WANT TO GET INVOLVED? BECOME AN USHER TODAY!
Our No. 1 goal here at the Paramount Theatre is to ensure our patrons have a fabulous night of entertainment. From getting their tickets to finding their seats to sitting back and enjoying the show, we want everything to be perfect. As an usher, we want you to help make that happen.
We currently have over 270 volunteer ushers and are always looking for more as our seasons grow. Not only do we use ushers for our Broadway Series, we need them for our Young Audience Program, Classic Movie Mondays, concerts, comedians, rental events, dance recitals, graduations and more. If there’s something happening here, we need people like you to make sure everything runs smoothly.
As the face of theatre, it’s up to our ushers to answer questions, show people the way to their seats and have a general knowledge of the theatre, just to name a few duties. We’re looking for enthusiastic people that have a passion for the arts and growing the community.
Sound like you? Great! Click on the tabs for everything you need to know.
USHER PROGRAM MANAGER
PARAMOUNT THEATRE MISSION STATEMENT
The Aurora Civic Center Authority is committed to being a defining catalyst for personal and community transformation by: making the performing arts accessible for every age and socio-economic background, introducing the magic of live theatre across generations to encourage expansive imaginations and broad views of people and the world, and contributing to the future stability and growth of Aurora’s downtown.
- Arrive at least 90 minutes before each performance
- Knowledge of theatre layout (seats, emergency exits, ATMs, bathrooms, bars, box office, merchandise counter, etc.)
- General knowledge of show (runtimes, intermission, subject matter, rating, etc.)
- Greet patrons
- Scan tickets
- Stuff and pass out programs
- Guide patrons to the correct row and seat number
- Direct bathroom lines
- Enforce and demonstrate theatre etiquette
- Ensure positive patron experience
- Enforce policies (photo, video, food, late seating, etc.)
- Manage coat check, hearing devices and booster seats
- Keep theater tidy
- Respect patrons, staff and fellow ushers
- Follow and respect usher program guidelines set by management
WOMEN’S DRESS CODE
- Long sleeved white collared blouse or turtleneck tucked in
- Paramount vest (buttoned)
- Black skirt/dress pants
- Black or tan hose
- Black closed toe shoes
- Hand-held flashlight
- Volunteer badge
MEN’S DRESS CODE
- Long sleeved white collared dress shirt or turtleneck tucked in
- Paramount vest (buttoned)
- Black dress trousers
- Black socks
- Black shoes
- Hand-held flashlight
- Volunteer badge
And remember, in the immortal words of “Annie”…“You’re never fully dressed without a SMILE.”
DESIGNATED USHER PARKING
- When ushering, please park in the designated usher lot: 75 S Water St, Aurora IL 60505.
- Free street parking is also available with no time limit at the following times:
Monday through Friday after 8 p.m.
Saturday after 2 p.m.
No time limit on Sundays.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Is this a paid position?
Q. How old do I have to be to usher?
A. 16 years or older
Q. What level of commitment is needed?
A. We’re willing to work around your schedule, but the more you can serve as an usher, the better! We don’t have a required time commitment, but we recommend ushering a minimum of four performances per Broadway production. You are also encouraged to work the various one-off shows held throughout the season.
Q. Is there designated parking for ushers? If so, is it free?
A. Yes, please park in the designated usher lot: 75 S Water St, Aurora IL 60505. Free street parking is also available with no time limit at the following times: Monday through Friday after 8 p.m. and Saturday after 2 p.m. There is no time limit on Sundays.
Q. What is the usher dress code?
A. Please click on the Dress Code tab for full details for men and women.
Q. What are the general duties of an usher?
A. General duties include greeting patrons, scanning tickets, hosting coat check, seating patrons, stuffing & handing out programs, assisting with patron needs. Click on the Expectations tab for complete details.
Q. How many shows do I have to work at?
A. We ask that you work a minimum of four performances per Broadway production. Of course, you are welcome to work as much as you’d like.
Q. How late do I have to stay?
A. Ushers typically stay around 30 minutes after each performance to tidy up the theatre and put the coat room back in order.
Q. What is the price of Coat Check?
A. Coat check is free, but we accept donations that help fund the Usher Christmas Party.
Q. When did the Paramount Theatre open?
A. The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931 at a cost of $1 million.
Q. When was remodeling done?
A. Remodeling began in 1976 when the Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased it for restoration.
Q. When was the Grand Gallery built?
A. The 12,000 sq. ft. Grand Gallery was built in 2006, which added a new, state-of-the-art box office, cafe and art gallery.
Q. When are new shows scheduled?
A. Shows are scheduled throughout the year depending on artist availability.
Q. Why are there not more special shows?
A. Due to our Broadway Series, we can only book so many shows during the season.
“My husband Joe and I started ushering at the Paramount in 1997 under the leadership of Mary Wolding, Manager of volunteers. We both enjoyed helping out in all capacities and were excited about having the privilege of being able to watch some of the shows at this outstanding theatre. We felt that following the rules set up by the staff at the Paramount helped things run smoothly and made this theatre a place we were and are proud of…
It has been a pleasure ushering here.”
-Marlene Richards–Joe Richards (1997-2004)
“Twenty-two years ago, I began a new life. I moved alone to my townhouse and began ushering at Paramount Art Centre. I had played clarinet with bands on the stage and in the Fox Valley Symphony under the stage, as we played for ballet, with the thumping of slippers above us, so I knew the beautiful “house” before I decided to run its aisles. The Paramount has been a very important part of my life, and I appreciate more every year, the gem it is in the center of my beloved town…
I’m so grateful to be a part of this group of dedicated people who are making this Gem of Aurora even better every year.”
“What a great gig, being a volunteer usher at the beautiful Paramount Theatre. I love interacting with our patrons as I greet them at the door or show them to their seats. It’s great to see the familiar faces of returning patrons like reconnecting with old friends. If you are looking for a great place to volunteer, want to make a contribution to the community or if you have secretly always wanted to be on stage come join me here at the Paramount…
You’ll love it, I do. Proud and privileged to be a part of the Paramount.”
“I have been a volunteer usher for about 10 years and still consider myself very fortunate to be part of the Paramount Usher family. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the productions the Paramount presents and the excellent, talented folks that are part of each show. The staff is great to work with and they make volunteering here a pleasure. I enjoy my interaction with the patrons as well and value the opportunity to enhance their Paramount experience…
I am proud to represent the Paramount as an usher and look forward to each season!”
-Sharon M Jacobs
“To me, all ushers are like family and all seem to get along. Personally, I enjoy what I do for the Paramount. It has helped me to grow in appreciation for the arts and also the relationship with my fellow ushers. Most of the time, it is a fun opportunity and sometimes challenging, which also helps me. To be an usher you need to have a friendly personality, be responsible, be able to be courteous to all and be flexible. By being flexible, your opportunities can be limitless. You can grow more and never be bored. As head usher, I try to give ushers the option of asking what they would like to do before signing them to a position. We as ushers have to be polite to the patrons even if they are mean or seem unhappy…
Just put on that happy smile as you want them to come back.”
“I have been an usher since 2007 at the Paramount Theater. It had been an awarding volunteering experience for me. I have seen some amazing productions the theater has offered but more than that I am part of a wonderful community of friends. We are from all walks of life and at different stages of our lives but we come together to make our patrons have the best theatrical experience. From greeting the patrons, to scanning their tickets, getting them to their correct seats, to wishing them a good day or night and thanking them for coming to the theater. We have a great front office to help us make the patrons have the best experience. No major skills are needed to volunteer but only the ability to have a smile on your face.
I am so glad that I have had this opportunity and continue to look forward to the next season of volunteering at the beautiful Paramount Theatre.”
“I enjoy being an usher at the Paramount Theatre. I love interacting with the patrons, the personnel and other ushers. Meeting seasonal ticket holders is always a treat – not only do they remember who I am, sometimes they seek me out just to say “Hello” and “Glad to see you again!” It truly makes you feel “special”, especially when they call you by name. On past occasions I even got to meet members of the casts from the different shows…
I recommend anyone who is looking for something to keep them occupied to join me and the other ushers at the theatre.”