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- Ideal for film lovers that are able to work on their own and can use their initiative
- Most jobs will require you to start work in the afternoon and continue until around midnight
- Working with traditional film projectors can be quite physical, as you'll need to lift and carry heavy film reel
As a cinema projectionist in an older cinema, you may run several mechanical projectors at once in different rooms. In modern cinemas the work is less physical, with digital projection systems instead of mechanical projectors and film reels.
For digital screening, you'll need to co-ordinate online delivery of the films with the distributor and manage the security systems to allow the films to be screened.
- Receiving and checking film reels
- Loading the films onto the projector in the right order
- Making sure the film runs smoothly through the projector
- Checking that sound is operating properly, joining ('splicing') lengths of film together if they break
- Storing the films safely
- Sending on the reels to other cinemas
- Looking after the projection equipment and organising services
- Being responsible for heating, lighting, ventilation and alarm systems in the cinema
In most jobs you'll start work in the afternoon and continue until around midnight. Many cinemas operate a shift system, including weekends. You'll work in a windowless, air-conditioned operating booth or projection box.
You'll usually work alone during screenings. Working with traditional film projectors can be quite physical, as you'll need to lift and carry heavy film reels. In some cinemas you may have to climb ladders to take care of the screen and curtains.
This role is ideal for film lovers that are able to work on their own and can use their initiative.
There are no set entry requirements, but you'll need to be at least 18, because of film classification laws.
It will help if you have IT skills, technical skills in electrics, electronics, cameras or sound equipment, and a keen interest and knowledge of UK, US and world cinema.
Employers may test your technical knowledge and ability before offering you a position.
You could join a film club to develop your knowledge of film formats and projection equipment, or do another job in a cinema and work your way up.
You could also learn some of the skills you'll need through a college course like a level 2 Certificate in Digital Media and level 2 Diploma in Digital Audio Visual Production.
With experience, you could become a head projectionist or move into programme management, selecting and scheduling films to be shown.