“Shame on Arclight!”
“What do we want? Living wages! When do we want them? Now!”
Last Saturday evening the movie-and-sushi crowd that regularly assembles in the Sunset Boulevard ArcLight Cinema’s courtyard witnessed a spirited protest organized by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union (IATSE) Local 33, on behalf of the projectionists employed by Tinseltown’s priciest movie venue. It was the latest in a series of union actions against ArcLight aimed at drawing public attention to the theater projectionists’ meager wages — under $13 an hour and without health care or pension benefits — nearly half of IATSE’s pay and benefits compensation.
The timing couldn’t have been more annoyingly inopportune for ArcLight. The evening marked the grand opening of the Lionsgate picture Interstellar and, as it turns out, Lionsgate is now busy outsourcing, to overseas, jobs previously held by union musicians.