Cinema projectionist

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Cinema projectionists operate the equipment that shows films in cinemas.

Salary range: £18,000 to £22,000

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How to become a cinema projectionist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
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College

You could learn some of the skills you’ll need through a college course like:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Digital Media
  • Level 2 Diploma in Digital Audio Visual Production

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More information

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Work

You may be able to start work in a cinema complex as a cinema usher or ticket seller before moving into a projectionist role through internal training.

Direct application

You can apply directly to cinemas for a trainee projectionist job.

You’ll find it useful to have some technical skills, for example in electrics, electronics, cameras or sound equipment. IT skills are also important as many cinemas use programmable digital projectors.

Employers may test your technical knowledge and ability before offering you a position.

More information

Career tips

A keen interest and knowledge of UK, US and world cinema will be helpful. Joining a film club can be a good way of developing your knowledge of film formats and projection equipment.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in film from Screen Skills

You can also find out more about working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • receiving and checking film reels
  • loading the films onto the projector in the right order
  • making sure the film runs smoothly through the projector
  • checking that sound is operating properly
  • joining lengths of film together if they break
  • storing the films safely
  • sending on the reels to other cinemas
  • looking after the projection equipment and organising services
  • being responsible for heating, lighting, ventilation and alarm systems in the cinema

Working environment

You could work at a cinema.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a head projectionist or move into programme management, selecting and scheduling films to be shown.