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4th row center: The naked projectionist

It was an unbroken string of 90 degree days. The auditorium of Chicago's Parkway Theatre was properly chilled, but outside in the lobby, the consessioneers had all they could do to keep the M&Ms from melting inside the display case that suddenly doubled as a humidor. What, no refrigerator? We couldn't sell ice cream -- there was barely enough room behind the glass display case for a popper and two staffers let alone cooling apparatus.

None

Picture yourself stationed behind a cramped glass box in a small, non-air conditioned lobby. Add to that a pair of sweltering 35mm lamp housings and you can only imagine how unmanageable the heat in projection booth was.

The home office suggested that we keep the supply of candy on display to a minimum, rotate the stock whenever necessary, and place a fan in the upstairs locker where we stored the surplus snacks.

The matinee crowd performed a clean sweep of the candy counter. With 20 minutes left before the next feature, I hiked up the stairs to restock.

What sounded like a slow leak greeted me the moment I unlocked the shed. "Psst. Psst." It wasn't coming from the fan. "Scott," cried a voice from above. At the foot of the stairs outside the balcony door stood Lenny, my projectionist, wearing nothing more than a pair of black socks and a look of panic. The balcony was seldom open. During the scorched summer months, Lenny took to projecting in the buff. Emerging from the booth for a momentary cool down, Lenny forgot to unlatch the door and had accidentally locked himself out.

None

I let loose with a double-take that would have snapped a lesser man's neck (and made Vernon Dent proud). "Do you need me to pick up your dry cleaning?" I deadpanned.

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It was an unbroken string of 90 degree days. The auditorium of Chicago's Parkway Theatre was properly chilled, but outside in the lobby, the consessioneers had all they could do to keep the M&Ms from melting inside the display case that suddenly doubled as a humidor. What, no refrigerator? We couldn't sell ice cream -- there was barely enough room behind the glass display case for a popper and two staffers let alone cooling apparatus.

None

Picture yourself stationed behind a cramped glass box in a small, non-air conditioned lobby. Add to that a pair of sweltering 35mm lamp housings and you can only imagine how unmanageable the heat in projection booth was.

The home office suggested that we keep the supply of candy on display to a minimum, rotate the stock whenever necessary, and place a fan in the upstairs locker where we stored the surplus snacks.

The matinee crowd performed a clean sweep of the candy counter. With 20 minutes left before the next feature, I hiked up the stairs to restock.

What sounded like a slow leak greeted me the moment I unlocked the shed. "Psst. Psst." It wasn't coming from the fan. "Scott," cried a voice from above. At the foot of the stairs outside the balcony door stood Lenny, my projectionist, wearing nothing more than a pair of black socks and a look of panic. The balcony was seldom open. During the scorched summer months, Lenny took to projecting in the buff. Emerging from the booth for a momentary cool down, Lenny forgot to unlatch the door and had accidentally locked himself out.

None

I let loose with a double-take that would have snapped a lesser man's neck (and made Vernon Dent proud). "Do you need me to pick up your dry cleaning?" I deadpanned.

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I laughed so loud that I set off the security alarms... voices asking "This is Brinks Security. Are you okay?"

Priceless, Scott.

July 29, 2013
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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