As I understand it, the word trailer is used by projectionists
because it was often fastened to the "tail" or end of the reel. When a
film is shipped, it is shipped "tails out" so that the projectionist can
rewind the film and inspect it at the same time. Fastening the trailer to
the tail made it convenient for the projectionist to clip it off a store it
on a core for future use before continuing to rewind the film from the
shipping reel onto the regular reel for projection.
At least this was the way it worked at the Vogue where I used to
run movies on an old-fashioned two projector system.
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