In Conversation: Colin Dibley 1996-1999

In conversation series:
Interviewee: Colin Dibley
Interviewer: Christina Reading
Date of interview: 23 March 2010

Colin talks about his work as a projectionist.


Colin Dibley started work at the Duke of York’s as a trainee projectionist in about 1996/7 under the tutorage of Frank Wright and Jimmy Anderson. As a trainee projectionist, Colin got involved in all aspects of projection work and remembers when Frank allowed him to start up his first film. As a projectionist Colin describes how he also got involved in many aspects of cinema maintenance, such as servicing the clock on the front of the building and changing the pigmy light bulbs around the screen. He recalls how all of these activities seemed to involve climbing up a steep ladder, which he is sure wouldn’t be allowed under health and safety regulations today.! In those days the role of the manager and the projectionists was quite distinct, with managers rarely getting involved in the business of projecting films. Colin remembers his time working in the projection box at the Dukes with great affection and is clearly grateful to Frank and Jimmy for the extensive and comprehensive training they gave him in projection work, training that he believes set him up well for future work.

Colin continued to work at the Dukes for a period of 2-3 years before moving on to work for Disney at the Preview theatre in Hammersmith. More recently he has been instrumental in securing a listed building status for the nearby Astoria and campaigning for its refurbishment.

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