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Cinema Projectionist Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Cinema Projectionist. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Cinema Projectionist
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Cinema Projectionist Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Projectionists operate the projectors that show films. They work in a projection room and are responsible for showing films that make up each performance.


  • receive the films, check them, repair when necessary and store them
  • load the spools onto the projectors in the right order
  • ensure that the film runs smoothly
  • sometimes join (splice) lengths of film together if they break
  • send them off to the next destination after the run of performances.
  • An important part of the work involves maintaining the projector. They also need to check that the sound is operating properly and at the right volume.

Most projectionists are also responsible for the technical operations of the cinema outside the projection room. These include: lighting of the cinema; heating; ventilation; fire alarms and equipment; electrical, water and gas supplies if installed.

They also have to acquire knowledge of the local licensing requirements for showing films and Health and Safety regulations concerning the cinema.

Hours and Environment:

Projectionists usually start work in the afternoon and continue until late at night. Some cinemas have extra late night performances. Many cinemas operate a shift system, including weekends.

Much of the work takes place in small windowless rooms that are air-conditioned and, as far as possible, dust-free.

The work may be strenuous as the films are heavy and lifting and carrying is involved. If the work includes care of the screen and curtains projectionists would also need to be able to work at heights.

Skills and Interests:

To be a projectionist, you should:

  • have an interest and ability in mechanics and electronics
  • be practical by nature
  • have problem-solving skills
  • have an interest in how things work
  • be able to carry out routine jobs quickly
  • be patient and alert
  • observe strict punctuality to run the films according to the programme
  • have an eye for detail
  • have good sight and hearing, with good hand/eye co-ordination to keep films in focus.


There are no minimum requirements for entry into work as a cinema projectionist. However, an interest in films and the film industry are essential. It would also be helpful to have evidence of a basic technical skill or a foundation course in sound, cameras or electronics. A City and Guilds in Electrical Installation would be useful.

You may have to undergo an entry test to determine your aptitude.


Initial training will be on-the-job but the majority of cinemas now belong to major leisure complexes, and entry and training are increasingly being formalised. You are likely to be sent on training courses from time to time.

Opportunities exist to attend training programmes and courses provided by a variety of organisations that can lead to NVQ/SVQ Film Projectionist at Level 2.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Cinemas are part of the growing leisure industry. New modern complexes are being built in or near large towns and cities. Older cinemas are constantly being modernised. In the next few years cinemas will begin to be equipped with new digital delivery systems via satellite, cable or DVD. This will gradually replace the traditional film and projectors.

For those with a serious interest in the industry, there will be prospects of promotion to senior projectionist or to assistant managerial and administrative levels.

Opportunities to move into other areas of leisure activity such as holiday camps and cruise liners may also arise once experience has been gained.

Annual Income:

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Starting rates for new entrants are usually around £8,500 a year.
An experienced cinema projectionist could expect to earn up to £12,000.
In larger cinemas a senior projectionist may earn up to £15,000 a year.

Further information:

BKSTS (The British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society)
Moving Image Society
Pinewood Studios
Iver Heath

Skillset Careers
Tel: 08080 300 900 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Tel: 0808 100 8094 for Scotland

Prospect House
80-110 New Oxford Street
Tel: 020 7520 5757

Northern Ireland Film Commission
3rd Floor Alfred House
21 Alfred Street
Tel: 028 9023 2444

The British Film Institute (BFI)
21 Stephen Street
Tel: 020 7255 1444

Other Useful Cinema Projectionist Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Cinema Projectionist job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Cinema Projectionist Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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