IMAX at Patriot Park Revisited – Part 1

Wendy Banks, National Infantry Museum IMAX Theater projectionist

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.

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3 Responses to “IMAX at Patriot Park Revisited – Part 1”

  1. Janet Sue Gibson Gray Says:

    Neat! I’ll be watching!

  2. Joann Locascio Says:

    What a wonderful Gem we have right in our back yard and yet when I go, there are barely any people there. Selena, my Granddaughter and I go to see every IMAX movie when it comes out! We love them all, especially in 3D! A few weeks ago my sister visited with my young nephews. I wanted them to see “Hubble” so badly. We got there for the last showing on a Sunday and was told the movie would not be shown because of the outside temperature was too hot and they couldn’t run the projector! We were very disappointed. I sure hope they got that issue fixed since summer is now here! Thank you for your great article on the IMAX theater at Patriot Park!
    The whole complex is just awesome! I tell everyone I know about it!

  3. Big Movie Zone Blog » Blog Archive » National Infantry Museum tops 400,000 visitors in first year Says:

    […] World: IMAX at Patriot Park Revisited Part 1 | Part 2 | Part […]

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