Incredible Portraits of Cinema House Projectionists

Photographer Joseph O. Holmes does not have a lot of time left. He has been photographing projection rooms of some of our favorite places in New York — retrospective cinema houses and indie movie theaters like Film Forum and the Anthology Archives — and the quiet magicians who make it all possible. “I’m working against the clock with the whole series because a lot of these theaters are converting to digital projection — which does away with a lot of the interesting stuff in a projection room,” he tells NPR. Yes, the threading of film onto wheels, the supervision of the spinning clogs, the whirr of this nearly archaic machinery… maybe it all seems a bit archaic in comparison to a push of the button. Call us purists, but let’s enjoy this overdue salute. See the portraits that took Holmes a year of begging to capture in our slideshow. 

Projectionist Jacob Weiner at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes