Showing 3-D Films (Joan Pearson)

Joan Pearson interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Joan Pearson describes the process and problems of showing 3-D films.

Clip

Show Transcript
The only big spools we had was when I was at the Bristol we showed all the 3-Ds and there were two films simultaneously being shown on two projectors, they were interlocked. It all started really with just one switch. That was good and we showed every 3-D film they made. But that wasn’t simple. They used to bring the copies in and you'd got to make these up, you'd got to double them all up. And if you had to make a joint, then you would have to make a joint in the other one as well so your job was to check the film for the footage all along. Oh ... dear ... headache. We showed House of Wax, the very first one. We always had rehearsals, we never put anything on the screen without a rehearsal. We had this rehearsal this one night, well, it was all out of sync, the whole of the theatre, oh ... it was ... it was a nightmare it really was. Because you knew that every joint that was in that film you had got to check both and if there was nothing wrong with them you’ve still got to take them out until they was actually that many frames in between each number. It was, it was a nightmare. But you weren’t allow to wear the glasses, not projectionist anyway, And you’ve got to keep it racked so that they were dead in line otherwise people would start to get a headache. And at the finish I thought, I, I can't stand these pains at the back of the eyes. So I went to an optician and he said, in those days I don't know whether they do now, use the mirror, you look through a mirror and tell them exactly where the dark lines are and everything. And he said, "I want you to tell me where the dark lines are on that". So I said, "Erm, eleven o’clock". "No," he said, "the dark lines". I said, "Eleven o’clock!" He said, "Are you sure it’s not two o’clock?" I said, "No it's eleven o’clock". So he came behind me looked and said, "No," he said, "two o’clock". He said, "Strange, I've never seen eyes like this before," he said. He said, "Can I ask your occupation?" I said, "I'm a projectionist". "Oh, yes," he said, "And which cinema do you work at?" I said, "The Bristol". "You’ve answered it," he said, "it’s the three dimensional film that's causing all this problem". And even then, even though they knew at work, it was ruining me eyes, to, I mean they wouldn’t do anything about it obviously. Other than get the sack or something, you know. So I had to put up with it.

Title

Showing 3-D Films (Joan Pearson)

Subject

Description

Projectionist Joan Pearson describes the process and problems of showing 3-D films.

Source

Interview with Joan and Bill Pearson

Publisher

University of Warwick

Date

21/03/2017

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording

Coverage

1950s

Interviewer

Richard Wallace
Rebecca Harrison

Interviewee

Joan Pearson
Bill Pearson

Date of Interview

21/07/2016

Location

Birmingham

Transcription

The only big spools we had was when I was at the Bristol we showed all the 3-Ds and there were two films simultaneously being shown on two projectors, they were interlocked. It all started really with just one switch. That was good and we showed every 3-D film they made. But that wasn’t simple. They used to bring the copies in and you'd got to make these up, you'd got to double them all up. And if you had to make a joint, then you would have to make a joint in the other one as well so your job was to check the film for the footage all along. Oh ... dear ... headache. We showed House of Wax, the very first one. We always had rehearsals, we never put anything on the screen without a rehearsal. We had this rehearsal this one night, well, it was all out of sync, the whole of the theatre, oh ... it was ... it was a nightmare it really was. Because you knew that every joint that was in that film you had got to check both and if there was nothing wrong with them you’ve still got to take them out until they was actually that many frames in between each number. It was, it was a nightmare. But you weren’t allow to wear the glasses, not projectionist anyway, And you’ve got to keep it racked so that they were dead in line otherwise people would start to get a headache. And at the finish I thought, I, I can't stand these pains at the back of the eyes. So I went to an optician and he said, in those days I don't know whether they do now, use the mirror, you look through a mirror and tell them exactly where the dark lines are and everything. And he said, "I want you to tell me where the dark lines are on that". So I said, "Erm, eleven o’clock". "No," he said, "the dark lines". I said, "Eleven o’clock!" He said, "Are you sure it’s not two o’clock?" I said, "No it's eleven o’clock". So he came behind me looked and said, "No," he said, "two o’clock". He said, "Strange, I've never seen eyes like this before," he said. He said, "Can I ask your occupation?" I said, "I'm a projectionist". "Oh, yes," he said, "And which cinema do you work at?" I said, "The Bristol". "You’ve answered it," he said, "it’s the three dimensional film that's causing all this problem". And even then, even though they knew at work, it was ruining me eyes, to, I mean they wouldn’t do anything about it obviously. Other than get the sack or something, you know. So I had to put up with it.

Original Format

Group interview

Duration

00:02:41

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Cinema

A.B.C. Bristol Road Cinema, Birmingham

Citation

The Projection Project, “Showing 3-D Films (Joan Pearson),” Projection Project, accessed March 24, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/469.

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