Junior works at family business


Mary Ann Karam

At the concession stand, junior Sarah Karam works another shift at Atlas Cinemas.

Katie Cohen, Guest Writer

Junior Sarah Karam works at the Atlas Cinemas in Mentor that her mom owns.

Karam has a deep connection to the theaters, as her uncle was the founder of the company. She said, “He passed away a long time ago, so when I go it’s happy that I’m kind of making him proud; that I’m doing good, and I like seeing my mom working and seeing her kids working, like following up in her steps, and I like most of the people.”

Karam has a multitude of jobs that she covers at the theater. She said, “I can either be an usher, which I have to clean the theaters after each movie gets let out and make sure there’s nothing wrong with like the lights or anything, or I could be on floor staff, which means I have to help behind the stand and make sure everything’s stocked and serve people, or I could be ‘box’ which sells tickets, but usually that’s the adults.”

Some of the difficulties that Karam must face is having to deal with difficult people, along with people making assumptions about her. She said, “[People say] that you have privileges, which we don’t. We’re the same as everybody else.”

Karam’s mom, Mary Ann, vouches for her daughter’s work, explaining she always keeps herself busy. Mary Ann said, “They know that she’s the owner’s daughter, but she works like everyone else. I mean she’s done pretty much everything except for running the actual movie.”

Karam works longer and more frequent shifts during different times of the year. She said, “In the summer I worked three days a week from about 2:00pm to 10:30pm or 12am. Now I work either on Saturdays or Sundays from 2pm to 9pm.”

Recent staff shortages have made Karam even more valuable to the company, according to her mom. “It helps us out because she’s working. Between her, and then my son works there as well, that’s helping us because nobody wants to work,” Mary Ann said.

Karam’s interest in working at the theater started when she saw her older brother start there. She said, “I was like ‘hey, I want to do something’ so my mom was like ‘okay, at that age, if you’re ready, you can start helping.’ And then I started out for like a year and then I progressed.”

Karam feels this experience is teaching her good skills she may need to use in the future. She said, “It’s taught me how to deal with tough situations and how to talk with people, because that’s what I have to do every day, and how to know how to order things for like businesses and stuff.”