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The Booth: The Last Days of Film Projection

Oct 5, 2013 — Feb 2, 2014

Location: Hearst Lobby

Joseph Holmes will participate in an artist talk at the Museum on February 1 at 2.30 p.m.

“For most of us who love going to the movies, the projection booth and what goes on in there is a bit of a mystery, if we even think about it at all. I, for one, am glad that Joe Holmes not only thinks about it, but has taken the time to document it in his unique way… Each image offers a glimpse into a private world that is all but gone…”—Actor/director Steve Buscemi

Photographer Joseph O. Holmes, a chronicler of people and their work spaces, turned his attention in 2012 to the projection booth. This exhibition of more than 30 photographs featuring projectionists in their domains, at movie theaters in and around New York City, shines a light on what is quickly becoming a lost art form. Holmes captures the intricate beauty of the projectors and related ephemera such as canisters, reels, and the medium—celluloid—itself, scattered across the often cramped booths. Usually anonymous and unseen, the skilled technicians who operate these increasingly rare machines are present in many of the images; their personalities evident in the handwritten notes, personal photographs, and posters that cover any available wall space. At a time when many lament the demise of film, these intimate portraits preserve a visual record of a vanishing medium and the craftspeople who keep film presentation alive.