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Projection Party

Tuesday 3 January 2012, 14:56

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

I've frequently drawn attention to the dwindling number of projectionists in our cinemas and the awful danger of them disappearing altogether.

I recently went along to their annual gathering to present an award and meet some of the last members of this esteemed profession...

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    Comment number 1.

    Sorry Mark, I agree with you on a lot of things but to go from saying 'automated screenings sometimes fail and it is very annoying when they do' to 'a cinema without a projectionist is a sweet shop with a video' is a bit of a leap. Granted, if you can provide statistical evidence that they fail more often than manually projected screenings then fine, but we haven't seen that yet. It is sad to see people lose jobs that they have a passion for, but look at the other side of the argument: the consequence could be to drive down prices, making a trip to the cinema more attractive to a generation that prefers to download films for free.

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    Comment number 2.

    Of the two cinemas i regulary frequent i have never once experienced problems with the way the film was projected. Which made me think maybe a projectionist is still employed if only to over see the projection. So heres my suggestion to all kermodites: next time you go to the cinema ask if they still use a projectionist, it maybe they over see several screens at one time.

    With consumers able to choose how they see films cinemas themselves may become obsolete if they can't stay competitive.

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    Comment number 3.

    I was at a multiplex in Glasgow last week to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie (not very good, by the way - BBC series is better) and there they seemed to be offering me the choice of digital and non-digital projections. Is that common place? I live in the sticks and seldom get to a multiplex - my local cinema only has one screen, open three nights a week and not every week, and two excellent traditional projectionists who also serve as ushers before the film starts!
    I went for the digital Sherlock as that suited my schedule and it brokedown, though only briefly with no real impact on the film which (was well-made but essentially rubbish).

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    Comment number 4.

    With more and more content being delivered via the web (either legal pay-per-view or illegal downloads), more people adopting wide screen TVs and convergence of the web & TV/video it may only be the specialist cinemas that survive in a decade’s time.

    Anyone want to start a campaign to save the supermarket checkout worker as more and more supermarkets introduce scan-it-yourself systems?

    It’s one of the little talked about consequences of any technological/industrial revolution ~ it usually results in people losing their jobs as business owners realise there’s an opportunity to cut costs and increase profits. As for prices coming down, don’t hold your breath.

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    Comment number 5.

    "Anyone want to start a campaign to save the supermarket checkout worker as more and more supermarkets introduce scan-it-yourself systems?"

    Nah they will be fine as you need someone to enter a code when buying booze or films that have an age rating etc.

    It's the supermarkets 3D and I'm sure they only placed them for people who wanna do a small shop so the queues are smaller and the car park doesnt get packed when it doesn't have to meaning people don't drive to a local shop/another big chain elsewhere.

    Back on topic
    Mark being made a "crusader" made me chuckle :P

 

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