What does a Motion Picture Projectionist do?

Set up and operate motion picture projection and related sound reproduction equipment.

Jobs Roles

  • Insert film into top magazine reel, or thread film through a series of sprockets and guide rollers, attaching the end to a take-up reel.
  • Start projectors and open shutters to project images onto screens.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that standards for sound and image projection quality are met.
  • Operate equipment to show films in a number of theaters simultaneously.
  • Splice separate film reels, advertisements, and movie trailers together to form a feature-length presentation on one continuous reel.
  • Inspect movie films to ensure that they are complete and in good condition.
  • Set up and adjust picture projectors and screens to achieve proper size, illumination, and focus of images, and proper volume and tone of sound.
  • Inspect projection equipment prior to operation to ensure proper working order.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks such as rotating or replacing xenon bulbs, cleaning lenses, lubricating machinery, and keeping electrical contacts clean and tight.
  • Remove film splicing to prepare films for shipment after showings and return films to their sources.
  • Splice and rewind film onto reels automatically, or by hand, to repair faulty or broken sections of film.
  • Perform minor repairs such as replacing worn sprockets, or notify maintenance personnel of the need for major repairs.
  • Open and close facilities according to rules and schedules.
  • Observe projector operation to anticipate need to transfer operations from one projector to another.
  • Set up and inspect curtain and screen controls.
  • Project motion pictures onto back screens for inclusion in scenes within film or stage productions.
  • Remove full take-up reels and run film through rewinding machines to rewind projected films so they may be shown again.
  • Operate special-effects equipment, such as stereopticons, to project pictures onto screens.
  • Coordinate equipment operation with presentation of supplemental material, such as music, oral commentaries, or sound effects.
  • Install and connect auxiliary equipment, such as microphones, amplifiers, disc playback machines, and lights.
  • Prepare film inspection reports, attendance sheets, and log books.
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