Motion picture projectionist

What they do

Projectionists set-up, operate and maintain film projectors in cinema complexes, outdoor cinemas and drive-ins. They receive, store and archive the film reels that are obtained by cinemas, cut, splice (join) and unsplice film, and maintain film projection and cinema audio equipment. Whilst screening films projectionists load the film reel, feed the film into the projector, play the film, and adjust the focus and sound. They also replace worn parts and undertake general maintenance of projection equipment. Projectionists work all over Western Australia, in cinemas and drive-ins that exist in many of our cities and towns.

Working conditions

Projectionists work in the projection booths of cinema complexes, outdoor cinemas, like the famous Sun Picture Theatre in Broome, and drive-ins. The rooms they work in are usually dimly lit and climate controlled. They usually work in shifts, which may include late nights and on weekends and public holidays. They often work alone.

Tools and technologies

Projectionists handle film and film reels, and operate film projectors. Most of the modern film projectors that are in use in contemporary cinemas are automated, so there is no need for multiple projectors. Projectionists also operate sound equipment, and may also use equipment to cut and splice film. They transport film using platter systems, and may also use radio telephones to communicate in-house in multi-theatre complexes.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a motion picture projectionist without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. Employers will usually provide this training on the job.

Required registration and licensing