Once upon a time, this was a relatively easy section of the website to write about and it was possible to provide a large amount of information about the topic, but as Digital Projection equipment has taken over in cinemas it has become harder and harder.
After more than 100 years, the role of the Projectionist has all but been consigned to the history books, as virtually all the major cinema circuits have made all their projectionists redundant. Instead the tasks of a projectionist have been merged into other roles within the cinema, such as general manager or floor staff. The exact nature of these roles are different depending on the cinema chain in question.
There are a few cinema chains and independents who still have a specific technical role, which involves specific projection skills. However, these jobs are rare and not going to be advertised very often.
If you wish to become a projectionist, what do you mean? There is still a requirement for the skills of a projectionist, but they may not necessarily be within a traditional cinema, but with an AV company instead.
The result of this, is that there is not really an easy to define career or training route to becoming a projectionist. You will need to read the information which is available on the subject and have a practical go with the equipment.
If however, you wish to become a projectionist, but the nostalgia of it all, then you should consider becoming a member of the Projected Picture Trust, where you can learn to operate (and rebuild) a variety of film machinery.
Free Service: Get your job advert seen by thousands of targetted people! You are welcome to send me projectionist vacancies which will be posted up on this website and associated websites. One recent post for an independent cinema saw responses to their advert in less than 12 hours and more than advertising in the local newspaper. Email me at webmaster@madcornishprojectionist, providing all the information as you would like it posted.
THE PROJECTIONIST AGENCY website has also been setup to provide a place for people to either post or ask for job opportunities across the industry, although if you send me details of specific jobs, I will post them up here as well.
The two main bodies in the UK relevant for projectionists is the BKSTS (the British Kinographic Sound and Television Society) – and especially their committee, the Cinema Technology Committee who publish the leading industry journal, Cinema Technology Magazine. The other body is BECTU who are the main recognised union in cinemas who represent projectionists.
Alternative Roles/Non Standard
The major of projectionists jobs exist within one of the hundreds of multiplex cinemas across the country. The aim of most projectionists is to become the chief of their circuits flagship cinema, largely inLeicester Square, London running premiers, however there are opportunities to go onto the production and engineering side of the industry although these are very rare.
Outside of multiplex cinemas there are more speacialist requirements, such as preview theatres where the ability to run changeovers and have a good understanding of audio and video is required. There are also a number of film screenings which take part in non full-time cinemas, which like preview theatres, it maybe necessary to have an understanding of more theatrical techniques like lighting and sound – back far more to the early days of cinema, when cinemas had a theatrical element to them. For these roles, they are often advertised as a technician roles and in more theatre listing roles.
It is fair to say that most people are not projectionists because of the salary as it is not the highest paid job in the world, but the sort of income you can expect to receive as a projectionist is:
Starting salary £12K
Salary for experienced cinema projectionist £16K
Salary for chief projectionist in large cinemas £20K.
Most cinema chains have their own training programmes for technical roles. The main industry cinema trainers outside of specific chains is the Cinema Technology Committee, who are a sub committee of the BKSTS. They provide subsidised training programmes each year on a range of themes. Courses are advertised in the Cinema Technology Magainze (their quarterly journal, which is an absoulte must to read), along with their website and this website.
There isn’t currently a formal qualification required to be a projectionist, however the BKSTS in association with the CEA have recently launch a Projection Certificate which is designed to indicate that a projectionist has obtained a certain standard. It doesn’t specify any training in particular but a set of criteria which need to be maintained. You can get more details from the Cinema Technology Committee website.
If you would like more information on the certificate then the best person to contact is Alan McCann firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career Information Links
The information below, is largely going to now be out of date, as it mainly relates to the traditional role of the projectionist, but has been kept here for reference purposes:
Being a cinema projectionist – An interview with Roz Fowler who is a projectionist.
Career Builder Projectionist Jobs – This site is heavily American based. This link should go to a search for projectionists.
Careerjet – This site is a recruitment site, but lists cinema/projectionist related jobs.
Cinema Projectionist – Certificate III in Entertainment(Cinema Projection) – Description to Follow
Connexions Career Information – is a UK Government backed site which provides details on a large number of careers and includes information on cinema projectionists.
DETAIL 2 RETAIL LTD – Search for cinema related jobs
Entertainment Equipment – Cinema Training Centre – Cinema Training Central is the first permanent, professional management and technical training facility devoted to the cinema and entertainment industry. Managed as a not-for-profit venture by Entertainment Equipment Corporation, CTC is especially outfitted for training purposes. Unfortunately it is only American based.
Film-Tech – One of the forums on this site is for
employment being sought or offered.
Grape Vine Jobs – a site listing Film, Broadcast & Music jobs
Jacob Massey – The leading UK specialist audio visual and multi media recruitment consultancy, providing professional contract and permanent staff for all aspects of AV.
Jobrapido – is a recruitment website, which manages to list a good quality of projectionist or related jobs.
Kiwi Careers – Description to Follow
My Future – Description to Follow
National Amusements – The website for this Cinema chain – includes information about the company. There is also a section on careers.
Projectionist Certificate – details of the BKSTS/CEA Projectionist Certificate
The Projectionist Agency – this is a new site for advertising/posting projectionist/technician jobs and also to act as a directory of freelance projectionists/technicians.
Video Directory – Lists a number of sources to look at for cinema related jobs.
Worktrain – Projectionist Career information. – Provides a good selection of information on the career of being a projectionist, links.