“Ever since I first starting going to the movies, I’ve found myself turning around to look up into the tiny window above the audience. I would imagine the projectionist threading film into a complicated maze of wheels and sprockets, or splicing trailers and reels under the dim light of an editing table, or maybe even staring back at me from the shadowy recesses of that mysterious room.” — Joseph O. Holmes
Joseph O. Holmes explores his fascination with film projection in his suite of photographs The Booth, which documents projection booths in cinemas in and around New York circa 2012. These portraits capture not only the intricate beauty of the projectors and the other tools of the projectionists’ trade, but the decades’ worth of history etched into these spaces through handwritten notes, personal photographs, fading film posters, and other ephemera—a reminder that film is, first and foremost, a physical medium. By opening up these hidden, even secret environments, Holmes brings to light an intrinsic yet rarely seen aspect of the cinematic experience, and pays tribute to the practitioners of a unique and increasingly endangered art form.