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Projection Team Of The Year Award 2002

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Duncan McGregor, BKSTS Projection Team Of The Year 2002 Date: October 4, 2003

Left to right: Roger Brown, Peter Seagger (Dolby Laboratories), Sir Sydney Samuelson (BKSTS Patron), Tony Cutts, John Cahill and Duncan McGregor. Picture: Duncan McGregor

On 16th December 2002, the projection team from Pictureville Cinema at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford – namely: Duncan McGregor, Tony Cutts, Roger Brown and John Cahill – departed from Bradford taking the early train heading south for London. More accurately their destination was to be the West End and the Odeon Leicester Square. Only one member of the team was absent, Jennifer Beyer, who opted to stay at work and “hold the fort”. It was to be a boy’s day out!

The reason for their visit was the annual Christmas party hosted by the Cinema Technology Committee of the BKSTS - British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society. Here they were to be presented with the award as the BKSTS Projection Team Of The Year 2002.

After a hearty breakfast on the train, upon arrival at King Cross station it was a case of first things first, so we took the tube and immediately headed for Piccadilly Circus and a trip to Tower Records. Here we were able to purchase several film soundtracks in the Tower sale, which did itself justice!

From here we took the short stroll into the West End and announced our arrival at the Odeon. We were one of the first there and said hello to Dion Hanson – Cineman himself – his wife Susan and their daughter Nicola who had kindly put on an array of food and nibbles to keep the famished at bay, which had been sponsored by Bell Theatre Systems

Projectionists past and present, engineers and various bodies from some of the nearby film companies in Wardour Street soon started to arrive. There was plenty to drink to assist with the party atmosphere whilst everyone chatted and enjoyed themselves. After a couple of hours Dion asked for quiet and introduced BKSTS Patron, Sir Sydney Samuelson, who was to do the honours and present the projection team of the year with their award.

Sydney had a been a projectionist himself at the start of his career and has remained in touch with the art of film presentation – his comments, memories and reminiscences of the job were interesting and amusing and he gained a further laugh when looking for the guys to present them with their award. He’d forgotten that we were stood behind him whilst chatting away and relishing everyone’s attention – we on the other hand were sweating and waiting with baited breath – why did we feel so nervous?!

Sydney then did us proud and announced Pictureville Cinema as the Projection Team Of The Year 2002. We were presented with a beautifully engraved clock to ensure we always keep to time and which now takes pride of place in the projection room. Following this, Peter Seagger from Dolby Laboratories presented the team with a cheque, which was gratefully received.

Further in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend 2003

Gallery: 2003
Gallery film: 2003
Gallery film: Greenhalgh
Gallery film: Rayton
WSW Home
Through the Years
The Best of WSW

Academy of the WSW

Creating the WSW
Planning the WSW
Projecting the WSW
Projecting CINERAMA

Internet link:

The projection crew in March 2003. Left to right: Duncan McGregor, John Cahill, Roger Brown and Tony Cutts. Picture: Thomas Hauerslev

Duncan then stepped forward to say a big thank you to the BKSTS for honouring our efforts in being the best and to Dolby Laboratories for sponsoring the award. I then thanked the many people who had seen fit to vote and put our name forward. There were many people who had done this from within the industry, but the biggest thanks must really go to the many members of the general public who attend our shows from around the world and are therefore most appreciative of our efforts in putting on a good show.

This was also seen as an ideal time to promote the forthcoming Bradford Film Festival and welcome those in attendance to make the trip up to Bradford, in order to see what we’re really made of. It was suggested that the best time to be present would be for the wide screen weekend where the projection team is really put through its paces showing 35mm, 70mm and 3-strip Cinerama, as well as coping with various guests, interviews and lectures, that would all form part of a truly hectic but amazing weekend, with one of the key points to be focused on - the 50th anniversary of Cinemascope.

I concluded in saying that we would be fighting hard to retain the award and hopefully keep it up north for another year. Handshakes and the obligatory photographs followed before the party recommenced. At this point the team took the opportunity of taking a tour of the Odeon’s projection suite, courtesy of the chief, Nigel Wolland. The box was in great shape and just like Pictureville, has a wonderful array of facilities, though strangely Cinerama seemed to be lacking!! 

After saying goodbye and thanks to the few who were left, we made our way back home stopping off in Leeds for a good meal, while we looked back on the day’s events, which had been most enjoyable. It was then on to Bradford where we joined the museum’s Christmas party – there’s no stopping a good projectionist once he’s started – and we partied the night away until the early hours.

It had been a truly memorable day and one that all of us will remember fondly for a long time to come. So far this year, the team has worked successfully through two film festivals, with the Bradford Animation Festival to follow in November. We also handled a four-day wide screen conference in June, where academics from all over the world were presenting papers, supported by numerous large screen performances. This, in addition to the various events, corporate hires, lectures, Imax presentations and the usual film programme, that we hope will support our efforts in retaining the award for another year. Thanks to all of you who do just that.
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Updated 21-01-24