Smithsonian Theaters seeks an experienced Projectionist to operate IMAX digital and IMAX film projectors, conventional digital cinema projectors, 16-, 35-, and 70-mm film cinema projectors, various audio/visual equipment (including a range of ADA equipment), digital dome projection and sound systems, PowerPoint and similar presentation projectors, meeting room A/V systems, theater and planetarium audio and lighting systems, computers, and other audio/visual systems, as needed.

The Projectionist will work at either the Albert Einstein Planetarium (National Air and Space Museum), or the Airbus IMAX Theater (National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center).

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develops and maintains knowledge and skills used to operate existing and new equipment. Studies, understands, and follows policies and procedures related to the theaters, including related technical and safety issues.
  • Follows a very flexible work schedule that may include early mornings, late nights, or occasional overnight work.
  • Notifies supervisor immediately in the event of any problem with operation of any piece of equipment or system that affects the quality of shows.
  • Provides routine technical maintenance of selected projectors and A/V systems, such as changing projection lamps, cleaning filters, and other tasks as needed/required.
  • Escorts and assists vendors during preventive maintenance and emergency repair sessions.
  • Professionally interacts with theater patrons and museum visitors as well as co-workers and associates. Answers questions, and completes other duties as assigned.
  • Maintains and updates an inventory of theater content on hand including hard disk drives, film prints, and/or other media.


Associate’s degree (A. A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school; or six months to one year related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Ability to work weekends and holidays, as well as weekdays and evenings, is required, in order to meet the demands of the Smithsonian Theaters 364-day-per-year public schedule and schedule of special events.

  • One year of general experience in the operation and maintenance of audio/visual equipment or one year experience as a professional digital dome theater console operator is required.
  • Applicant must be familiar with audio/visual equipment and able to perform basic service and repair, and operate a wide range of electrical, electronic, and optical equipment.
  • Must be experienced operating cinema and/or digital dome and theater sound and lighting systems.
  • Must demonstrate an ability to readily acquire new skills and learn on the job.
  • Punctual and reliable attendance is required.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays, as well as weekdays and evenings, is required, in order to meet the demands of the Smithsonian Theaters 364-day-per-year public schedule and schedule of special events.

This position requires travel at some times between Smithsonian Theaters’ locations in Washington, D.C, and Chantilly, Virginia. Projectionists must be able to stand for long periods of time, and must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Occasionally, they must lift and/or move up to 100 pounds using a mechanical lift.

Salary: Up to $45,000, commensurate with experience.

We offer excellent benefit programs including Health, Dental and Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Transit/Commuter Benefits, Annual and Sick Leave Accrual, Family Friendly Leave, 403b Retirement Program, Discounts for Smithsonian Memberships, Museum Stores and Restaurants, Flexible Spending Account (Health & Dependent Care)

Applicants, who wish to qualify based on education completed outside the United States, must be deemed equivalent to higher education programs of U.S. Institutions by an organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. This documentation is the responsibility of the applicant and should be included as part of your application package.

Final candidate selection will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a pre-employment background check and subsequent background investigation. Employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period and participate in Direct Deposit for salary payment. EOE. This is not a Federal Service position. Applicants must be U.S. employment eligible. No phone calls, please. Relocation expenses are not paid.

To apply, please email resume and cover letter, including salary requirements, to:

Please include job title in the subject line. Application materials received without salary information will not be considered.