Some thoughts prompted by Kenneth Bank's June 11 letter, in which he complained about an out-of-focus movie and theorized that no projectionist was available to fix the problem:
Four years ago, one mid-range and two large U.S. theater chains locked out their professional projectionists. Now fully half of the first-run theaters use tag teams of overworked managers and assistants to deliver their shows.
In past "negotiations," one of these companies cynically pointed to increased popcorn sales when their customers wait out mid-show interruptions. And it boasted that sloppy performances hadn't hurt its grosses.
Projection systems are at best semiautomated. They still need lots of care.
Do you want a professional show for the price of your ticket? Then stay away from theaters whose greed sells the show short.