Who is Local 395

2015 marks the centennial anniversary of IATSE Local 395.  Chartered in November 1915, its members initially provided expertise as film projectionists in numerous local movie houses.  Ann Arbor had, at one point, fifteen movie theaters, although only the historic Michigan and State Theaters remain today.

Since the 1920s, Local 395 has maintained a strong relationship with The University of Michigan. Several student groups required the use of projectionists around campus, both in classrooms as well as for independent film groups on campus. At the same time stagehands began working the professional productions that were being produced in and touring through the campus theaters. Our members have long worked as stage electricians, stage carpenters, audio technicians, stage prop handlers, wardrobe attendants, as well as film and video projectionists.

As the years have gone by and technologies have changed our membership has evolved the skill sets necessary to remain current with theatrical practices.  Analog and solid state systems have been superseded by digital technologies, transforming the use of audio, lighting, and projected imagery for live entertainment.

The men and women of Local 395 take our work seriously and strive to be leaders in the field. Cumulatively we have decades of experience with electrical systems, intelligent lighting & control, audio & video equipment, scenic construction, and theatrical rigging systems, and are committed to ongoing training in both new entertainment technologies as well as in workplace safety.  Many of our members are OSHA 10 certified, and are certified to work and rescue workers at height. As facilities have come due for renovation, our members have been consulted on what those changes should be.

We can be found behind the scenes bringing ballet to the Power Center, symphonies to Hill Auditorium, rock to the Summer Festival Top of the Park, and movies to the screen at the Michigan Theater.

From scenic construction and rigging to hair, makeup & wardrobe we have the skills to help your show.  If you are looking for production management, stage management, or entertainment design we have the knowledge to make your event run smoothly. If you are considering adding audio or lighting to your next live event and are not exactly sure how to pull it off, give us a call.

What is the I.A.T.S.E.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts is the Union that represents over 120,000 technicians and craftspeople working behind the scenes in the Entertainment Industry in the United States and Canada.
The International Alliance was founded in 1893 when representatives of stagehands working in eleven cities met in New York and pledged to support each others’ efforts to establish fair wages and working conditions for their members. Our union has evolved to embrace the development of new entertainment mediums, craft expansion, technological innovation and geographic growth.
Today, our members work in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. We represent virtually all the behind-the-scenes workers in crafts ranging from motion picture animator to theater usher.
During a period when private sector union membership has been in sharp decline the IATSE has continued to grow. In 2015, our membership has reachd nearly 122,000. This growth is attributable to our willingness to adapt our structure to protect our traditional jurisdiction and accommodate new crafts. But that alone is insufficient. The IATSE has maintained and enhanced its position in the vanguard of the entertainment industry through effective rank and file empowerment, political engagement, and our dedication to grass roots organizing. On both the International and local union levels, the motivating principle of the IATSE is to represent every worker employed in our crafts.

This taken from the International’s Website