A Projectionist Speaks!


Q: What are those little “black dots” in the right-hand corner of the frame at the end of each reel for?
A: Well, the projectionist USES those to manually switch reels. (Even in the early ’90s, most cineplexes had switched to the “platter”… system, or so I was told; basically, they just splice all the reels together and let ’em run!) When the reel looks like it’s running low on film, you get into position, put your foot on the pedal (like a car accelerator’s pedal; it hooks the two projectors up to one another), and one the first one “blips,” you tense, waiting the five-seconds-or-so for the next one, then … “blip” *KERCHUNK!* You hit the pedal — switching to the other reel, on the other projector, which starts projecting at the screen instead of yours — and, hopefully, the transition is “seemless,” and no-one in the theater is none the wiser.

This happens EVERY TIME there’s a reel change, mind!
Q: How long are most reels?
A: About 20 min. of screen time. Most features are about 4-6 reels long.
Q: How’d it go when you had to “show captain” a Sunday matinee screening of “Gettsyburg,” the TNT Mini-Series with Jeff Daniels, which was like 3-4 hrs. long, or about 11-14 reels?
A: We got through it somehow. Nobody complained (thank god!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑


People and Trends


The work of Gill Hoffs


I came, I saw, I photographed... follow me in the footsteps of Hadrian!

The Miscreant

This is your stage

PSU Chronicles

The inside story of life at Portland State University from student bloggers

Gorilla Girl Adventures in Writing

BJC's blog about how living makes writing worthwhile

Museum of Mistakes

Putting things to work.

Counter Counter-Insurgency Convergence

Reed College, Portland OR. April 8th-10th


Culture of resistance against fascism!

Uncivilized Animals

"We are dreaming of a time when the land might give thanks for the people." -Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Portland Radicle

Sowing the Seeds of Liberation & Community

Carrie Russell

Some find inspiration in the wilderness. Others find themselves hopelessly lost.

Wendy Wimmer Dot Com

Writing. Banter. Toast making.

%d bloggers like this: