A movie’s way to the cinema

Everyone of us knows what a cinema is: the place you go to, to watch a movie and eat some popcorn. The procedure is simple: You go there, buy the ticket, walk into the show room, sit down and shut up. But what happens behind the scenes?

A film usually comes as a long plastic strap. As that straps are very long, they are cut into smaller parts which have to be put together again before usage. To make handling easier, the cinema adds the ads and film previews and winds the package up onto bigger reels. As you can see, that work is still done manually.

After that work, the film is ready for you. But that’s not all you need to know. Film is more than just moving images. The audio part isn’t a separate tape – the audio track is encoded on the film which is optically read by the projector that can be compared to a CD.

To sum it up: we got the film in one piece again, previews are set, audio is here. Are we missing something? Honestly, we do: You don’t want to transport the film reels over long distance in a cinema. So most of the projectors are in one room. The image itself is delivered via some mirrors to where the audience is waiting.

The images were taken at the Kino-Namenlos cinema in Feldkirch where I had a guided tour which enabled me to share those impressions with you.

Cinema work is still manual work. Something that needs to be done carefully to make us a fine evening.

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