Area Manager
Vue Cinemas

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Darryl L

00:01 My name’s Darryl L and I’m an area manager for VUE. We have 70 cinemas in the UK and one in Portugal and Taiwan. I lead a team of general managers and their management teams to maximise financial gain and to ensure that the quality and the people development of all of the cinemas is right to the brand standard.

00:26 I live in Leeds, I look after central London. I do a lot of commuting and I stay over in London 2, 3 nights a week.

00:34 It’s hard, I’ve always done it, what I like about working in London is there’s one big commute and then you’re quite close to all of your, your businesses so within 20 minutes you can go onto another business rather than another 2 hour drive. In terms of family life, I have a very, very understanding wife.

00:55 Always been quite creative, I’ve spent probably most of my school years and ended up working to degree level as a graphic designer, I think that’s what I always really, really wanted to do right up until my final year.

01:09 I’d worked during my university and probably my A levels at a theme park and had managed through seasonal work to make my way into management and I just loved the interaction, I loved the level of interaction that we had with both customers and to be able to lead a team and work with people. I was completely confused about what I wanted to do, what I knew I didn’t want to do was sit behind a desk and design logos for a living. What I knew I really enjoyed was interacting and working with people and what I also know is that I’d got a big student overdraft so I took a job as an assistant manager in the cinema industry thinking that I was going to last for 6 months, pay off my overdraft and then go travelling and find myself and see what I really wanted to do.

01:56 That was 16 years ago. They promoted me from an assistant manager to a manager they gave me plenty of praise and said, you’re one of the best young managers we’ve seen, I’ll stay for another 6 months, so I stayed for another 6 months, this was in the Nottingham and the Midland area after I’d been with the company for about 12 months, they offered me a move to one of the biggest cinemas in the country at the time in Leeds so I went to do that, met my wife, settled down, got married.

02:28 My dad was a factory manager and my mum was a dinner lady. So, so no synergy at all, they were always enormously supportive. I am I believe to this date probably the only of my immediate family to go onto university, and I’m certainly the only one to move away from the Nottingham area and go and kind of spread my wings.

02:52 My parents got divorced when I was 11, and going to Karate was something that my dad and I did together every Thursday and every Sunday which meant that I got to see him, I lived with my mum and we had a common bond you know something that we, we were able to kind of do together and it meant that I saw him on a regular basis.

03:21 I did cope, I don’t know, I don’t remember, I remember being very upset, I remember being very worried about my mum, so I guess I was just very supportive to my mum and you know tried to be a good role model for my brothers and kept them out of you know as much mischief as I could over the years.

03:42 I had a really clear direction and ended up not taking it, I think certainly from an education point of view, I really benefited from the study it helps you plan and organise your time and commit to a goal and I think as an employer now that’s what I look for when I’m interviewing general managers, what you need to find is something that you’re, you like and that you’re really passionate about.


Darryl L is an Area Manager for Vue Cinemas. “I lead a team of general managers and their management teams to maximise financial gain and to ensure that the quality and the people development of all of the cinemas is right to the brand standard”. Despite living in Leeds, he manages the Central London area.

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