These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection

Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection

Before digital took over, a theater's projectionist used to be an essential part of the business. Their mastery of the equipment made a trip to the movies possible. A series of photos by Joseph O. Holmes documents the remains of a dying profession.

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The Booth is a project exploring the people, places, and processes behind the last remaining holdouts of analog film projection. Holmes visited theaters in the north-eastern United States for the project. His striking portrayals of tiny dim rooms, scattered equipment, and reels of celluloid seem ancient even though it was only a few years ago that theaters started to convert to digital projection systems en masse.

Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
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Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
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Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
Illustration for article titled These Intimate Portraits Show the Fading World of Film Projection
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There are still projection rooms up and running here and there despite the digital revolution. Some believe that the experience of viewing a projected film is a unique and valuable one that deserves preservation. Here's to hoping that future generations will be able to feel the warm flicker of film—somewhere.

You can see Holmes' photographs in person at The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens through February 2nd, 2014. The complete gallery can also be viewed here. [via FastCo]

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DISCUSSION

I have a part-time job at a small movie theatre near Toronto and I was probably one of the last people ever to be trained as a projectionist anywhere. My theatre only went digital this past winter and even though digital is better in almost every way I really miss the projectors. There was just something so awesome about them. When I was younger being a projectionist was alway my dream job so when I got a chance to do it I jumped at it, even though I knew it would only last for a few years because everything was already going digital. I was lucky enough to be back in school and have time to learn a job with no future while at the same time learning about high tech things in school. I think the thing I miss the most is the noise the projector makes while its running.