Morning routine (Neil Thompson)

Neil Thompson interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Neil Thompson describes his morning routine, preparing for the day's screenings, cleaning the projection room and conducting other duties around the cinema.

When you first went in about ten o’clock you would open all the arc lamps and you would clean them out ‘cause obviously with using carbon arcs they used to get all like carbon dust and of course the mirror at the back used to get covered. And we used to hoover them out every morning, got rid of all the dust and makes them lovely and clean. Make sure that the reflector at the back of the lamp house was clean. Used to clean that with a special solvent. Then once you’d finished them, you dismantled all the projector, used to take all the, the gate out and all the sprocket jockeys that kept the film on top of the sprocket, used to take all them out and clean them with methylated spirits. But yeah, used to dismantle all the bits and pieces and clean them. Make sure… I used to get the little toothbrush out and make sure that the intermittent sprocket was clean and the top sprocket and the bottom sprocket. Check the magnetic heads if you are using magnetic film, you had to make sure they were clean. And then you just left the projector ready to lace up. You didn’t lace it up, you used to leave it until five minutes before you were ready to go on. Because what we used to do at The Queen’s, again, we used to run the machines for five minutes just to warm them up. ‘Cause obviously starting a machine from cold you might get speed issues. And then once you’d done the projection issues you used to go up and check the lamps in the theatre. Used to go up and make sure, see if there was any lights off anywhere. And then make sure the heat came on if it was required, because you were responsible for heating and ventilation. And you were also responsible for the emergency lighting, ‘cause as you appreciate, when you’re in a public area you must have emergency lighting in case the main lighting goes off. So we were responsible for looking after the batteries so you went and checked them and made sure they were on. And anything else that needed looking after, because you were the sole technical guy in the cinema. So if, say, somebody like one of the cleaners came up to you and said, “Well, oh, there's something wrong with one of the hoovers, can you look at that?” You got the job of that as well. Or maybe downstairs, maybe one of the staff would come up and say there’s something wrong with the kettle. Anything like that. Or if the management wanted you. So it was quite a busy period.

Title

Morning routine (Neil Thompson)

Subject

routine around the cinema before the start of screenings.

Description

Projectionist Neil Thompson describes his morning routine, preparing for the day's screenings, cleaning the projection room and conducting other duties around the cinema.

Creator

The Projection Project

Source

Interview with Neil Thompson

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

29/12/2015

Contributor

Richard Wallace
Neil Thompson

Relation

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/26353
http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/3307

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1974-2010

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Neil Thompson

Date of Interview

11/11/2014

Location

Gateshead

Transcription

When you first went in about ten o’clock you would open all the arc lamps and you would clean them out ‘cause obviously with using carbon arcs they used to get all like carbon dust and of course the mirror at the back used to get covered. And we used to hoover them out every morning, got rid of all the dust and makes them lovely and clean. Make sure that the reflector at the back of the lamp house was clean. Used to clean that with a special solvent. Then once you’d finished them, you dismantled all the projector, used to take all the, the gate out and all the sprocket jockeys that kept the film on top of the sprocket, used to take all them out and clean them with methylated spirits. But yeah, used to dismantle all the bits and pieces and clean them. Make sure… I used to get the little toothbrush out and make sure that the intermittent sprocket was clean and the top sprocket and the bottom sprocket. Check the magnetic heads if you are using magnetic film, you had to make sure they were clean. And then you just left the projector ready to lace up. You didn’t lace it up, you used to leave it until five minutes before you were ready to go on. Because what we used to do at The Queen’s, again, we used to run the machines for five minutes just to warm them up. ‘Cause obviously starting a machine from cold you might get speed issues. And then once you’d done the projection issues you used to go up and check the lamps in the theatre. Used to go up and make sure, see if there was any lights off anywhere. And then make sure the heat came on if it was required, because you were responsible for heating and ventilation. And you were also responsible for the emergency lighting, ‘cause as you appreciate, when you’re in a public area you must have emergency lighting in case the main lighting goes off. So we were responsible for looking after the batteries so you went and checked them and made sure they were on. And anything else that needed looking after, because you were the sole technical guy in the cinema. So if, say, somebody like one of the cleaners came up to you and said, “Well, oh, there's something wrong with one of the hoovers, can you look at that?” You got the job of that as well. Or maybe downstairs, maybe one of the staff would come up and say there’s something wrong with the kettle. Anything like that. Or if the management wanted you. So it was quite a busy period.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:02:01

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Cinema

Queens Theatre, Northumberland Place, Newcastle upon Tyne
Odeon Newcastle upon Tyne, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Citation

The Projection Project, “Morning routine (Neil Thompson),” Projection Project, accessed December 8, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/437.

Output Formats