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27 February 2010

BECTU has signalled that it will now seek meaningful talks with Odeon and Cineworld management to address the impact of digital projection on staff.

cinema projectionist at work on a projector What future for projectionist skills as cinema owners prepare to ramp up their investment in digital projection? Pic: Stefano Cagnoni

The move follows clear indications this month that UK exhibitors generally are reluctant to engage with their competitors and with the industry union to discuss the impact of this critical development on cinema technicians.  

Get involved with BECTU's work for cinema staff

BECTU launched an initiative last year which sought to bring interested parties together to discuss ways of preparing businesses and staff for digital projection.

Whilst the Cinema Exhibitors Association leant its support to the initiative, the response from individual cinema circuits has been disappointing.

Mick Corfield, national official, commented:

"I believe that it is now up to our industrial committees for Odeon and Cineworld to make this issue a priority and to insist on formal talks with the companies.”

"The union remains open to dialogue with cinema chains across the country, however, the need for formal discussions with Odeon and Cineworld on this issue is now overdue."

Gerry Carr, national official for the Odeon membership and Willie Lesslie, national official for members employed by Cineworld will be taking the issues forward from next month. 

The union is keen to explore with Odeon and Cineworld ways to keep and develop technicians skills to meet technical and maintenance needs both inside and outside the projection box as digital projection expands. 

In January, Mick Corfield, took the issue to the Future Projections' Conference an event which was fully reported in Cinema Technology.