The projectionist strike of 1914 is one of the earliest examples of film workers organizing in New Orleans. Few details are known about its origins or outcomes, but accounts of its unfolding offer insight into the shifting cultural landscape of the early film economy.
Projectionists played a key role in early movie theaters. They operated all the equipment in the projection booth and were responsible for the handling of large reels of film. Despite its central function, the job was not without occupational hazards. Projection booths could become easily overheated, and the equipment was rudimentary and prone to failure. In the early days of film, the highly flammable equipment led to a series of major fires in theaters.  According to film scholar Richard Abel, the projectionist of the silent film era was “an invisible employee confined to a cramped and insalubrious booth for long periods of time, enduring the worst working conditions ever found in the film industry.” 
Letters from New Orleans to the film magazine Moving Picture World give conflicting accounts of the strike's activities. Some writers claimed that during a Saturday night show, strikers had thrown stink bombs into crowded theaters, including facilities owned by local film magnate Herman Fichtenberg's Alamo Theater located on the 1000 block of Canal Street. At least two people were arrested for disturbing the peace related to these incidents. Others disavowed any striker involvement in the stink bomb attacks, claiming that theater owners were inciting unrest by refusing to sit down and negotiate with the strikers on civil terms. 
Although the union representing projectionists and other film workers, IATSE Local 478, was not incorporated in New Orleans until 1986, the strike illustrates that concern over workers' rights in the movie industry was an issue in the city even in the early days of Hollywood South.