Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Projectionist

I hadn't seen the news before, but the legendary projectionist of the Catlow Theater in Barrington, IL, Jim Hollister, died a couple months ago. A nice story about him and his obituary.

"The Man Who Wasn't There" was the last time I saw a movie at the Catlow and it was probably the most perfectly focused and weave-less projected film I had seen in 10 years -- and that includes Pixar and Dreamworks premieres I've been to.

Being a projectionist is a lost art in the modern era. Typically the local movieplex's acne-faced teen goes up there and flips the switch to start the platter system and the movie. They don't care. I'm not sure they even look at what they're projecting. Soon, film won't be distributed--movies will be digitally projected--and there will be even less manual intervention to get the film going. The film will probably start on a timer, the focus "automatic".

RIP Jim Hollister, I really appreciated the work you did at the Catlow for so many years, even before I knew anything about the technical nature of projecting film. Thanks.

1 comment:

b said...

Timeout NY had an article about 10 years ago that compared all the theaters in NY and gave them grades. I believe the Sunshine is one of the best projections here. Now if I only ever saw a movie in the theater again.