Overlooked in some of the technical discussion of problems faced by
projectionists in getting aspect ratios right is the trend over the last
two or three decades of consolidating the profession of the projectionist.
Film projection used to be a union position whereby TWO fully certified
projectionists would be on hand at all times (the second man in case of
fire). In the era of monolithic theater chains and mulitplexes, it's more
common that NO projectionist is on-hand at show time; rather, the
professional projectionist makes a daytime route of theaters and spools
films, then leaves the actual projection at show time (often a
one-push-button affair) to a theater manager who is familiar with the mere
rudiments of the system. Errors during showtime are often simply NOT
corrected because there's nobody on hand who's got the know-how to fix them.
I know there's a lot more to it than this, but the simple human factor
ought to be considered it sussing out the situation.
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