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Details for Motion Picture Projectionists


Set up and operate motion picture projection and related sound reproduction equipment.


  • Insert film into top magazine reel, or thread film through a series of sprockets and guide rollers, attaching the end to a take-up reel.
  • Start projectors and open shutters to project images onto screens.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that standards for sound and image projection quality are met.
  • Operate equipment in order to show films in a number of theaters simultaneously.
  • Splice separate film reels, advertisements, and movie trailers together to form a feature-length presentation on one continuous reel.
  • Inspect movie films to ensure that they are complete and in good condition.
  • Set up and adjust picture projectors and screens to achieve proper size, illumination, and focus of images, and proper volume and tone of sound.
  • Inspect projection equipment prior to operation in order to ensure proper working order.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks such as rotating or replacing xenon bulbs, cleaning lenses, lubricating machinery, and keeping electrical contacts clean and tight.
  • Remove film splicing in order to prepare films for shipment after showings, and return films to their sources.
  • Splice and rewind film onto reels automatically, or by hand, to repair faulty or broken sections of film.
  • Perform minor repairs such as replacing worn sprockets, or notify maintenance personnel of the need for major repairs.
  • Open and close facilities according to rules and schedules.
  • Observe projector operation in order to anticipate need to transfer operations from one projector to another.
  • Set up and inspect curtain and screen controls.
  • Project motion pictures onto back screens for inclusion in scenes within film or stage productions.
  • Remove full take-up reels and run film through rewinding machines to rewind projected films so they may be shown again.
  • Operate special-effects equipment, such as stereopticons, to project pictures onto screens.
  • Coordinate equipment operation with presentation of supplemental material, such as music, oral commentaries, or sound effects.
  • Install and connect auxiliary equipment, such as microphones, amplifiers, disc playback machines, and lights.
  • Prepare film inspection reports, attendance sheets, and log books.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


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Wages for this career
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