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Bell Theatre Services
Unit 9B Chester Road


Max Bell

Managing Director
Max Bell started work in 1960 as a film projectionist with Associated British Cinemas. Shortly after this he entered film production, working first in sound post production before moving on to editorial work as an Assistant Film Editor, later rising to the position of First Assistant Editor. In 1971 he returned to sound post production, establishing a mixing suite for a small London based Company utilising Dolby A- type noise reduction for 16mm magnetic pre-dubs for BBC documentaries. In 1976 he joined Dolby Laboratories as a Film Applications Engineer.

Max has maintained a lifelong interest not only in watching films, but also in their production and post-production.

He is a member of the AMPAS and SMPTE.

Sean Downey

Sean worked for many years in projection at the Empire Leicester Square and Plaza Cinema, Lower Regent Street. He subsequently became one of the founding staff members at Bell Theatre Services, joining in 1989 and remaining at the core ever since.

Sean is a keen follower of cinema and an avid collector of arthouse.

Paul Oliver

Director &
Engineers Manager
Paul started his cinema career as a projectionist at the Robins cinema, Camberley in 1992, then went on to run a number of cinemas around London including the first fully digital multiplex in Europe for Odeon.

After working as an engineer for Odeon, Paul joined Bell Theatre Services as an engineer in 2011. Paul was promoted to Manager of Engineering, and in 2020 made a director.
In his spare time Paul enjoys Theatre, Skiing and is a long suffering season ticket holder for Arsenal football club.

Steffan Laugharne

design and project Manager

Steffan started working as a relief projectionist at Theatr Clwyd, Mold, Flintshire in 1983 and joined Bell Theatre Services in 1999 having worked as a Chief Technician for Odeon Cinemas in London.

As well as servicing and installing 35mm and digital projection equipment, Steff is involved in the planning and equipment specification for new cinemas, as well as leading the installation team on new construction projects.

In addition to entertaining his four children, Steff enjoys skiing, playing the piano and organ in his spare time.   In 1995, Steff attained a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Imperial College, London and is an Associate of the Royal College of Science.

Barry Wright

Cinema Engineer
Barry’s interest in the cinema began while studying for his B.Sc. in Physics at London’s Imperial College, where he was instrumental in the day to day technical running of the College Cinema. After graduating in 1996, Barry began working as a projectionist for Warner Bros. Cinemas at their Harrow cinema. It was not long before a vacancy became available with Rank’s Technical Service Dept. which Barry occupied in the position of trainee Engineer under the legendary late Barry Diamondstone. After a short while Barry became an Engineer for Odeon Cinemas, looking after London and the South East Region. A short spell followed with Sound Associates, before Barry joined Bell Theatre Services in 1999. Barry is heavily involved with the highly accurate calibration of film and digital projectors in the post production industry, as well as thoroughly enjoying specialist 35mm rental screenings for unusual events such as Napoleon, and the annual outdoor screenings at Somerset House.

James Tilling

Cinema Engineer
James joined Bell Theatre Services in 2004, having gained a B.Sc. in Film and Video Technology at Southampton Solent University. He is heavily involved with Digital Cinema projection providing quality control services for film premieres, post production installations, and on-set installations for film dailies and cut sequences. Including projects on a number of Warner Bros features where he was responsible for installing, supporting and maintaining the viewing theatre during production at Leavesden studios and also during post-production at Goldcrest. As well as installing a number of digital projection systems within post production facilities he returns frequently to perform calibration checks and upgrades to maintain their high level of accuracy. In his spare time he enjoys downhill mountain biking, snowboarding and has a keen interest in cinema and film in general.

Mike Vale

Cinema Engineer
Mike found a love for cinema and, in particular, cinema audio formats within his first few visits to the cinema in the early 1990’s. This interest continued through his education, starting with studio recording at secondary school and culminating with a BSc in Audio Technology at Southampton Solent University in 2005.

An opportunity arose in 2007 to become part of the engineering team at Bell theatre Services. Mike is now involved with many aspects of the company’s projects, including Digital Cinema networking, interconnectivity and remote access, installation and calibration of Digital Projection equipment and interfacing to automation and alternative content sources.

In his spare time he has hobbies centred on music, motorsport and film and tv.

Peter Grimes

Cinema Engineer
Peter worked as an Engineer for Odeon Cinemas. He headed the southern digital cinema installations and was fundamental in the digital switchover.

Peter joined Bell Theatre in 2016. He maintains and installs all areas of sound and projection to ensure the best performance for the cinemas.

Matthew Neil

Cinema Engineer

Matt has work in cinemas for many years and been a valued member of the engineering team at Bell Theatre for many more.

In his spare time Matt enjoys long walks with his dog. Cycling also a growing hobby as well as restoring classic cars and supporting Norwich FC.

Alex Yesilirmak

cinema Engineer

Having started working life as an apprentice sound engineer in the technical theatre sector, Alex took up a role in cinema sound engineering with South London based Future Projections. Quickly gaining proficiency in this area Alex became a 35/70mm film and digital cinema engineer specialising in bespoke installations across the UK and Europe for gallery and event projection.

Alex joined Bell Theatre Services during 2021 and has become a much-valued member of the engineering team.  Personal interests include outdoor pursuits, engine building and art.

Joseph Montagu

Cinema Engineer
We are very pleased to announce that in July 2022, Joe joined our team as a Trainee engineer. He has very quickly become a valuable member of the team.

David Gentis

Cinema Engineer
We are very pleased to announce that David Joined our engineering team in December 2022. He has become a valuable member of the team.

Mike Sabey

Cinema Engineers Assistant
In May 2023 we welcomed Mike Sabey to the team as a digital Cinema Assistant. Mike has a long standing association with BTS, he is now o the road to becoming an engineer.

Jim Whittle

Cinema Engineer
In September 2023 we welcomed Jim Whittle to the engineering team. With a love of cinema projection and a first job in a projection room in his teenage years way back in the 80’s, Jim has had a varied career in cinema. Starting in small independent circuits and BFI RFT Cinemas. Moving onto Warner Village and then technical management for Apollo Cinemas, Jim gained experience in cinema engineering and management. Moving back to the Indie cinema world in 2006, Jim first became technical manager and then head of cinema technical resources for Dartington Hall Trust before a 5 year stint as a freelance cinema engineer, film programmer and project manager.

Jim has experience of all current DCI Projection and audio systems, 16mm, 35mm, & 70mm film as well as more specialist processes such as film restoration, outdoor cinema and mechanical engineering. We all look forward to Jim bringing his expertise to BTS.

Based in the sunny south west of the UK, when not with his wife and son, Jim builds steam locomotives, enjoys fishing
and the great Devonshire outdoors.


Trainee Cinema Engineer
We have a position available in our engineering team. If you would like to join our highly regarded team of engineers please send a CV and covering letter of application to