It used to be that training managers to thread film and start projectors was a method to lower labor costs by bypassing the unions. It even happened in IMAX, where one well-known person in charge of a group of commercial IMAX theaters created the “projection manager” position when her IMAX theater opened in San Francisco. That’s right – “manager,” not “projectionist.”
So along comes digital and projectionists around the country are losing their jobs because apparently theater operators believe there’s nothing people can do that computers can’t do better.
I’ve noticed in a number of chains I’ve visited that as theaters have transitioned to digital, the problems have gotten out of hand. Out of synch sound, auditorium lighting issues, framing, focus – you name it. And it’s only getting worse.
Here’s a great example. This was taken last week during a REALD presentation of Hugo:
Theater owners – as long as you intend to project something on your screen, it’s in your best interest to keep professionals on staff who are experienced in the art and science of projection – they’re an elite force known as “The Projectionists.”