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Behind The Screens With Britain’s Last Cinema Projectionists

Welcome to the reel world.

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Led by his interest in how analogue technologies have transitioned to digital, Richard Nicholson travelled across Britain making portraits of workers in the cinemas that are still able to screen celluloid film for his series The Projectionists.

"The film projectionist is a dying breed," Nicholson tells BuzzFeed. "Ninety per cent of them were made redundant between 2010 and 2012, when most cinemas switched over from film to digital projection systems."

“In so many creative fields the computer has taken the place of the traditional craft tools," he says. "Everything is simulated on the Mac, and the creative worker is bolted to his or her desk for days at a time."


“Film projection is a physically demanding task. The reels of film are heavy, and perfectly synchronising the changeover from one reel to the next requires intense concentration. Film, and the machines that project it, have to be looked after with great care and attention. The film projectionist is also a mechanic, an electrician, and a showman."


The Projectionists is on show at Riflemaker’s stand at Photo London 2016, Somerset House, London, 19-22 May.