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Evening work options for retirees who burn the midnight oil

5. Cinema or Theater Ticket Vendor or Usher

The nitty-gritty: There's something romantic about the silver screen, a movie theater as the lights dim, the playhouse when the curtain is set to rise. There's a certain excitement and anticipation that theatergoers arrive with that is, well, joyful. Your duties are more mundane; usually taking place behind bulletproof glass with a microphone that lets you cheerfully greet the next in line. You're in charge of the till from collecting the cash and rendering change to handling credit card transactions. Theater owners count on you to make sure the receipts match the tickets sold. A thick skin can come in handy when disappointed wannabe ticket buyers arrive too late to score a seat. Be prepared to offer expert advice on alternative choices. Beware of the sly youngsters trying to sneak into R-rated movies without an adult. If you opt to usher, you'll have a little more heavy lifting since you'll be in charge of assisting patrons to find seats and searching for lost articles. Hopefully you're handy with using a flashlight in darkened theaters. This is not the time for "break a leg." Best part: First dibs on first-run matinee showings or popular performances sure to sell out.

The hours: Shifts can start as early as 4 p.m. and run well past the midnight show time. Work often includes weekends, evenings and holidays. Can be less than 20 hours a week.

Median pay range: $7.60 to $13.37. One possible perk: discounted tickets.

Qualifications: On-the-job training and basic math for sales transactions. Most of this is computerized, but you're ultimately responsible for careful accounting. The best way to get a foot in the door is to contact your local movie theater chains and arts venues to see what might be available. Lights, camera, ready for action!

Kerry Hannon, AARP jobs expert, is a career transition expert and an award-winning author. Her books include What's Next? Finding Your Passion and  Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … and Pays the Bills. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon.

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