A Projectionist is a person who operates a movie projector. In the strict sense of the term this means any film projector and therefore could include someone who operates the projector in a show . In common usage the term is generally understood to describe a paid employee of a movie theater. They are also known as "operators"
Some larger theater chains are now in the process of eliminating the projectionist's job altogether
In Britain,this started to happen early 2000 onward as labour laws were wiped out by then. The introduction of digital cinema projection, on a significant scale from approximately 2006-08, is rapidly bringing to an end the role of the projectionist as a professionally skilled operator of film-based projection equipment in mainstream theatres The major chains in the US and Europe are in the process of a large-scale conversion to digital projection, in some ways comparable to the mass installation of sound equipment in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The basic operation of digital cinema servers and projectors requires little more than routine IT skills and can be performed by a theatre's front-of-house and managerial staff with minimal extra training. Within a few years, it is likely that projectionists, in the traditional sense of the word, will only be found in the small number of arthouse, cinematheque and repertory theatres that will continue to show film prints from archival collections.
In the last days of analogue film, a small outpost of resistance to the sweeping digital tide remains in the heart of London - The Cinema Obscura - the last bastion of scratchy, warm, sometimes slightly blurry film...
The Projectionists. A web series.
I have been lucky enough to work as a projectionist for the past 7 years at the oldest cinema in the country, the Duke of York's in Brighton, at a time when the craft is being lost to Digital technology. This documentary is about the fragility of projection and the tactile pleasure of exhibiting film. A couple of years ago i started putting together a project about 35mm projection with the help of my good friends MJ Smith and Tom Dumican as Writer and Producer respectivly. We mangaed to recruit the amazing talents of Toby Bennet as DOP, Matt Shuttleworth as Editor and Andy Phillips as composer and with a lot of love and very little time or money got the film made.
A video of my friend, Bill, threading-up the last 35mm film print to ever run in a Palace Cinema on its season release. Over the following three days, the analogue machines were replaced with digital projectors, and Bill and I found ourselves out of a job.
The song is 'Farewell Song' by The Agrarians:
How is digital cinema affecting the craft of Film Projecting?
This is a preliminary interview with Greg Sherman for a documentary project about the craft and stories behind film projectionists.
Special Thanks to Greg Sherman, Greg Wolfe, Genevieve Okupniak and The Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Projectionists and Projection
As cinema moves from film to digital there have been a number of different films made about projectionists and the change over. This channel is an attempt to collect all of those films and stories together in one place. Along the way I have also found some short films which have projectionists as part of the theme or character of the film and these have been added also.