For an over-the-top fellow, Eric “Fluffy” Glover has a knack for understatement.
Morristown’s beloved “Ticket-Taker Guy,” whose comic routine has been a fixture for a generation of local movie-goers, said Thursday he hopes AMC Theatres will hire him when that chain replaces Clearview Cinemas at Headquarters Plaza.
“I’m going to go over and check it out,” said Fluffy, who has been unemployed since Clearview left town in June. “I am pretty sure people will be happy to see me there.”
A Fluffy Facebook tribute page has nearly 12,000 likes. For his 50th birthday, a bar where he moonlighted as a bouncer gave him a Cadillac.
Headquarters Plaza officials announced Thursday that AMC has leased the former Clearview 10-plex and plans to open in Morristown within 30 days, while making renovations for nine months.
New screens, digital projectors and audio systems are promised, along with “plush power recliners, a revamped concession area that includes hot foods such as mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, French fries and pizza, Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.”
When Clearview Cinemas sold its chain of theaters to Bow Tie Cinemas, Morristown was among a handful of venues that Bow Tie declined.
If AMC does the right thing and hires Fluffy, it won’t be the first time. He worked for AMC in 1987, when it opened the original movie chain at Headquarters Plaza. Fluffy remembers Full Metal Jacket, La Bamba, The Lost Boys and Dragnet were playing on that day.
This summer, Fluffy pursued jobs at movie theaters in Parsippany and Sucasunna. But they had no fulltime openings, he said. So he has been collecting unemployment and biding his time until the opening of Veronica’s Speedwell, where he expects to resume his bouncer career.
Like most people, however, he’d rather be in pictures. Or at least, in a pictures palace.
In all his years of colorful ticket-taking from movie patrons, Fluffy added, “I never called in sick. A lot of people told me they miss me being there….I do miss it in a lot of ways.”
The return of AMC also may be good news for Mark Ehrenkranz, impresario of the popular New York Film Critics Series.
Mark was forced to move his eight-week series to Parsippany when Clearview went dark in Morristown.
“Yeah! Are you kidding!” exclaimed the Morristown resident when asked if he hoped to bring the series back home.
But it depends on how renovations are configured, he said. If AMC retains a big 500-seat movie space, the series returns. “Otherwise, I stay in Parsippany.”
Eric “Fluffy” Glover, from the 2012 MorristownGreen.com Film Festival. His ticket-taking routine is at the end of the video, shot by Joey Gatto.