This blog consists of some anecdotes about Corinne Gilson’s time as a projectionist at the Everyman
for about 15 years from 1986. They were sent to me by her husband, Gilles Mulette, in April 2023,
following his discovery of the Everyman website. Sadly, she had died two years previously but he was
keen to tell her story as someone who was very happy working at the Everyman.
The young couple arrived in London from France in 1986. They didn’t think they were going to stay
forever, but they loved London and had visited regularly for music and clothes. They took a series of
small jobs as a way of spending some time in a city that they liked. One day Corinne came back to
their bedsit and announced that she thought she had a real job as a projectionist in a small cinema in
Hampstead. She did in fact have a French cinema projectionist diploma, but it was useless in France
as there were no positions available. Corinne was interviewed by the projectionist along with Peter
Howden, the Director. At that time her English was very limited, so she didn’t understand much of
what they were talking about. She did pick up that they were very interested in the French Nouvelle
Vague as well as making reference to Gauloise cigarettes and even the 2 CV Citroen.
She got the job and started the next day. The new situation changed their lives and they decided to
settle in London. Those fifteen years at the Everyman were a very happy part of her life.
The projection room was below Peter’s flat (he lived on the premises) where there were several
cats. One of them, appropriately named sprocket, lived in the projection room. There was a door in
the projection room opening to the left with a small balcony with a view of the back of restaurants.
One day she saw a waiter repeating classical dance moves during his break. For her the place was
magic and the films shown were always excellent.
Gilles recalls that the hardest part of the job was to get the films into the projection room. There was
no lift so the metallic boxes, once delivered, were carried up the many flights of stairs. Gilles was
often recruited to help.
Eventually Corinne got a projectionist job at the Barbican but she kept in touch with Peter Howden.
Peter remembers Corinne, one of the loveliest people he has known, with affection. He recalls her job
interview as being over within minutes as he could see she was absolutely perfect – unflappable,
professional and determined to do the best possible job. That turned out to be the case.