Hey Heidi: How are movies played at theaters?

ST. LOUIS - It is a whisper heard daily around St. Louis at a place where people can pop in and get their fill of what's now showing. Jeff Hill, however, gets to see all those movies before the rest of us since he's a digital projection technician for Wehrenberg Theatres.

"So the grid across gives you the time it's supposed to start and the movie name," Hill said.

It's a job that's changed a bit over the years.

"What used to happen is you'd receive all of your movies as individual pictures," Hill said.

They would run through a projector. Eventually they used big platters to spin the reels, but these days there are no reels, everything is digital.

"You would have the light shooting through the film and it would invert it with the lens and put it on the screen now it's the same process, but instead of the film on the screen it's actually just an LCD screen and that LCD screen is changed by a computer," Hill said.

They even receive movies differently.

"Everything you get is on a hard drive and we can receive them through the mail, through UPS or satellite delivery," Hill said.

There's still a projector, one for each auditorium actually.

"This is an individual projector and this is the server that will run the projector. We've got an automation system and a dimmer system that all integrate together," Hill said.

It even dims the lights. So what's on the big screen might keep you on the edge of your seat, but what's happening behind the scenes is also something to whisper about.


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