become a movie projectionist

What does a Movie Projectionist do?

A movie projectionist sets up (or in some instances operates) a motion picture projection in order to play a movie on a large screen. Additionally, many of these workers are employed by movie theaters and have other tasks to perform as well. Next, watch a video on what a movie projectionist does:

How to Become a Movie Projectionist

become a movie projectionist

Movie projectionists are trained on-the-job by an experienced movie projection operator. This is also a job that students yet to graduate high school can apply for. According to O*NET OnLine, almost 50% of those surveyed had yet to earn their high school diploma and almost 50% had earned their high school diploma but had not taken any college courses yet.

Employers really like to see applicants with good customer service skills, those with flexible schedules, and people that the employer thinks will be reliable. Movie theaters are generally most busy at night and on weekends, so applicants that state they can work those shifts may be offered a position over a person with a more limited schedule.

Job Description of a Movie Projectionist

Depending on the movie projector, a projectionist would insert a film reel into a movie projector carefully and properly then start up the projector. They may need to also adjust the focus of the projector to ensure the image is crisp. Sounds are a vital component to most movies so they would also ensure the sound worked as well. If employed by a movie theater, these workers are most often tasked with collecting tickets, running food concessions, taking payment at cash registers, and cleaning up after customers have watched the movie. Many workers at theaters learn multiple job duties and help out where ever their supervisor sees fit.

Free Teacher and Student Resources

The University of Hong Kong offers a free Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens course on EdX.org. Additionally, you have the option to pay a small fee receive a verified certificate upon completion of the course.

Movie Projectionist Career Video Transcript

For people who love going to the movies, working as a motion picture projectionist can be a way to enjoy the silver screen from a brand new perspective. Projectionists run the projector and sound equipment that displays films on screen at movie theaters. Projectionists must start and end screenings on time, monitor the equipment and facility to ensure the show goes as planned, and may at times show films in multiple theaters simultaneously. Projectionists may also perform equipment maintenance.

While most theaters now have digital projectors, at some theaters or for special events, motion pictures may be screened directly from the film, which requires handling film reels, splicing film, and using specialized projection equipment. Motion picture projectionists typically work alone, indoors at movie theaters from small one-screen arthouse cinemas to large multiplexes… but projectionists also work at museums or outdoor drive-in theaters. Shifts typically start in the afternoon and run until closing time, usually around midnight. Motion picture projectionists have no specific education or previous work requirements, typically learning their skills on-the-job.

Article Citations

National Center for O*NET Development. 39-3021.00. O*NET OnLine. This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. RethinkOldSchool, Inc. has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.