The Last Traveling Film Projectionist

Rafael Marchante / Reuters

“If I'm not the last one, I'm close,” Feliciano told Reuters. “When I'm gone, traveling cinema will be mentioned in articles, but only as a memory.”

Feliciano, who works as a bookkeeper in Lisbon during the week, got his start in the 1950s, helping another traveling projectionist show films in his own rural village. Without a protege of his own, he worries that the communities he serves will switch over to hard drives and no longer experience the true magic of the movie theater.

“Sometimes I feel like I am cinema,” Feliciano said. “At a screening, here's the machine, the screen, the audience, all concentrated together, we laugh, cry together. And without me it doesn't work. Thrilling.”

Rafael Marchante photographed Feliciano's dying profession in elaborate detail: the packing of celluloid reels into a petite van, the driving mile after mile to a room of older cinephiles, and the waiting patiently for the flicker of the screen.