Employees at the Redstone 8 Cinemas in Kimball Junction are negotiating with the theater’s parent company for a $15 an hour starting wage.
Zinnia Kenny is an employee at Redstone 8 and has worked there on and off since 2016. She told KPCW she and her colleagues sent documents to the theater’s parent company, Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Theatres, on August 9th requesting a raise to $15 an hour. Kenny said employees currently start at $10.50 an hour, with supervisors making $11.75.
She said employees’ requests are simple.
“Our sole demand is a $15 wage for the members of the Redstone 8 theater and in the future, the Holiday Village 4 theater,” Kenny said. “This is on par with other entry-level jobs here in Park City, as well as what they’re paying the theaters closer to their corporate office over in California, so we feel we’re being very reasonable, we’re not asking for any exceptional treatment here.”
Kenny said they have yet to receive an answer from Metropolitan Theatres and gave the company until Monday, August 16th to respond. If employees do not hear from them by then, Kenny said a strike is on the table.
“We’re focused on the present right now,” said Kenny. “We’re just dedicated to doing whatever it takes to give Park City a better theater, but [striking] is definitely a strong possibility.”
KPCW reached out to theater management and was directed to Metropolitan Theatres.
A representative for Metropolitan Theatres did not respond to KPCW’s request for comment.
KPCW has reported on several local businesses offering salaries well above $15 an hour to attract workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenny said that’s exactly why they’re trying to up their pay.
She said about 15 people currently work at the theater and wage issues have led to several departures and trouble hiring new employees.
“We’ve been having massive turnover because people come here, they want to be paid more, so they leave, and that leads to some pretty massive issues with training, with maintenance at the theater,” she said. “Frankly, yes, I can understand the thinking that theater employees need not be paid more, but this is Park City. Film is an integral part of our identity here as a town. The place where Sundance [Film Festival] is held -- and we do hold Sundance at that theater -- it needs to be kept to a higher standard than just your run of the mill theater.”
Kenny said business has picked up significantly in recent months, but has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels.