The Dying of the Light


THE DYING OF THE LIGHT (2015, 95 mins)

Produced, Directed, Photographed, and Edited by Peter Flynn.

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Largely unchanged for more than a century, the projection of photochemical film faces an uncertain future in the digital age. The practice of handing and projecting film is in danger of being lost; and the role of film projectionist is nearing extinction.


THE DYING OF THE LIGHT explores at the history and craft of motion picture presentation through the lives and stories of the last generation of career projectionists. By turns humorous and melancholic, their candid reflections on life in the booth reveal a world that has largely gone unnoticed and is now at an end. The result is a loving tribute to the art and romance of the movies—and to the unseen people who brought the light to our screens.




“A love letter to the artisans and odd characters who, alone and out of sight, work their magic for moviegoing purists who still appreciate all that celluloid has to offer.” – Loren King, The Boston Globe


“An elegiac tribute to the artistry of film and to the men and women who toiled ‘behind the curtain’ to bring that artistry to life every day in movie­ theaters around the world, The Dying of the Light is a not-to-be-missed treasure of movie history. In the course of his investigations, Flynn sends his camera along with film collectors and historians into the bunker-like, windowless projection booths of long abandoned movie palaces. The effect, as one historian observes, recalls the opening of ancient Egyptian tombs.”  – James Verniere, Boston Herald


One of the “10 must-see documentaries” of DOC NYC 2015 – IndieWire


The Dying of the Light preserves a precious slice of history. It will engage anyone who ever went to a movie.”– David Bordwell




Paul Bader at the Northfield Drive-In in New Hampshire reminiscences on his early days as a projectionist.


Projectionist Raber Umphenhour explores the projection booth at the now-derelict Victory Theatre.