Sunday, March 22, 2009

Old School Movies

OK, the narrator is a bit douchey and I think he could have done a better job of explaining things, but he hits the basics.

One of my earliest jobs was as a projectionist (a promotion from usher and concession attendant) at the Cinema 21 movie theater in Excelsior Springs.

This was in the early '70's and we still used 40 year old Peerless Carbon Arc 35mm Projectors.

Yes, those are chimneys on the projectors. You needed those to dissipate the heat from the carbon rods.

It's essentially a welding iron supplying the light and an incredibly complicated mechanical gearing and timing mechanism to sync up the picture, the sound, and the hand off between the two projectors that coordinate the 6 reels of film.

Projecting a movie was a fairly elaborate and complicated dance that required impeccable timing and precision. It was fun.

We used to enjoy changing the sequence of the reels. Reel 1, Reel 6, Reel 3, Reel 5, etc. It was the 70's. Most of the audience was stoned out of their mind and if they couldn't follow things they just assumed it was one of them "foreign art films" and they pretended to "get it".

Fucking hippies!


m.v. said...

this is cool,when I was in the army our projectionist borrowed reels from the nearby town and had to run them back-and-forth because they were showing the same movie at the same time.

Hyperblogal said...

I got to visit the projection room at the old Gladstone Theater at St. John and Elmwood one day.... looks like the same projectors. Fascinating post.

KC Sponge said...

I love that you remember the model of the projector you worked with 30 years ago. I can't wait for you to die so that I can dissect your brain. =)