THE verbal equivalent of Oscars have been awarded to the man who has just celebrated 25 years as chief projectionist at Glasgow Film Theatre, the city's oldest active cinema.

It seems Barney McCue was destined to work in the film industry after being born in a tenement above the New Grand Cinema in Cowcaddens in 1949.

As a boy, he spent hours peering into the Grand's projection room as films were cut, pasted and fed through giant machines to entertain the masses.

Mr McCue, who lives in Baillieston with his wife Sadie and grandson Craig, attended the cinema regularly with his mother before beginning his apprenticeship in 1964, learning the art of projection at the ABC Princess in Springburn.

He joined the ABC Clydebank four years later as a second projectionist before moving to the ABC in Sauchiehall Street in 1973, where he became chief projectionist. He joined the GFT in 1981 as chief projectionist and is now technical manager.

"Twenty five years is a long time to stay in one place, but I love the job", he said.

"The thing I like most is entertaining and educating people with the films we show . . . It's like a hobby you get paid for."

A dedicated fan of science fiction, he cites The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet as two of his favourite films.

Jaki McDougall, GFT director led tributes to Mr McCue, saying: "Everyone at GFT is incredibly proud of Barney. It's thanks to him and his team that we are the best cinema in the city."

The lord provost of Glasgow, Liz Cameron, a member of the GFT board, said: "I am delighted to send my best wishes to Barney. GFT and its previous incarnation, the Cosmo, constitute a real Glasgow institution, especially for those of us who love . . . cinema."