Wendy Banks says, “I love my job.” Her job is operating the highly sophisticated and very expensive movie projectors at the IMAX Theater at the National Infantry Museum. She says her first job was as an usher in a movie theater.
“They moved me out of ushering and into selling popcorn when they found out I wasn’t a good bouncer. You know, ushers have to kick rowdy people out of the theater. But I loved working there then, and I love doing this now.”
I told her that I did know about the perils of being an usher since I was one. I ended up being promoted to Assistant Head Doorman, and, at age 14, did indeed manage to keep order. It was during World War II and the crowds were huge, which meant I had to learn about crowd control. Also, I broke up some smooching in the balcony, and made people get their feet off seats in front of them; however, I never “kicked” anyone out of the theater, but one guy thankfully left of his own accord after threatening me with physical violence.
I also remember that projectionists were the elite pros. Back when I was an usher, they were unionized, made good money, and were not to be “bothered” by the likes of people like me. That means Wendy has made it almost to the top of the movie theater pecking order, especially as a projectionist who operates IMAX projectors. They definitely are not ordinary and are top of the line.
Since my hit meter tells me that I continue to get multiple hits almost daily on my posts of more of than a year ago about behind the scenes at IMAX, and the greatest interest is in the projectors, I asked Ben Williams, Executive Director of the National Infantry Foundation, to allow me back into the projection booth to learn more about them. He accompanied me there and I’ll take you there for a close-up look at those technological marvels, and a progress report on the IMAX Theater. Stay tuned.