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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Union/Non Union Projectionists

   
Author Topic: Union/Non Union Projectionists
Steven Rood
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted December 28, 2005 06:28 PM      Profile for Steven Rood   Email Steven Rood         Edit/Delete Post 
Just curious. Is there a trend toward using non-union projectiounists these days or is it just a coincidence that i keep bumping into them?

Recently i met the guy at the Vista whose been doing it for at least 4 years at the theatre in LA and then last night at the Regal 18 in Delray Beach on Federal i saw some 18 (maybe younger) year old girl chatting to a friend below out of the booth window.

I am surprised at these mainstream theaters (as opposed to a small indie house) having non union projectionists. I would have thought the unions would have a lock or be all over these places.

Stevo

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Bill Gabel
Member

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted January 02, 2006 05:23 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
Steve alot of the major chains use non-union projectionists these days. That's been the trend for the last few years.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted January 04, 2006 06:24 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
I'd say that's been the case for more than 10 years now up here in Northern California. Pacific Theatres was the last chain I know of to regularly employ a union guy, but even then towards the end they were down to more of a maintenance position than regular operators.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted January 05, 2006 07:55 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
At the Beverly Center 13 I could swear the same 16 year old girl sold me my ticket, poured my Diet Coke, tore my ticket, started the projector, corrected the masking 15 minutes into the film, and came in with a garbage bin at the end of the show. I am sure they had more employees before The Grove was opened...

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Bill Gabel
Member

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted January 05, 2006 09:08 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
In many cases Mark's comment is very true. Loew's Beverly Center is one of the worst theatres to see a movie in. They would run their xenon lamp way past the change out time. One year I was doing a relief shift at the theatre on the large theatre side, and their was more light coming out of the maglight in the booth than on the screen. (their largest theatre). Across the street General Cinema's operated a first class 6-plex with bright screens and great sound.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted January 05, 2006 09:59 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
General Cinema was eliminating the union a few years before they went under. When "quality projection" was eliminated by Bill Doeren and Dan Strejeski, the company started it's quick slide into oblivion.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted January 08, 2006 12:28 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Somehow I doubt eliminating union projectionists is what sent GCC into bankruptcy. I'm sure there was trouble llllong before they did that.

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John J. Fink
Member

Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted January 08, 2006 08:24 PM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
GC's problem was that they grew during pre-multiplex boom in the 80's and early 90's, and were locked into lease deals so they couldn't upgrade to stadium seating like other chains have done, they were left with a fleet of out of date (however always well run) theaters and when the Regals and AMC came to town people opted for stadium seating. The did build new theaters but those came too late in the boom, which is tragic since they were one of the best chains around.

On a side note I find that National Amusements' projection is very good, I'm guessing they don't use union projectionists though, but they keep their equiptment in good repair and the images bright, focused and masked correctly.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted January 10, 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think a lease has much to do with stadium seats. You do hit it right though, in that poor leases in their newer megaplexes were a huge factor. When you're paying a huge portion of your profit to a Mall, and you don't have the customers because the area is overscreened, you've made a poor Real Estate decision. My point about quality projection was that the "new Management" turned the focus from quality, to scraping for a buck. As for the Redstone projectionists, you're right. They had a higher regard for the union. However, they also had a lower regard for Management, unlike GCC which paid lucrative commissions for many years.

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Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted February 16, 2006 03:11 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't run across a union projectionist in years. At best, I've seen managers and supervisors running booth. At worst, and far more common, I've seen "experienced" (i.e. worked at the theatre for more than a couple months) staff members running projection. To compound matters, I've also noticed less and less full-time presence in booth at many theatres; a demand being placed on projectionists to pull double duty, working floor duties while running booth. These days, it seems as if "projectionist" usually entails little more than the ability to thread and start movies.

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George Gates
Member

Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted February 17, 2006 06:11 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
Last time I checked, Union projectionists still ran all of the Showcase booths in New England. Does anyone have any information otherwise?

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Bill Gabel
Member

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted February 21, 2006 10:56 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
In some areas it all depended on how many screens were in that theatre as to if you had a union projectionist. In Los Angeles there was only four chains that employed projectionists, but some of them were on whats called Limited Service contracts. So they were only there Thursday night, Friday open till 9 or 10pm Saturday open till maybe close or start last show, Sunday for 6 hours. And management ran Monday thru Thursday day.

Out in Orange County, California, Edwards Theatres many of the theatre complexes, but the union operators that where still around where stuck at an old pay scale for a few years. And he would not sign a new contract with the union. In Los Angeles county he would open a new theatre with union and keep them at a frozen scale and later phase them out of service.

I think here in NYC, if the complex has over 6 screens it has a full time union operator (except the Ziegfeld). The old Loews Astor Plaza Theatre during it's last year was limited service. (and it showed) [Frown]

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Joshua Waaland
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Sagamore Hills, OH
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted March 01, 2006 09:40 PM      Profile for Joshua Waaland   Email Joshua Waaland         Edit/Delete Post 
You should get out of LA more Steven. Union projectionists are more rare around here than a $2 bill. I was in this business for 8-9 years before I even met a union projectionist.

The big chains seem to be the worst for hiring the teenagers to run the booth. Most of them now are run by managers around here anyways.

quote:
On a side note I find that National Amusements' projection is very good, I'm guessing they don't use union projectionists though, but they keep their equiptment in good repair and the images bright, focused and masked correctly.

National Amusements is all manager run booths. They are locked up tighter than a drum. They own the entire Toledo, Ohio market. I tried getting a job at all their locations when I was living there and I couldn't get in. [Frown]

On a side note, this is my first post on here and I thought I could just use my film-tech password but couldn't. I also see that my number of film-tech posts do not register on here either. That sucks now I have to start all over to get my status back up. [Wink]

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