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Jeremiah Jackson worked in the cinema industry in the UK for many years. It made him cynical and he always used to say, as many people do, “I could write a book about the crazy stuff that goes on here.” Unlike many people who say those words though, he actually did write that book.
on Oct. 25, 2013 :
If you are a frequent cinema patron like myself you may sometimes wonder what goes on behind the scenes of the operation. Jeremiah Jackson will satisfy your curiosity. Only the tale he tells is of the wild old days of celluloid. Ten years ago when he was managing a cinema, digital projection was just on the horizon.
What he's done here is to create a kind of non-fiction novel. Everything he relates actually happened, only it didn't all happen in the same week. By condensing and interspersing these events he has given the story a dramatic structure which leads up to the busiest day of his cinema managing carrier when the opening of a blockbuster film, and some daring decision making of his own, resulted in record breaking business. He gives the films generic titles, e.g. Spy Story, Gore Movie, etc. I suppose that the central film Boy Story was one of the Harry Potter films.
What makes this book work against the odds is that Jackson is a great story teller. Sure there are a couple of spicy tales of sex in the cinema and some funny stories involving idiotic customers and children puking, but a lot of the book is devoted to what, on the surface, are mundane events. It is Jackson's strength that he may actually have you on the edge of your seat wondering if he'll be able to repair a tear in the screen before the next session goes in and how he will manage to expose a staff member who has been stealing from the till.
One of the things I found most fascinating about the book was the description of a process known as the interlock whereby the same print travels on rollers around the walls of the projection room so that it can feed through two or three projectors at once.
Read this book and you will discover that not all of the drama, comedy or horror in the cinema takes place on the screen.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)