The World of Theater Projectionist

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The World of Theater Projectionist

Thisblog will be filled with stories concerning the theater projectionistand their adventures. Behind the scenes silliness. Stories of thosehard working folks up in the booth.

I was a projectionist back in the day before VCRs. Before DVDs. A 50 cent theater. Yes it costs only fifty cents to go see a movie. Plus a buck and a half would get you a bag of popcorn and a soda. We would show movies that were a year old. The big theaters cost maybe four bucks to see a film...sometimes you would get a double feature. A first run film, a cartoon and a year old film. For four dollars. And no this was not in the 30s. This was in the early 1970s. No we didn't have VCRs then. And no real cable. We had 7 television stations. We only had ABC, NBC and CBS plus PBS. No MTV. No ESPN. No Fox. No reality TV. No American Idol. Johnny Carson was the host of the Tonight Show and there was nothing else after it, except"sign-off" news and the National Anthem.

So the big entertainment was the movie theater. My "home town" was Corona California.
We had one theater. One screen. The next town was Riverside. Maybe 5 miles away was another single screen theater. The Arlington. Then another 5 miles to the center of Riverside where there was a Fox theater. Owned at one time by Fox Pictures. This is where they played the first run movies. At this there were very few theaters with multiple screens. If there were any, please tell me. The only theaters at this time with more than one screen were drive-in theaters. Yes, we still had drive-ins at this time.

I worked at the Corona Theater for about two years. I projected Godfather and Jeremiah Johnson among many other great and not so great films. Those 2 are two of my all time favorites. Currentlythe theater is owned by a church. They no longer show those good oldfilms.

With this blog, I invite others who were projectionist back in the good old days before platters, before multiplexes. To tell us some of your stories. But...if you have some fun stories about being a projectionist in a multiplex, please tell us about them.

Waiting for that dot in the upper right corner AND your stories...


At 8:17 PM, Blogger achangeinscenery said...

Let's hear some stories! I am an out of work projectionist, fell across your site via Cinema Treasures...

At 2:28 AM, Blogger DALE said...

My father and uncle ran the Corona Theatre in the late 70's. They featured Spanish speaking films. The previous owner had committed suicide by shotgun in the downstairs office.It was rumored he had ties to organized crime.They also owned and operated the Grand Theatre in Buena Park Ca.(Later to become the Pussycat)My brother and I have fond memories of helping out in the projection room with our father now deceased.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Clyde Johnson said...

Was O'Halloran your manager? I ushered the Corona Theater between 71 & 73, (while attending RCC) before getting a job with Johns-Manville in Corona.

Favorite memory was the projectionist stumbling downstairs into the lobby during the last part of a film, doubled up laughing, "they never noticed! They never even noticed!"

He had accidentally run reels 1-3-2-4 for "Toklat, The Bear" during the kids matinee. Seems like his name was Victor....

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Clyde Johnson said...

Victor, you still here? I ushered the Corona Theater between 71 & 73


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