Incredible Portraits of Cinema House Projectionists

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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

Projectionist Ed Ko at New York City’s Film Forum. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Eva von Schweinitz at Film Forum. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist and repairman Bryan Diego at Brooklyn Heights Cinema. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Michael Lefanto at Film Forum. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Joe Lamboy at the Warwick Drive-In, Warwick, NY. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Nadeem Malik at the Bombay Theater, Flushing, NY. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Noel McCarthy at the Chelsea Clearview theater in New York. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Projectionist Tim King at Cinema Arts Center, Huntington, NY. Photo credit: Joseph O. Holmes

Photo: Joseph O. Holmes.