Last Reels links the past fifty years of the cinema business in the UK with the lives of three people who work as projectionists.
Bill started as a rewind boy in the early sixties, and has seen many changes through his career - the conversion of single screen cinemas into twins and triples, the introduction of automation, xenon lamps and platters. He's survived all the changes and job cuts and managed to keep working even during the seventies and eighties when the business was in decline and cinemas shut every week.
Caroline began working in the cinema while studying at college. Somehow, she stayed and has found a happy niche in projection. She loves the style and grandeur of the nineteen thirties cinemas, the magic of film projection and the art of good presentation. But does she really want to stay on as the job becomes integrated with management and standards fall?
Graham's family and girlfriend would prefer he had another job; one which was more in keeping with his degree, yet he has chosen to make his career in projection. As the conversion from 35mm to digital ploughs relentlessly on, he becomes a cinema engineer, visiting increasingly deserted projection rooms throughout the country as experienced people leave the trade.