Behind The Screen: Century 35

In the latest Behind The Screen — a peek behind the Crandell’s velvet curtain — Sara McWilliams of the Crandell Theatre’s Operations Committee discusses a monolithic piece of Crandell history.

If This Century 35mm Projector Could Talk…

we’d love to hear its stories.

Shortly after the Crandell closed in response to the pandemic, our Theatre Manager took to the task of organizing our wonderfully intact 35mm equipment — this Century 35 immediately caught our eye.

This projector was used to show films at the Crandell beginning some time in the 1970s, and ran steady until it retired back in 2013, when the theater converted to digital projection.

For decades, 35mm films were delivered to the Crandell in boxes and heaved up to the projection booth, where the reels would run through the Century 35 for up to ten or twelve showings a week for several weeks — before being repacked and sent along to the next theatre in the distributor’s schedule.

During the pre-digital years of FilmColumbia, our 35mm equipment ran on overdrive — with festival leadership Peter Biskind, Laurence Kardish and Calliope Nicholas all recalling times they met a delivery driver outside the theatre, grabbed the film and ran it up to the projection booth minutes before it was slated to run.

(A special memory is the year early in FilmColumbia’s history when an unknown film rocked the Sneak Preview. The movie? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)