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Motion Picture Projectionist

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What You Need to Know About Motion Picture Projectionist

Position Description Set up and operate motion picture projection and related sound reproduction equipment.

Daily Life Of a Motion Picture Projectionist

  • Insert film into top magazine reel, or thread film through a series of sprockets and guide rollers, attaching the end to a take-up reel.
  • Remove full take-up reels and run film through rewinding machines to rewind projected films so they may be shown again.
  • Coordinate equipment operation with presentation of supplemental material, such as music, oral commentaries, or sound effects.
  • Start projectors and open shutters to project images onto screens.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks such as rotating or replacing xenon bulbs, cleaning lenses, lubricating machinery, and keeping electrical contacts clean and tight.
  • Set up and inspect curtain and screen controls.

What Every Motion Picture Projectionist Should Know

When polled, Motion Picture Projectionists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Motion Picture Projectionist

  • Motion Picture Operator
  • Booth Manager
  • Machine Operator
  • Cinema Operator
  • Projector Operator

Job Demand for Motion Picture Projectionists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 5,800 jobs in the United States for Motion Picture Projectionist. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Motion Picture Projectionist. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 600 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Motion Picture Projectionist are Utah, Washington, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wisconsin, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Motion Picture Projectionists Salary

The typical yearly salary for Motion Picture Projectionists is somewhere between $17,890 and $38,890.


Motion Picture Projectionists who work in Hawaii, New York, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Motion Picture Projectionists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $21,000
Arizona $26,030
California $31,730
Colorado $25,490
Florida $23,770
Georgia $23,990
Hawaii $37,580
Illinois $26,390
Iowa $18,390
Kansas $23,010
Kentucky $21,530
Louisiana $21,700
Massachusetts $31,400
Michigan $28,760
Montana $26,150
Nebraska $26,700
New Jersey $29,540
New York $43,420
Ohio $24,340
Oklahoma $20,160
Oregon $25,880
Pennsylvania $20,310
Tennessee $25,920
Texas $26,630
Utah $22,800
Washington $26,420
Wisconsin $23,270

What Tools do Motion Picture Projectionists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Motion Picture Projectionists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software

How do I Become a Motion Picture Projectionist?

Are there Motion Picture Projectionists education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Motion Picture Projectionists Work?


Motion Picture Projectionists work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

Are you already one of the many Motion Picture Projectionist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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