really the way to go. 

    • Dairmuid November 13, 2023 (8:55 am)

      I recently learned that Admiral even pays a percentage of their concession profits to the movie studios, tied to how many times a movie runs. So they are not even really making as much as you might think on concessions. Insane.

    • drobo November 18, 2023 (4:23 pm)

      Definitely the popular opinion.  A lot of people with B.A. degrees only get 25.00 an hour, benefits, health care and a lot of work, 8 hours a day non-stop.  Harsh reality kiddos but that’s how it works.

  • Mike November 10, 2023 (3:08 pm)

    It is difficult for me to take something serious if Sawant is involved.  

    • 2 Much Whine November 11, 2023 (1:26 pm)

      I agree with you, Mike.  100%.

  • waikikigirl November 10, 2023 (3:11 pm)

    This is an entry-level job isn’t it, its not a life long career? Just remember if the wage goes to $25.00 per hour that cost will reflect onto the cost to see a movie, that box of popcorn and those milk duds you buy. And someone will lose their job to cut costs just like at the grocery stores, self check out instead of real live checkers.

    • Blbl November 11, 2023 (10:21 am)

      Or, Waikikigirl, the owner could just make $9.8 million instead of $10 million a year. 

      • Guy November 14, 2023 (9:22 am)

        What on earth makes you think the owners are really raking it in? I worked at a movie theatre as a part-time job in high school and college, and believe me, the owners aren’t getting rich from the Admiral Theater. In a perfect world, yes, the workers would be able to earn more money, but that would require government underwritiing. The money to pay increased wages has to come from somewhere.

  • Ant November 10, 2023 (3:14 pm)

    Is this an onion article?

    • Kim November 11, 2023 (6:37 am)

      No it’s a banana article!  I work as a substitute paraprofessional for a local school district and I don’t get paid $20 an hour, I actually get paid less depending upon the type of position and I don’t get health insurance as a substitute paraprofessional. 

      • WS Res November 11, 2023 (9:59 pm)

        You definitely need to get paid more. Maybe you should unionize?

        • Luis November 20, 2023 (12:43 am)

          That’s not how a Union works. There has to be a vote for it to be a Union.

  • Graciano November 10, 2023 (3:18 pm)

    The theater will close and all employees will be without a job.

  • SlimJim November 10, 2023 (3:22 pm)

    $25 an hour to START? Get real. This is a low skill job that any high schooler can do with a little training. What happened to the expectation that we would transition to jobs that pay more as we get older and gain skills – not stay in a lower-paying, teenybopper’s job as we try to negotiate the adult world.

    • justjosh November 10, 2023 (4:01 pm)

      I would say that the management class broke that “expectation” about the time millenials started entering the workplace. It’s hard to keep transitioning to new, higher paying jobs when you get laid off because activist investors want a few more cents per share on their short-term investment portfolio. Then you find a new crappier job that you are overqualified for and then laid off in another round from your new job. It’s almost like there is a huge problem with the labor market and a giant power imbalance between the rich and everyone else.

      • SlimJim November 10, 2023 (4:21 pm)

        Yet people still learn skills and get better (or at least higher-paying) jobs than selling movie tickets and slinging hamburgers. That basic idea still works for most people I know.

      • Ferns November 10, 2023 (4:53 pm)

        Perhaps. But I think your name would be better spelled justanaxtogrind.

    • Jay November 10, 2023 (5:22 pm)

      For context on this comment: The term teenybopper is a historic term for pre-teens and young teens who listened to rock and roll music in the 1950s. That’s the era the labor market experience referenced in the comments is from. “Starter” jobs were never really as prevalent a concept as people think, and less so today. It’s just that privileged kids are able to use the pay of the working poor as pocket money rather than depending on it for survival. The jobs that people claim are for high school students are not actually staffed by young people in a majority.

      • Frog November 11, 2023 (11:37 am)

        I would quibble with your history and terms.  Privileged kids don’t work at all.  Back in the day, the expectation (and capacity) of most middle/working-class parents was basic food and shelter.  If teens wanted anything else (car, hobbies, date money, summer band trip etc.) they had to earn the cash.  There was a whole segment of the local economy based on teenage labor, and it was a complex but satisfactory social arrangement.  Teens got their extra cash; prices were low for the benefit of both teens and their parents; and teens got a lot of life lessons, like how a business works, how to deal with people (customers, co-workers, bosses), the impact on other people if you are reliable or not.  (Just an aside, people weren’t always talking about a mental health crisis among teenagers back then.)  Teens did sometimes work side by side with working poor adults (a major life lesson in itself; I could tell you stories.)  But that economy is mostly gone, and teenagers mostly don’t work any more.  Even in my day, it was changing — at the restaurant where I worked all through high school, the owner gradually transitioned from high school boys to Mexican migrants, because the migrants could work more hours per week, were somewhat more reliable, and turned over less.  Now days, few West Seattle teenagers work hourly jobs.  Now days, they are coddled by parents and focused on getting into college, or instagram, or becoming youtube gamers.  They never get all those life lessons.

        • Gina November 11, 2023 (8:00 pm)

          This is so well stated! So true. 

        • Canton November 12, 2023 (5:46 am)

          Spot on… My father raised my brother and I the same way. As a single working dad, with two boys to take care of, he gave us a small allowance to keep the house clean after school. As my needs grew, got a second job delivering the PI every morning. At 16, got a job doing dock work and cleaning rental fishing boats at Seacrest boathouse. The fun part about Seacrest; on days off, got free boat rental, free gas and bait. That was the perk for doing hard work.

  • aa November 10, 2023 (3:32 pm)

    I hope people don’t assume the complaints are true and stop going to the theater.  Throwing a business under the bus without proper time to address concerns is unfair and could do long term financial damage.  $25/ hr., to work at a movie theater?  That seems like an unrealistic expectation.  And to those people who are going to stop buying tickets until the complaints are addressed, how will the company ever afford to pay the additional wage if you stop buying tickets?   

    • CAM November 11, 2023 (12:39 am)

      Well one of the complaints is they fired the person making the complaints so they couldn’t really wait around for them to be addressed could they? I get the impression some of the commenters here have never experienced any kind of toxic work environment and don’t actually know what that is like. 

  • LS November 10, 2023 (3:35 pm)

    This is horrible beyond words!  When I grew up theaters were run by high school kids for a few extra bucks in their pockets.  $25/hour is ridiculous!  If they want $25/hour they should seek employment elsewhere, as they so strongly feel they deserve it. This makes me sad as the end result will be no more movie theater in West Seattle.  Sawant needs to go ASAP, she can’t be gone soon enough!  She can go and stir the pot somewhere else, leave WS alone!

    • WS Res November 10, 2023 (6:14 pm)

      Times change. Fast food and grocery stores and movie theaters are no longer jobs for “high school kids wanting to make a few bucks” – they’re the jobs people who used to be able to get blue collar work in now-gone factories and other industry must settle for. People support themselves with these kinds of jobs. “Happy Days” was a TV show in the 70s nostalgic for the 50s. “That 70s Show” was a TV show in the 00s nostalgic for the 70s. This is 2023 and $52,000 a year (even if one could get 40 hours/week at these types of jobs, which workers often can’t count on) is below the poverty line in Seattle.

    • Rick November 13, 2023 (10:20 am)

      Join the military. No skills needed,they’ll train you. And pay you. Free housing,health care,travel,help pay for college,retirement,etc.And maybe even grow up. You just have to be willing to risk your life for your country so you can bi**h on blogs like this one.

  • N November 10, 2023 (3:40 pm)

    $25/hr at full time comes to $52,000 per year.  

    • Erik November 10, 2023 (4:22 pm)

      Yea and that 52k is probably a lot more money than the theater even brings in per MONTH.

      • John November 10, 2023 (5:50 pm)

        Erik…..that’s a very good point.   Such a salary could cause the goodbye of our beloved theater.

      • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (5:54 pm)

        And it’s nowhere near enough to live on in this city. I guess it’s too bad people can’t afford college anymore huh? 

      • Bee November 10, 2023 (7:37 pm)

        I don’t get how this fact should sway us to think the employees deserve to be paid less. Sounds like poor business decisions by the owners if they would struggle to bring in 52k a month. In a situation like that, they would certainly need to rely on things like wage theft, lapses in maintenance, and intentional understaffing in order to keep things running. 

        • Erik November 12, 2023 (6:35 pm)

          Bee, it sounds like you have probably either never worked in business or owned/managed a business in your life. Anyone that has had to put the hard work and dedication into running a business knows how uneducated your answer is. I just don’t get why people who don’t know how business works would think that a small business like this wouldn’t want to pay their employees more if they could get away with it and still make enough money to keep the lights on it’s not about whether they deserve it. It’s about whether consumers will pay enough for them to earn a higher wage. Which they won’t.

  • ITotallyAgreeWithYou November 10, 2023 (3:44 pm)

    Hmmm, I’m seeing an unusual amount of first time commenters here all with vehement things to say for people with no connection to the two parties….or do they? Sounds like friends of the owner coming out to intimidate and delegitimize the strikers. Btw, everyone has the legal right to strike and call it a strike. You don’t need to be a union member to do so. How do you think unions happen? Just an attempt by the owner to try and diminish the workers. Says all I need to know. 

    • SlimJim November 10, 2023 (4:26 pm)

      Yes, it’s a conspiracy! Corporate bots or some such accessing the blog’s comments! That must be why “people” think a $25/hr demand is excessive. “People” would never think such a thing on their own….Just my two cents as a non first-time commentor. Though many may wish it was my last…

    • Westieeeeee November 10, 2023 (4:49 pm)

      Lol. Love to see how you are legitimizing your claim  of “first time posters.” Did WSB give you data? Wishful thinking/typing doesn’t make it true and just because you don’t like that the majority agrees $25/hour is absurd doesn’t mean there is a conspiracy. 

    • Mel November 10, 2023 (7:40 pm)

      Regular commenter here who doesn’t think movie theater workers should be paid $25. Jobs like this are supposed to be entry level. Then people go out and gain skills, experience, and pursue better opportunities. 

    • Reality Check November 10, 2023 (9:57 pm)

      Regarding “everyone has the legal right to strike and call it a strike. You don’t need to be a union member to do so.”Um…kind of. The first amendment protects your right to say silly things and not get arrested for it. Beyond that, no. Please cite the particular statute you think applies here. Pretty sure you are asserting a nonexistent “right”.Regarding “How do you think unions happen?”Well, I have been part of a union organizing effort, so I can tell you. Committee meetings. Hours upon hours of negotiations to determine structure and exactly what this union means. A formal vote on whether to accept the union. Elections for union representatives. Direct negotiation with owners. Clear demands and an opportunity for the owners to meet the demands or make a counter offer. All this must happen BEFORE a vote on whether to strike is put before the membership. A strike is called only AFTER the union is organized AND the membership has voted to strike.A union is not a bunch of people holding signs and making demands. It’s deeply disrespectful of the labor movement to demean their work like this.

  • Just wondering November 10, 2023 (3:46 pm)

    My first job in 1975 was at the Aurora Cinema (AMC chain).  I got $1.80 an hour which went up to $2.30 an hour when minimum wage was raised.  It is true that the theater makes their money on concessions,  the money from tickets goes to the movie studios.Prices were added up in your head, no swiping a bar code.It paid better then babysitting  but I did grow to hate the smell of popcorn!

    • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (5:56 pm)

      Guess what? Life has gotten more expensive in the last 50 years. 

      • MyThruppence November 10, 2023 (9:13 pm)

        Using the handy CPI calculator, $2.30/hr in 1975 is equivalent to $13.16 today. YW.

        • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:43 pm)

          so glad housing in Seattle has tracked to the CPI since 1975

          • MyThruppence November 11, 2023 (12:03 pm)

            You couldn’t buy a home with a movie theater job in 1975 just like you can’t now. Your point?

  • Brandon November 10, 2023 (3:48 pm)

    High wages -> High Expenses -> lack of staffing -> workers complaints.lower costs -> more staffing -> lower wages -> workers complaints.Higher ticket prices -> patron complaints -> risk of lower revenuetypical employee with workers complaints -> better job elsewhere.
    Seems like the workers need to get a new job because a union isn’t going to change those equations.  A hardworking societal mindset that isn’t hell bent on socialism would though. Instead of a picket sign, picking up a Thomas Sowell book on basic economics would do wonders for this crowd.

    • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (1:03 am)

      Telling someone to read Thomas Sowell is a pretty good indicator the person offering that advice should not be taken seriously about anything. 

      • Dad November 11, 2023 (9:59 pm)

        What is your criticism of Thomas Sowell’s treatment of basic economics?  I’m actually interested; I didn’t know it was controversial.

        • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (11:48 pm)

          I have a feeling I’m being trolled with this question but he has many controversial views, one being that the minimum wage should be zero . 

          • Dad November 12, 2023 (7:20 am)

            Sorry, that wasn’t my intention.  I had taken the commenter as saying that Sowell’s descriptions of how an economy works, how resources are put to different uses in a society, could be helpful for people thinking about the competing goods present in the situation at the Admiral.  I see that you don’t agree with some of the conclusions Sowell draws about economic policy, that’s fine.  His treatment of basic economics may still offer some light to the conversation.  

  • Definitely not unskilled November 10, 2023 (4:02 pm)

    Wow, all the people here calling this work unskilled and acting like you deserve destitution and bad working conditions for working at a theater should try working a service industry position. The main skill is treating the hordes of entitled a-holes you deal with on a daily basis with professionalism, not violence. I love the Admiral Theater and see all my movies there, but I stand with these workers. Any businesses that can’t afford to pay employees a livable wage don’t deserve to exist.  And pro tip: try having a little empathy and checking your classist privilege before tearing down folks trying to survive our capitalist hellscape. 

    • Als November 10, 2023 (5:19 pm)

      Agree x 100,000,000,000,000,000

    • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (5:57 pm)


    • Kt November 10, 2023 (5:59 pm)

      Well said!  Years ago when the $15 minimum wage was being debated an attorney I worked for had a wife who owned a pottery in store on the Eastside. She couldn’t afford to raise the wages and if she did would have to either get rid of her nanny or quit her country club. Financing her good life on low wages she was.

    • Bee November 10, 2023 (7:57 pm)

      Thank you. Just goes to show how many residents here happily forget that those who serve them daily are actual human beings.

    • smallbizowner November 11, 2023 (8:42 pm)

      Any businesses that can’t afford to pay employees a livable wage don’t deserve to exist. This is always said by people that have no idea how hard it is to run a business. I challenge any one of you that thinks this to start a business and then keep it going while paying your labor force more than yourself. You all seem to think that every business owner is some sort of greedy troll that just has baskets of money and hates their employees. Its insulting to those of us who care deeply for our staff and work very hard to be a part of this community. We are the people that donate to your school auctions, hire your kids, get involved in community activities and fundraise for local charities. Small business owners spend countless hours covering shifts, working after hours, staying late, getting up early, all for the sake of the business and community. If we could pay our staff more and still stay open, we would. But a lot of us do what we do because we love it, not because its making us rich. Some of you are so quick to demonize the owners, but have no idea what we go through just to keep a business open. I dare you to open a business and do all the things people think a business should do. Make everyone able to work from home. A 30 hour work week. A “living wage.” Unlimited vacation. 6 months maternity/paternity leave. And let me know how long you stay in business and how many millions of dollars you made. It might be possible in corporate world, but definitely not in a small business.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 12, 2023 (9:18 am)

        It really sounds like you enjoy what you do.

      • Definitely not unskilled November 12, 2023 (9:33 am)

        If we could pay our staff more and still stay open, we would.
        I understand running a small business. It’s definitely not easy. But you can’t expect employees to volunteer their time to keep you afloat or expect to get discounts on labor. That’s where the “deserving to exist” part comes in. If your business isn’t viable while paying a living wage in the area, it’s just not viable. Period.

        • Local13 November 12, 2023 (7:07 pm)

          This! If your business can’t pay a livable wage and $25 an hour is hardly livable here (let’s be real) then shut it down. I do know what it’s like to own a business and didn’t pay myself so I could pay my employees fairly. I’d like to see just one of these whinny people complaining in these comments calling this unskilled labor, to work just one day with the public. LOL, you wouldn’t last a week there. Instead of complaining why don’t you go volunteer to sell concessions? They could use the help since they’re already understaffed most of the time. 

      • wssz November 13, 2023 (10:26 pm)

          SMALLBIZOWNER   Love, love, love your comment. As a small business owner in my retirement years, after decades of working for large corporations (but starting out working 2-3 often miserable jobs to make ends meet), I cringe at how naïve I was before I had my own business. I didn’t appreciate how incredibly hard every aspect is of a small business. Meeting payroll and making a living is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. 

        There’s no comparison between the old me before I had my own business and now me as a small business owner. I wish far more people had this experience, and have no doubt that the people striking to be paid $25/hr. for this starter job would instead appreciate getting $18/hr. and be lining up a second job if they want to be able to meet their own basic expenses here in Seattle. 

        Incidentally, my hat’s off to everyone who works with the general public, and does it with a smile no matter who walks through that door. 

  • M November 10, 2023 (4:19 pm)

    I think I need to go see a movie at the Admiral this weekend. I support the owner.

  • xavier November 10, 2023 (4:21 pm)

    In Fast Times at Ridgemont High it was high school kids working at the theater.

    • Derek November 10, 2023 (5:01 pm)

      Where are these mythical high school workers who will just take this job? Why do they deserve less money any way? 

    • Bee November 10, 2023 (8:00 pm)

      Yes, reality is just like a movie from over 40 years ago. Well done. Things never change and fiction is actually fact.

    • John F November 10, 2023 (8:39 pm)

      Aloha Mr. Hand.  It was either Orange Julius or the movie theater at that age.   A logical next step from paper route.  I think too many these days never learned they have to acquire marketable skills to move up.

  • Paul November 10, 2023 (4:22 pm)

    As a union member I can say my union does little at best for our members, and we have a LOT of members.  We continue to ask what are we paying for because they are non existent. Unions are not always the best option 

    • A union is only as strong as it’s members November 10, 2023 (7:00 pm)

      Sounds like you need to organise lolGenuinely. You need to start going to meetings and getting your colleagues to do the same.We are getting a fifteen buck and hour raise after a salary study our union insisted on in the last round of negotiations. We will be earning well over double the salary of our non union counterparts in red states. Unions are great.

  • Mark B November 10, 2023 (4:29 pm)

    Has it dawned on the protestors what comparable positions are paying? Right next to this article is a Thriftway “now hiring” ad that links to hourly positions paying up to $22.40 an hour. Safeway is looking for cashiers at up to $21.15 an hour. BOTH positions offer Union representation. A small, local theater isn’t exactly a cash cow. I get that Sawant and the protestors want to stick it to “the man” and evil corporate America but going after a small business with an outsized wage demand is not the best way to get that message across. 

    • WS Res November 10, 2023 (6:12 pm)

      People just want to live and pay their bills. No one is trying to “stick it to the man.”

    • Erik November 12, 2023 (6:48 pm)

      They could definitely go work for Thriftway. Their wages are higher and likely for good reason. Honestly, having worked in theaters for years, working in a store such as Thriftway is much more skilled than being a box office cashier, concession worker, or usher. So it makes sense they earn more elsewhere.

  • Peter November 10, 2023 (4:30 pm)

    I challenge all of the people that are upset about people wanting a raise to $25/hr to try to live in Seattle on $25/hr. Literally not a single one of you could do it. The degree of elitism it takes to complain about people wanting to make enough to maybe live above poverty is pretty shocking. 

    • Als November 10, 2023 (5:06 pm)

      100% agree; I’m embarrassed to live in this neighborhood sometimes.

    • CarDriver November 10, 2023 (5:17 pm)

      Peter. That amount is a little above what I get in retirement and social security combined. And yes, I do (have to) live on that. And no, I don’t feel like I’m living in poverty. Sorry, it’s true. Born and raised and still live in West Seattle.

      • Pete November 10, 2023 (7:01 pm)

        How much is your rent? 

        • CarDriver November 10, 2023 (7:50 pm)

          Just got raised to $1,695 a month for a 2 bedroom on Alki.

          • Is it a dump? November 11, 2023 (9:03 am)

            1685 for two bedroom? That’s beyond cheap!! Lol 

      • CAM November 11, 2023 (12:49 am)

        And to be fair CarDriver, you will need to acknowledge that at retirement age your cost of living decreases in multiple ways, you receive tax/financial breaks that people still working don’t, and that $1700 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment in a premium neighborhood in Seattle is pretty darn cheap. 

        • Genuine November 11, 2023 (6:01 am)

          Lol, premium. So darn cheap it is! Almost $2000 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment. 

    • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (5:49 pm)

      Seriously.  I’m amazed that there are still people this ignorant about how much it costs to survive in this city. I’m disgusted with most of these comments. Is it that people feel truly superior if they watch others struggle?? I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

      • WS Res November 11, 2023 (10:42 am)

        It’s a combination of the Just World fallacy, zero-sum thinking, and social dominance orientation.  It’s sad to be them, but it’s sadder to have to live in the world they stick us with because they can’t tolerate the possibility of someone else getting something that they think is “undeserved,” even if it doesn’t actually make they themselves worse off.

  • Wish we all made more November 10, 2023 (4:32 pm)

    I’m sympathetic to the cost of living in this city believe me but $25 just isn’t a starting wage. I wish them well and I hope they feel compensated and that their concerns are addressed but this feels ambitious. 

    • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (7:44 pm)

      Shouldn’t it be ambitious if you’re trying to negotiate? You don’t start with a number you expect to end up with. 

  • WSwhat November 10, 2023 (4:35 pm)

    For anybody calling the theater jobs a “skilled labor” job, you’re delusional. This isn’t about being elitist, classist, or having privilege. This is about being able to do a job without training, a license, certificate, or degree. A quick look at Seattle Craigslist jobs that require more “skill” (or actual physical effort) than working at a theater, but make less than $25/hour. Forklift operator – $21/hrDrywall laborer – $19/hrMachinist – $17Dental Assistant – $24/hrVeterinary Assistant -$16/hrMedical assistant -$21/hrAssistant teacher – $24/hrHVAC apprentice – $20/hrElectrician – $18/hrIf you think a theater job is more skilled and provides more value to a company than those i referenced, you are incredibly disconnected from reality. I’m sorry, but you need to check YOUR privilege and rethink what you DESERVE and think about what you have to offer an employer. 

    • Math Teacher November 10, 2023 (7:18 pm)

      @WS, just FYI, (1) Seattle’s minimum wage (when there is no paid health insurance benefit) is 18.69, (19.97 in January), so some of those opportunities are out of town. (2) Craiglist? No – look on a credible site such as Indeed, where Electrician jobs are clearly $60/hr and up.

      • Wswhat? November 10, 2023 (9:03 pm)
        1. I don’t understand the points you’re trying to make. 1) i searched seattle and the default radius. I wasn’t being too specific with the radius. 

          2) i used craigslist because it’s where jobs similar to a theater worker posting would be. Also, i understand $60+/hour for union electricians. My point is, there are electrician jobs posted online for that wage. I would have posted links, but it’s not my job to fact check my own credibility. Anyway, i don’t understand the point you’re trying to make with cherry picking one job out of a list and also citing the radius. 

          • Genuine November 11, 2023 (6:08 am)

            When I started my plumbing career in 2014 I was paid $11 per hour to dig 10 foot holes with a shovel, train and learn complex water, waste and code requirements, and plumbing repairs. By the end of my apprenticeship in 2018 I was making $16. I lived in west seattle the entire time. If I needed more money to make ends meet I went and got it, I didn’t demand my employer make my wage higher because I knew my wage would triple or better once I became a certified plumber with real word needed skills. I know many close friends who live in west seattle and work in west seattle, none of them make $25 per hour and all of their jobs are more labor intensive and requires more customer service than working at a movie theater that’s open half the day. This is so entitled and ridiculous. If I owned the theater I’d fire them all and put out an add to pay $1 more per hour for willing to work employees. 

        1. Canton November 11, 2023 (7:58 am)

          60 bucks an hour is for a skilled “journeyman” position. One must get a few years of “apprentice” training to reach that salary. If you notice, union electricians make less than those that work for private companies. The reason journeyman electricians get paid more? Electricity is dangerous. Question to you; would you rather have a journeyman do your electrical work, or a apprentice?

          • Rob November 11, 2023 (2:09 pm)

            How much is enough?

      • Jeff November 14, 2023 (10:32 pm)

        Because other places pay bad now this place has to?

    • Odd son November 10, 2023 (4:42 pm)

      People forget the US is a capitalist, market economy.  It’s not changing. If you don’t like it, look at countries that are socialist or whatever fits your political view and see what it’s like there. Probably not going to like it..

      • Pete November 10, 2023 (7:05 pm)

        I honestly can’t wait to move back to my ‘socialist’ hell hole country. Oh no! Affordable healthcare, affordable college, and no mass shootings. 

        • Mel November 10, 2023 (7:47 pm)

          My friend in Canada can’t even get into a gynecologist for 12-18 months. She also had knee surgery with no MRI beforehand because the wait was too long. I’ll keep my healthcare in the USA, thanks. 

          • WS Res November 10, 2023 (9:23 pm)

            It took me 9 months to get in to see the audiologist here in Seattle. Your anecdotes are just that, anecdotes.

            • Mel November 11, 2023 (5:12 am)

              As someone who has seen a lot of medical specialist- cardiologists, mammography, ultrasound, gastroenterologists, obgyn, along with many children’s specialists…I have NEVER had to wait more than 4-6 weeks (rarely 6 weeks) to get into a specialist. And I have used Swedish, childrens, polyclinic, UW… So no. From my personal experience and those around me, I know that people aren’t waiting over a year to see a gynecologist or get an MRI.

    • ConcernedCitizen12 November 10, 2023 (4:45 pm)

      Very unfortunate someone lost their job. I am curious what the details are of the poor working conditions and what has been officially communicated to management/ownership. It’s always smart to have an official paper trail for any type of HR complaint no matter what the industry. If the owner of the theatre is being honest, it seems like there has not been a good line of communication.Dick’s Drive In is a terrific place to work by all accounts. They start at $20/hr and get up to $25/hr after training plus tons of great benefits like scholarships, childcare assistance, and FREE health insurance. Check out their details here:

    • River November 10, 2023 (4:47 pm)

      Didn’t used to be dudes were graduating from PLU and then lining up to work at a theater.  These are starter jobs for kids to learn about customer service and gain some experience in the working world, and make some money for pizza with their friends. A living wage was never paid because it’s a job for kids.

    • Seattlite November 10, 2023 (4:57 pm)

      $25/hour to make popcorn, serve cokes/candy, take payment for products, usher movie goers to their seats.  Do these people clean the restrooms, the seating aisles after each movie?  My point is there are no out-of-the-ordinary skills to do these jobs.  Minimum wage in WA State is $15.74 which means these people want $10 over minimum wage for doing unskilled labor.  I don’t get why these people believe they are entitled to $25/hour for unskilled labor.

      • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:29 pm)

        Because it’s expensive to live in Seattle? Why is it unreasonable to pay them a wage that makes it possible to live reasonably close to work? 

        • Genuine November 11, 2023 (6:13 am)

          It’s called gain or learn an applicable skill so that you can get a good job that’s pay well. The whole “you don’t want to work at the movie theater forever do you” line from grandma would apply today. We don’t need movies or theaters. If a crisis happened tomorrow that effected everyone would we need the skills and customer service of these employees. I bet the average phone time at work between these theater employees is more than the breaks the say they can’t get. 

          • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (1:08 pm)

            Whoever said earlier there was lots of boomer energy in the comments was spot on. No one is saying that people should work in a movie theater forever or they shouldn’t develop skills, that’s a strawman invented by people who think it’s a god given right to pay service workers next to nothing. I think we ought to treat all labor with dignity and pay something that’s livable for the area. That should not be controversial. 

        • Erik November 12, 2023 (6:55 pm)

          It’s not about making a living when you work for a movie theater. It’s never been that. We used to say “you do it for the love of the business, not the money”. The fact is, there just isn’t enough money in it to pay workers more than minimum wage. If there were, you’d be paying $15 for a small popcorn and $10 for a box of M&Ms. It’s unskilled, part time work that mostly exists on the weekends. It’s an excellent place for a young 16 year old to earn a bit of spending money and gain some important life experience. It will never, and has never, been a place to make a living. And that’s fine. This kind of work can exist beside the work that people move on to once they gain experience in more skilled areas. We need both. Nothing wrong with that.

    • TJ November 10, 2023 (5:01 pm)

      Sawant is leaving office but she isn’t going away. She is dedicating all of her time to this now, so her stupid grandstanding will continue on and on a greater scale. All of this is really simple and has been the case for a long time. The employees can ask for higher wages. Ownership can decide what to pay, and employees can decide to accept that and keep working, or get another job. Ownership can fire employees for dumb stunts like this, and it’s dumb because they took a job knowing the wage upfront. Theater jobs and fast food jobs and lots of others have always been entry level jobs usually filled by high school kids and were never meant to provide a living. That was the case in Seattle 40 years ago and it still is now. It’s a starting wage job used to move up in other fields.  

      • Math Teacher November 10, 2023 (8:03 pm)

        In Washington state, businesses are not allowed to employ children after 10pm on school nights. The local high school day ends at 3:40. I see the theater advertises weekday matinees, afternoon films, and late evening movies that won’t end until after 11pm, so this idea that the theater work can be done by high school students inevitably runs into some difficulties with opening and closing.

      • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:32 pm)

        “those jobs were always meant to exploit teenage labor” is not the winning argument you think it is. Nor is it accurate, immigrants and others work “entry level” service jobs to support their families. This isn’t the 1970s. 

      • datamuse November 10, 2023 (9:52 pm)

        High school kids are supposed to be working these jobs during school hours on a weekday? That’s the same logic I see for paying fast food workers as little as possible and it doesn’t make any sense there either.

    • Ann November 10, 2023 (5:05 pm)

      Boy do I feel old.  I worked at a large multiplex in the Midwest back in the 1980’s. Minimum wage at that time was $3.35, but there was some exemption for students passed by the Reagan administration so they only paid us $2.85/hour!!  Everyone that worked there except for the projectionist and management was 16-20 years old, so we were just working for spending money – not a living wage at all.  But we had unlimited access to see movies and play in the arcade, plus free soda and popcorn.  Worst paying job I ever had but also the most fun!!

    • Jay November 10, 2023 (5:12 pm)

      A lot of “ok boomer” energy in the comments. Y’all say $25 isn’t realistic. It’s also not realistic to expect everyone younger or less privileged than you to live in poverty to subsidize the products and services you consume. This is capitalism at work – labor has decided that the pay doesn’t meet their needs. It’s up to the business to adjust their model to support labor. There’s no inherent entitlement for the business to have below-market-rate labor.

      • Mark B November 10, 2023 (6:52 pm)

        And there’s also no rationale for a reasonable person to accept a below-market wage.  What’s the perception of “market” here?  The top of the range for Safeway and Thriftway customer service jobs is $21-22/hour, and both have union representation.  How about going after them, or perhaps their union?  Given they likely employ far more than a small local business like the Admiral Theater it would have a lot more impact.

        • Brandon November 11, 2023 (12:52 am)

          Are we talking the same grocery unions that pushed the minimum wage hike on their members and encouraged them to vote for it on the ballot? I recall a member telling me at my place of work I should vote for it and I responded with “You want me to vote for my coworkers to lose their jobs?” They laughed and said I didn’t know what I was talking about because I was still in school. “It will benefit everybody!” Then it passed, and I watched my store cut its positions down, prioritize self-checkouts, and the union raised its dues. That union? I guess should have ignored the boomers and asked for more. Tank it faster and teach people it doesn’t work for about a month until they forget and ask for more again.

    • Shameful in Seattle November 10, 2023 (5:17 pm)

      Minimum wage is for entry level positions such as this.
      $25 per hour?
      Why take the job if the pay isn’t acceptable?
      Easier to protest, than get an education and earn that salary.

      • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (10:48 pm)

        Well. You can’t pay for an education on 25 bucks an hour. You can barely pay rent and bills.

    • Mike November 10, 2023 (5:30 pm)

      2 things will come of this.  $25+/hr for people worth paying.  Loss of jobs for those not worth keeping for $25/hr.  Digital systems and robots do amazing things with repetitive tasks.  Be sure to send Sawant a thank you card.

      • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:58 pm)

        Or the place will close for being a rat and termite infested dump that no one wants to work or watch a movie at. 

    • CH November 10, 2023 (5:31 pm)

      When I was a kid, we delivered the newspaper to afford a bike, and then took a job like this to buy our first car. It was a win win… business owners paid a wage where they could stay in business, and kids learned responsibility without the pressure of having to support themselves. Every job doesn’t have to pay a living wage. I miss the good old days.  

      • ITotallyAgreeWithYou November 10, 2023 (8:01 pm)

        So….you’re saying children should run the Admiral Theater?

        • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:59 pm)

          Who knew West Seattle was so pro child labor?

        • WS Res November 12, 2023 (6:55 pm)

          So….you’re saying children should run the Admiral Theater?  And serve alcohol, apparently!  During the school day, no less.  So interesting, these ideas.

    • R2 November 10, 2023 (5:31 pm)

      $25 an hour pencils out to $52,000 a year, assuming a 40 hour work week. Average rent for a one bedroom apartment in West Seattle is $1,795 a month, which works out to be $21,540 a year. Even sharing a two bedroom apartment doesn’t bring the cost down by much. So basically, a person working full time at $25 an hour is spending half their income on rent. That’s if they are working full time. I doubt very many of those who are protesting are being given a full 40 hours. And that’s just part of the issue.If they are being asked to work more than 8 hours a shift without being paid overtime, are being denied breaks, or are also understaffed and spread too thin, what about any of their demands seems unreasonable?

      • Ding ding ding November 10, 2023 (7:07 pm)

        Spot on.

      • datamuse November 10, 2023 (9:50 pm)

        People think $25 is a lot because their sense of what a dollar is worth hasn’t been updated in at least 20 years, I’m thinking.

        • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (10:49 pm)

          Or they like watching people suffer because it makes the feel better their own lives. 

          • Brandon November 11, 2023 (12:39 am)

            Or they understand why the housing price is so high and laugh at the idea a higher wage isn’t going to make the living more affordable, but instead worse.

            • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (6:40 am)

              The housing prices aren’t high because of wages Brandon, it’s because we don’t have enough housing. 

            • Derek November 13, 2023 (7:03 am)

              Housing prices have zero to do with wages 

      • CARGUY November 10, 2023 (11:37 pm)

        Where did the expectation of living in a one bedroom apartment by yourself become the norm? I always had to rent a room in a shared house usually 3-4 people at a time until I could gain skills and experience to get better jobs so now I can live in a house…. With 1 partner splitting the cost. 

        • Peter S. November 13, 2023 (12:42 pm)

          My thoughts EXACTLY.  I was lucky (yes, I’ll admit lucky) enough to rent a small house but only because I always had a housemate, and that was only AFTER landing a decent job.  The few months I didn’t have a housemate to split the rent and utilities with were financially scary.   There was never any expectation that an entry-level job salary would allow me to live on my own.  

    • moldiseriouslybadforhealth November 10, 2023 (5:33 pm)

      Owner should do hire a company to a mold test to ensure that there isn’t any toxic black mold growing in the building that could be harmful to patrons or staff – and that publish the results publicly. That’s the only way he can back up his claim that the building is safe after a roof leak.  Call me skeptical, but I doubt he paid to have proper remediation after the leak – and if the employees are seeing or reacting to mold that is not a good sign. Black mold is seriously bad for health.

    • Rick November 10, 2023 (5:45 pm)

      Aaahhhh, the age of entitlement.

      • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (10:50 pm)

        Oh yeah. Wanting to pay bills and eat. Such entitlement. 

    • Kt November 10, 2023 (5:54 pm)

      The owner/spokesman lives in a waterfront house on Bainbridge Island.  He has to keep those wages down so he can keep living the good life.

    • Andrea November 10, 2023 (6:02 pm)

      This is a perfect place for either a starter job (someone brand new to the workforce) where they can learn skills or a second job to bring in some extra cash. When the job was offered to these folks, and they accepted the offer, they knew what they were getting in to. The owner seemed to be caught off guard and deserves to be heard. I also call bull on the claim that the owner asked someone who was in the ER to come to work, come on.

      • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (8:03 pm)

        Those kind of anecdotes absolutely track with what I’ve heard people experience in the service industry. Or worse. Google Honeyhole if you want a recent local example

        I also don’t buy that entry level employees are fully informed on “what they signed up for” or that they’re obligated to accept it.

    • aRF November 10, 2023 (6:34 pm)

      I’m standing with the Admiral Theater on this one. Nothing to prevent Sawant from starting her own worker-paradise theater.  

    • Admiral-2009 November 10, 2023 (7:02 pm)

      I remember working as a dishwasher for minimum wage, working in Movie Theatre for minimum wage would have been so much better and funner!  

    • Unrealballz November 10, 2023 (7:03 pm)

      Just drove by the Admiral theater…. absolutely amazing that these people set up a table and themselves on the property of the Admiral theater!  Talk about rude! You tried to damage their finances for your own gain and you sit on their private property while you do it???? Goes to show the mentality of this group: selfish and confident they are ‘entitled’ . Stay OFF the private property of the Admiral theater. Unreal.!!!🤨

      • CAM November 11, 2023 (1:01 am)

        Sidewalks and the parking strip are public property. 

        • Unrealbalz November 11, 2023 (12:44 pm)

          NO  ! They had a foldable table set up  ON the property of the Admiral theater to the west of the sidewalk. period!  On private property! Goes to show the self involvement and sense of entitlement of those people.  Talk about balls and rude….!

    • Kristina November 10, 2023 (7:06 pm)

      I belong to a union and I support labor. But… this is a small business, and the staff didn’t even present written requests to management at the top, or file a labor complaint? And one of the main spokespeople has been there six weeks? I want employees to be treated ethically, but this protest/strike seems out of bounds, premature at least. I don’t want to lose our local theater, and I would be shocked if they could afford those wages. While I wish everyone made more money I can’t imagine that this is the way to do it. In my union, there is a great deal of negotiation and bargaining before a strike. It doesn’t sound like that happened, and that’s unfortunate.I didn’t have plans to go to the theatre this weekend, and I still won’t. But I hope this resolves soon, and then I am getting tickets!

    • Deejay November 10, 2023 (7:11 pm)

      And this is what Government gets for trying to be “progressive” – the City pushed and gets the $15/hour minimum, and then of course, the people want more.  The problem with the system is clear – give them one inch, they want and take a mile.  #pathetic

    • A Gunn November 10, 2023 (8:02 pm)

      Oh for the love of pete, is Conniption Shwarma not done annoying this city yet? Entirely useless on City Council and now attempting to shake down a local business. I suppose harassing kids with lemonade stands is next; just wait ’til next summer…

      • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (7:41 pm)

        Is Conniption Shwarma supposed to be a clever wordplay on her name? Did you run this by everyone else sitting at the bar at Poggies before hitting publish? 

    • Paralegal November 10, 2023 (8:15 pm)

      I started out as a paralegal two years ago making $18 an hour with benefits. We’re talking full of stress, worry about each word you write and how you file cases in courts and making sure you have EVERYTHING you need to help the firm. $18 an hour. and I gladly took it because their is a pathway to more. What is the pathway to more at Admiral Theater? What is the room for growth that you learn and need for $25 an hour to be your STARTING salary. Nope, that is just bonkers. 

      • Delridge420 November 10, 2023 (9:38 pm)

        Sounds like the problem is you being grossly underpaid. 

      • Mr J November 10, 2023 (10:18 pm)

        So you were insanely underpaid… I would think that would provoke solidarity instead of disdain. 

        • Genuine November 11, 2023 (6:20 am)

          Some say underpaid, some say this person earned something and worked up the latter. I bet they are proud of their progress and I bet they don’t need to Pickett outside a theater to try and force ends to meet rather than just making it happen somewhere else. You gotta start somewhere. Should people be at the Mercedes dealership picketing because they can’t afford one? Or should they go buy a camry, work hard and hopefully be able to earn one ?

          • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (7:38 pm)

            Really reaching on the Mercedes analogy there 

    • Tired of the BS November 10, 2023 (8:31 pm)

      In a word, Sawant…enough said.  

    • Marie November 10, 2023 (8:47 pm)

      The sign “No Justice No Movies” made me laugh. Everyone has Netflix, Starz, Amazon Prime, etc. We all have movies. No matter how this turns out, we will still have movies. But will we have a theater in West Seattle? 

    • North Delridge November 10, 2023 (8:59 pm)

      It’s depressing to read these comments and see exactly how little this area thinks of those with working class jobs.  I think back to during the pandemic when homes along 59th had signs saying “thank you essential workers” while many of those residents have cushy work from home jobs trading emails.  I have one too.  What I don’t have is disdain for others trying to make a better living for themselves.

    • Scarlett November 10, 2023 (9:02 pm)

      The usual “free market” suspects have arrived, some of them no doubt gnawing their bone after a winning week on Wall Street, to haughtily sniff at a few movie theater employees who have the audacity to ask for more more money.  And praise be, they’ve given up some of their Friday evening to provide a little career advice and assorted graphs and charts to let them know what they should expect to make at this juncture of their lives – but not a penny more!  What frightful small-minded hypocrites. 

    • TJ November 10, 2023 (9:45 pm)

      It’s not career advice, it’s common sense advice. To make more money than working at a movie theater, get another job. Learn a trade. Entry level jobs were never meant to provide a full living wage, especially in a expensive city. I worked at the old Admiral Way Safeway back in high school in the late 1980’s and even though I was part time, I couldn’t live on my own working full time then. It was a stepping stone. I had a plan after high school. Perhaps these people should take a economics class. It’s econ 101

      • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (12:57 am)

        “jobs were never meant to provide a full living wage” is a line invented by business owners who want to exploit workers.

      • Lagartija Nick November 11, 2023 (8:57 am)

        TJ, perhaps you should pick up a history book and learn what FDR had to say about a living wage when he introduced the minimum wage.

    • Janice November 10, 2023 (9:49 pm)

      The theater is a small business, doesn’t have the AMC chain funding or tax payer dollars for these protests. Just a hit at another local business, maybe a fired employee or disagreements of some sort just doesn’t make much sense. I spoke to them and got pretty hostile vibes. $25 is too high. PCC doesn’t even pay that for night crew. Admiral should renovate and modernize their theater a bit. I do feel like they could benefit from better airflow. It’s always stuffy in there. 

    • Frog November 10, 2023 (10:15 pm)

      Oh well, if the Admiral theater goes broke, maybe they can convert it to indoor pickle ball courts.  It would be worth it just to try for an all-time record for number of comments on one WSB article.

      • Math Teacher November 11, 2023 (12:37 pm)

        Yes to indoor pickle ball conversion.Seriously, though, this theater’s business plan appears to be several decades out of date. Many area theaters are switching things up to add reserved seating and alcohol service. This theater will probably fold soon, and the commentators will blame the workers rather than a failed business plan.

        • ConcernedCitizen12 November 11, 2023 (2:52 pm)

          The Admiral serves beer and wine already. And a reservation system doesn’t make a ton of sense as this theatre is usually empty. Do you frequent this movie theater? Doesn’t seem like it 

          • Math Teacher November 12, 2023 (6:27 am)

            Ok, with all the posts on this thread saying these jobs can be filled by high school students, someone might have pointed out that the alcohol requires somewhat older, more trained employees.

        • my two cents November 11, 2023 (6:00 pm)

          @math teacher.  “failed business plan” …. based on your references, don’t think you are sounding like a person with experience in all of the components that go into a business.

          • Math Teacher November 12, 2023 (8:51 pm)

            No, it’s just an observation that movie theater chains, like many other businesses, have tended to evolve and update, or fold. Their business is plainly out-of-date. 

    • Anywhere but here November 10, 2023 (10:55 pm)

      I work for a small business. She starts us at 25. With health benefits and pto and sick pay. And retirement she matches. If she can do it anyone can. 

      • ConcernedCitizen12 November 10, 2023 (11:37 pm)

        Do you mind sharing more info about your job? Industry? Skills required? Not trying to be confrontational just legitimately curious 

      • Brandon November 11, 2023 (12:29 am)

        So I can launch a business picking rocks up at the beach and pay 4 employees 25 dollars an hour with full benefits to market them to pets at the zoo? I never knew I could do that! Actually, the arbitrary 25 isnt enough, I can do 50, no wait, “55 now” has a better ring to it! Seriously though, no. Your employer is a rockstar and has a good thing going sure, but it working for everybody is not how basic economics work. Ah, hold on.

        • Derek November 11, 2023 (1:38 pm)

          Brandon, don’t start a business if you can’t pay the piper. You’re not entitled to cheap labor.

          • wscommuter November 11, 2023 (8:33 pm)

            That is uniquely one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever read.

          • Derekiswrongagain November 11, 2023 (9:14 pm)

            Minimum wage $18.69 an hour. If you think that’s low, I guess that makes you wrong about them being entitled to cheap labor, because the law says different.

            • Derek November 12, 2023 (8:22 pm)

              I missed when minimum wage rose in real time to inflation/cost of living and not an arbitrary number. Labor says different than the law, sorry.

          • WS Native November 13, 2023 (6:11 pm)

            Derek, how many businesses have you started and how many employees have you had to pay? I truly am curious since you seem to know so much about what people should be paid. Also, do you understand how a P&L works as well as a balance sheet? Money is not some arbitrary thing that comes from the popcorn machine. Everything is driven by the profitability of a company (their margins) and the amount of revenue generated. I am curious if you have even a simple understanding of finance and business economics other than “cause I say so”.

      • WSwhat? November 11, 2023 (5:07 pm)

        I don’t think you know what “small business” means. Setting up a matching retirement program alone is incredibly difficult and expensive for a business. I’ve worked at startups with 100+ employees and $18 million a year in revenue that didn’t offer 401k matching. The math doesn’t always work out. 

    • flimflam November 11, 2023 (8:01 am)

      I suppose it doesn’t hurt to try but that wage seems a bit high, sorry.

    • Adam November 11, 2023 (8:20 am)

      What I can’t figure out is how there’s nearly 200 comments here already when there’s clearly more important stuff going on in the world. I mean, did nobody hear about the pickle ball court striping that’s about to MURDER MILLIONS OF BIRDS IN LINCOLN PARK?! Nah, I’m just playin. You guys are alright. Keep it up, WSea

    • ThisCommunityHates November 11, 2023 (10:13 am)

      all this dirt flinging about how worker’s wages are driving a business to un-profitability… have you folks forgotten about the influx of tech jobs that lead to a saturation of high wage jobs where businesses could then charge more because pricing became more inelastic? (note: whipping out the economist jargon because everyone in this thread seems to be one) have y’all forgotten about the numerous restaurants that have suddenly closed b/c their landlords jacked up the rent b/c they could make more money without repercussion with a revolving tenant? why is it that workers have to bear the brunt of these rent-seeking profiteers? it’s so disappointing to see time and time again reactionaries come out of the woodwork because they see something themselves they don’t like (striking workers being an ill-sight b/c they, for a moment, have to be reminded of class struggles when they just wanna catch the new flick!) and they can’t make logical connections to deeper issues and instead blame what they can see. you talk about education for these workers? how about education for yourself b/c you’re lacking critical deduction skills. no wonder our elections went the way they did.

      • Derek November 11, 2023 (1:13 pm)

        Why should workers make less money “for the good of the community” this is some wild TRAD gymnastics here 

        • my two cents November 11, 2023 (6:01 pm)

          @Derek – You cite ‘living wage’ …. can you provide me a dollar figure (annual) for what you consider to be a living wage here or around West Seattle?

    • The Earl November 11, 2023 (11:09 am)

      i demand i demand i demand

    • Wseattleite November 11, 2023 (1:56 pm)

      Solution:  if you want $25/hr, go get a job that pays that. This is not rocket science. 

    • Marcus November 11, 2023 (3:05 pm)

      This is so incredibly silly.  I am a liberal democrat and this unrealistic socialistic entitled attitude is not going to serve those who follow.  You are going to be a broke 25 year old, then a broke 35 year old and then a broke 45 year old.  And then blame society for your failures which already appears to be present in some of the responses.  Get some technical training go into a trade instead of carrying some goofy sign and complaining about how life is so unfair to you.  

      • James November 11, 2023 (5:30 pm)

        The entitled ones are the owners trying to get labor on the cheap. I’m really confused how the ones doing work are “entitled” that is so backwards. 

        • WS Native November 13, 2023 (6:17 pm)

          Easy solution James – then don’t work there. This isn’t Russia or North Korea. You have the choice to take your talents elsewhere where they are valued at a higher wage. So do that. Entitled is the correct word. Asking $25/hr for a job that requires little to no skills other than taking a ticket is entitlement – BTW this job will one day very soon be automated. Maybe they can ask $50/hr then?

          • Jeff November 14, 2023 (7:09 pm)

            Getting hyperbolic about Russia/North Korea is the lowest form of debating. High school level crud. Grow up. 

      • Delridge420 November 11, 2023 (8:08 pm)

        “I’m a liberal Democrat that doesn’t believe in one of the core values of the Democratic Party. So it means a lot when I say these workers are entitled little you know whats”

    • pull focus November 11, 2023 (3:20 pm)

      So gross that these people have crassly commodified “no justice no peace” (which originated and continues to be used in protest against ethnic violence) for a pay raise. Talk about entitlement! Other glaring signs of their short-sightedness, on display in the video WSB posted here:The organizer who didn’t seem to even know where he was (referred to notes for the name of the theatre) and yet stated a goal of shutting the theatre down… putting everyone out of work! There goes that raise you wanted. It also appears they went on strike before even presenting their proposal for a union. Quitting before they started.The second speaker who’d only been working there six weeks (!!), and then… “the discrimination we’ve faced can’t be ignored” but waffles as to what they actually mean. “Well get on that later.”The third speaker talking about the owners not wanting to invest in the theatre… who is ignoring (or ignorant of) the actual history of both the business and the historic landmark building. This group strikes me as having some other agenda than “justice.” Or they are just completely clueless.

    • Linda November 11, 2023 (3:33 pm)

      The underlying disconnect in this thread is ideological. Do you believe a small business owner is responsible for paying fair wages determined by the skill level of the job or is EVERY worker in Seattle entitled to a wage determined by their rent and grocery expenses.The first basis is generally agreed upon in the capitalist economy, the second basis is not. Without acknowledging and respecting this lack of ideological agreement, this conversation, and many like it, will sadly go nowhere. 

    • Janet, Operations Manager, Admiral Theater November 11, 2023 (4:14 pm)

      If you come to the Admiral Theater this weekend and are met by protestors who tell you that the theater is closed or its workers are on strike … PLEASE do not accept this as accurate information.None of our employees are protesting and all are at work to serve our loyal customers in the West Seattle Community.We are really appreciative of your continuing support.We also ask that you do not believe the lies about mold in our food.  We just passed our health inspection at excellent on October 23rd.

      • Nadmiral November 11, 2023 (6:35 pm)

        Thank you for writing into the blog and clarifying.  I’m actually so annoyed at what they’re doing that I’m going to go to the theater. BECAUSE they need some pushback that they are not gonna get away with this in this community!  We love the Admiral theater and want to do everything to support your business.  To the protesters.:  STOP!  You are outrageous!  GRRRR !

    • Andrea November 11, 2023 (6:05 pm)

      I went to the theatre today and was the only one in Pier 1 for a 3:25 showing. I enjoyed a couple beers and some popcorn. The people inside working were kind. The bathrooms were super clean. Don’t like the pay, don’t take the job. Easy peasy. 

      • Stickerbush November 12, 2023 (10:54 am)

        This –> “Don’t like the pay, don’t take the job. Easy peasy. “ Like it or not we live in a lopsided economy due to the number of high-earning tech employees that have moved to this area. There’s nothing we can do about that. If your inner Marxist believes that we need to level things out by making every job pay a living wage then it’s just going to make things worse. Prices will escalate even further and small businesses like the Admiral Theater will not be able to continue to exist. A non-management movie theater job would not pay a living wage in any city in the US. If you believe otherwise you are living a fantasy.

    • Jason November 11, 2023 (7:07 pm)

      puzzled that a city councilmember would lash out at his business without attempting to contact him first”.But that’s not the way the leftist cancel culture works!!! That pathway would be reasonable and might result in change that wasn’t newsworthy.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 13, 2023 (9:00 am)

        “We were going to do the right thing eventually, but now someone I don’t like is involved so now I cannot!”

    • WS Res November 12, 2023 (9:58 am)

      Hey, WSB commentators, this sounds like a book worth reading.  Noted Hoosier Republican Sheila Kennedy is excited about it

      From praising the health benefits of cigarettes to moralizing on the character-building qualities of child labor, rich corporate overlords have gone to astonishing, often morally indefensible lengths to defend their profits. Since the dawn of capitalism, they’ve told the same lies over and over to explain why their bottom line is always more important than the greater good: You say you want to raise the federal minimum wage? Why, you’ll only make things worse for the very people you want to help! Should we hold polluters accountable for the toxins they’re dumping in our air and water? No, the free market will save us! Can we raise taxes on the rich to pay for universal healthcare? Of course not—that will kill jobs! Affordable childcare? Socialism! It’s always the same tired threats and finger-pointing, in a concentrated campaign to keep wealth and power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful.Corporate Bullsh*t will help you identify this pernicious propaganda for the wealthiest 1 percent, and teach you how to fight back. Structured around some of the most egregious statements ever made by the rich and powerful, the book identifies six categories of falsehoods that repeatedly thwart progress on issues including civil rights, wealth inequality, climate change, voting rights, gun responsibility, and more. With amazing illustrations and a sharp sense of humor, Corporate Bullsh*t teaches readers how to never get conned, bamboozled, or ripped off ever again.

    • TZ November 12, 2023 (10:58 am)

      How much do they get paid now?

    • Reality Check November 12, 2023 (12:13 pm)

      This isn’t a union. A union forms through a free and fair election among the staff to form a union. A union has a structure and elected representatives. A union engages in negotiations with the ownership and only calls a strike when negotiations fail AND the majority of union members vote to strike.Somebody got fired and was pissed about it. They grabbed a couple friends, pitched a tantrum, and called themselves a union.Are there legitimate complaints? Likely. There usually are, at any workplace. COULD a union be formed? Maybe. SHOULD a union be formed? Probably. I am of the opinion that most workplaces should be unionized.But the fact remains that no union was formed. Go ask the protesters these simple questions:1. When was the vote held to unionize?2. How many people attended that meeting?3. What were the vote results?4. When were the WRITTEN union demands given to the ownership?5. What was the response of the ownership? Was there a counteroffer? If so, what was it?I think you will discover that no vote was ever held and written union demands were NEVER given to the ownership. Because there’s no union. This is roughly equivalent of giving themselves the title of Doctor after putting a bandaid on a scratch.It’s deeply disrespectful to the hard work and sacrifices made by people who have made REAL unions.I support real unions. I do not support disgruntled employees playing dress-up as a union because they aren’t willing to put in the hard work to build the real thing. Waving signs and yelling is fun. Building a union is long hours of incredibly boring work.I stand with REAL unions, not temper tantrums.

      • Hal2001 November 13, 2023 (7:14 pm)

        Considering the current market, I’m amazed this theater is still open.So going after the locally owned dilapidated cinema is hardly sticking it to the man.

    • TZ November 12, 2023 (12:16 pm)

      It is more prudent to seek a higher paying job now than to run this place out of business first. They won’t be more marketable by the time they sink Admiral Theater if their only focus in the meantime is demanding more without offering more. If the idea to upskill, job search and make themselves more valuable to potential employers hasn’t occurred to these people, Kshama Sawant would better serve them by sponsoring a job fair than a protest.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 13, 2023 (8:59 am)

        Suffer for your meager wage. Also find the time and funds to upskill.

        Great society!

    • Sam November 12, 2023 (5:44 pm)

      Admiral theater can probably use some community volunteers to help them through re-staffing. 

      • Jethro Marx November 12, 2023 (7:28 pm)

        It is not legal to run a for-profit business with volunteer labor.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 13, 2023 (1:25 pm)

        The Delridge Grocery Co-Op needs volunteers today if you’re looking for something that actually helps your community.

      • Luis November 20, 2023 (12:30 am)

        There could be some fund raising for it.

    • Sigh November 13, 2023 (9:04 am)

      I feel like the entitlement in these comments have more than explained why the poor souls working at the Admiral Theatre deserve $25/hour.  

    • Jeff November 13, 2023 (11:38 am)

      The same people that want homeless to “go get a job” also want to keep wages low so they can’t afford homes. Crazy how that works, huh?

    • Scarlett November 13, 2023 (1:16 pm)

      “Greed is good.”
      – Gordon Gekko

      Well, it all depends, doesn’t it?  If you are  a fake conservative or a fake-classical-liberal-Democrat, this motto doesn’t apply to a lowly wage earner who should bend over and be happy with what they are given.  Instead of protesting working conditions or their current wage,  the low wage earner should just give up, slink away, and let the next employee(s) deal with it.  Because as has been amply claimed here (from those who made a nickel an hour and walked ten miles to work – in raging snowstorms) these theatre employees are all spoiled, entitled brats who aren’t interested in improving themselves.   

      The longer I am here, the more I realize that Seattle is a company town with a superficial “progressive” frosting.   Seattle is one of the Russian nesting dolls; an enigma, wrapped up inside a contradiction, inside a paradox.  I’m not sure even Seattleites know who they are.     

      “No one gives you anything, you have to take it.”
      – The Departed 

      • jjjettplane November 14, 2023 (7:49 am)

        We don’t know who we are?? Do you expect everyone to think alike then? One big collective mind?“I think that makes America wonderful, that we have different opinions.” (Insert “Seattle” if you like.)– Ainsley Earhardt

    • Why November 13, 2023 (8:54 pm)

      I support labor all the way. But this is the conundrum of late-stage capitalism. We can argue and debate all night long, but it won’t fix  an unsustainable economic system.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 14, 2023 (11:29 am)

        The only real answer here. Unfortunately, we’re pretty far from being able to have this conversation.

    • K November 14, 2023 (2:42 am)

      No adult living anywhere around that theatre can afford to take that job for $20 an hour. Teenagers can, adults cannot. Seems to me the theatre needs to hire more teenagers instead. Red flags on companies who hire adults on minimum wage. Jmo. Protesting though? Just move on and up. 

    • Union Strong November 14, 2023 (8:29 am)

      If they want $25 an hour they should join one of the local trade unions, depending on the trade that’s about what a starting apprentice makes day one. 50% of a journeyman’s wage with full benefits, and they will be learning a skill to boot. 

      • Derek November 14, 2023 (3:23 pm)

        Any skill can be a union not just one you approve of 

    • AL November 14, 2023 (11:33 am)

      Those picketers are certainly entitled to picket.  Perhaps they should put that much time and effort into finding a job that pays them what they claim they are “entitled” to get.   I will be going to Admiral Theater as much as I can to support the theater and gladly walk through those lazy people.  Thank you Janet from the theater for speaking out.  Hopefully- you have fired them all.  If they don’t like the treatment then they should go where they might find more happiness and fulfillment.  No one is holding them to this job.

    • CW November 14, 2023 (1:47 pm)

      So, telling people NOT to come to the theater means less income for the theather which means less money to pay employees, or perhaps, start laying people off.  

      • WestSeattleBadTakes November 14, 2023 (5:29 pm)

        It’s almost like we should fight for a more fair society rather than play all of these games.

    • J November 19, 2023 (11:30 am)

      Is there an update on this strike? Are we still avoiding seeing movies at admiral?

      • Fauntlee Hills November 20, 2023 (12:53 pm)

        J,  my daughter and I went to the theater Saturday night, and the picketer’s were still there. Most of the protesters were polite; I just walked in without much interference. Once inside the theater staff was warm and thankful to see customers. 

      • Luis November 21, 2023 (12:18 am)

        On the weak days you should see 1 to 3 people picketing. Friday to Sunday is where it is most likely get to be the worst. If you do get harassed or have any problems with the people in the protest. You can let any of the staff know and they will help you.

    Sorry, comment time is over.