So have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the movies?
Well, now I can tell you.
Each week The Palace Amusement Company has 14 shows at the Carib 5 Movie Theatre.
As you know there are 5 Auditoriums. There are however only 2 projection rooms. Our main projection room services Cinemas 1-3. Cinema 3 is the largest of the 5 Auditoriums. It is also the only theater equipped to facilitate 7.1 Dolby Surrond Sound.
Q: So what is an average day in the life of a projectionist?
We power up the room, and go about by turning on breakers, our projectors and sound equipment. (See photos)
We have 5 digital servers/projectors, that are flanked by analog projectors. We run our movies digitally, but our intermissions are still run on film. We also occasionally also run 35mm trailers.
We ensure that our auditoriums are well lit, and that music is playing 90mins before our first showtime, and usually have both projection rooms up and running by 4pm.
We consistently start each show five minutes before the scheduled time. Each show includes:
The Show Start & The Palace Amusement Waltz
The National Anthem
15-20 mins of paid ads
The Countdown to the Feature
So on average partrons have 20-30 mins before the scheduled time before the feature begins
During this time we are on standby during the pre-show in case of digital blackouts, or any malfunctions.
As well as ensuring that the sound you hear in the auditorium is at specific levels for ads, trailers, features, etc.
Once we hit the feature we pretty much do other things until intermission.
Q: What am I trained to do?
During my 4 weeks of training I learnt to:
-build/create digital shows on the Dolby Cinema Server program
-load digital movies and movie licences
-clean, string and operate analog machines
-start/stop shows and run intermission
-build 35mm films
-troubleshoot server blackouts and power outages.
It’s not bad working for Palace Amusement. It’s something to do with my time. It’s discouraging when I think of the wages but it’s pretty straightforward, and I’m thankful for the hours and the opportunity to make some money. It’s not a lot, but I could not sit at home one more day. Yes I get off late and have only 1 day off a week but that’s okay. Things will work out with time. It’s a dead-end job in a way because you cannot climb much but I’m trying to practice professionalism and commitment regardless. As I’ve mentioned before I really appreciate my supervisor, and although things aren’t ideal, I really do take pride in a job well done when a show goes the way it’s supposed to and patrons have a seamless experience. That’s pretty neat.