For the love of it.
What many projectionists (myself included) describe as the 'magic' of movies isn't what is seen on the screen in a cinema. The vantage point from behind the port is a unique one and often creates a special bond between projectionist and projector. On our first day of exploring country cinemas in the Wimmera region we met Tim Sherwood; one such individual who shared with us a pure passion project.
Abandoned and dormant for decades Tim has found and adopted a pair of Raycaphone J3’s in a disused country cinema. He gained permission from the owners to restore the 67 year old machines for no other reason than a deep appreciation for the genius of the engineering and the challenge to see them running again.
When Tim started work on the Australian made Cummings and Wilson heads they were completely seized and inoperable. A total dismantle, clean and rebuild was required.
Powered by a rectifier that Tim built himself this was the first time I'd seen a carbon arc lit image and the intricate ballet and attentive caress required to keep a constant, stable image gave me a whole new appreciation for our craft.
I must say, I felt a lump in my throat when at the end of the interview Tim revealed the cinema was presently up for sale and even though these projectors had sat hear untouched for decades and survived the move to digital only now was their future unknown.