Your First Projector

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
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FILM THURSO
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Your First Projector

Post by FILM THURSO »

Just a thought I had for a press photo for a project I'm involved in. It dawned on me that the most appropriate thing to include was my first projector so I'm wondering what was your first projector?

Mine was given to me as a christmas present when I was 10 (following months of, "mum, can I have that for christmas?") I wasn't a demanding child and only asked for one specific thing each year and not expensive. So there I was on christmas morning with the finest toy a boy could ever hope for. It wasn't one of those slide projector thingies, no this baby ran movies- oh yes!

Manufactured by Mettoy, my Corgi Movie Projector took the Movie Viewer cartridges containing super 8 mm colour film which ran at about 8fps giving about a minute of viewing. The projector was hand cranked and took 4 batteries with a lens bulb projecting the film up to a picture of about 7 inches wide.

In those days we had a few power cuts in the winter months so I had lots of fun with my projector. Under the chest of drawers in my room there was space for a little screen and I made seats with toilet roll tubes and orange felt. The audience of assembled Star Wars figures and Playpeople enjoyed many films in my mini cinema. It even had coloured lights on dimmers and musical accompanyment (a bit of inovation there). Disney films and superhero cartoons were the mainstay of this entertainment.

Also available in the Movie Viewer range was a hand held/cranked viewer and a motorised TV/projector which allowed the films to be viewed like a TV on it's built in screen or to be projected. I later added these to my collection and also bought another projector just to keep good.

It will be 30 years this christmas since I got my first projector and you know what's good about that... I still have it!
Merry Christmas everyone :D
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Your First Projector

Post by Dave Watterson »

Good to hear from you again, Thurso!
My first projector was inherited from my dad: a Midas 9.5mm combined camera and projector. Torch bulb and batteries, hand-cranked. I seem to recall a black-and-white Mickey Mouse movie as well as home movies. It was a clever device with cartridge loading and the 9.5mm notched frame system for captions which meant they stayed on screen as long as you wished and you moved them on with a button.
The first one I bought was a Russian Luch standard-8mm device affectionately known by us as "Lurch" because the whole heavy metal machine rocked as it showed movies. It was mains powered.
Thereafter came a couple of Bell & Howell 16mm machines of different vintages.
- Dave
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FILM THURSO
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Re: Your First Projector

Post by FILM THURSO »

Great stuff, I've seen those little 9.5mm gadgets and often fancied adding one to my collection. They would also be handy for animation and making optical mattes. I was later given a CineRoyal which was silent and ran at 18fps without shutter or sprockets and was mains powered. It was also handy for rotoscope and mattes! Ideally not good for film though as it would slowly add tiny scratches to the movies. Then I got an Imac Bisonix which I still have and would love to have the timing fixed. It is really good apart from a timing problem which was my fault. I eventually graduated to the Elmo GS1200 ( ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY ELMO) and have a variety of Bell & Howell 16mm machines and a Specto 9.5mm. The master of them all is the 35mm Kalee 12 with RCA Photophone soundhead which lives (and rules almighty) on the stairwell (HAIL THE GOD OF ALL CINEMA PROJECTION). There is something about a film projector, I suppose it's the same as a car would be for those that like that sort of thing. There are some wonderful projectors out there and I'm sure we all have our favourites and special memories, let's hear some more. I was recently talking to a cinema manager and she said she loved the sound a running projector makes. I heartily agreed with her :D
Roy

Re: Your First Projector

Post by Roy »

My first projector was a Pathe Ace 9.5mm. I had a couple of films with it. I think one of them was the funeral of George v. I used to give shows in the backyard for kids at a halfpenny a time. I think that was where the seeds were sown for my eventually running a small chain of 16mm cinemas in North Wales. Happy Xmas everyone and a good 2010. Roy
Brian Saberton
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Re: Your First Projector

Post by Brian Saberton »

My first proper projector was a Hanimex machine that took standard 8 film. It was purchased around 1965 but wasn't very reliable so about a year later I bought a Eumig P8 which was very solidly built. That gave way to my first sound projector, a Eumig Mark S 709 dual gauge, which I still have and which is (just about) still working!

My first attempts at projection go much further back. I had a toy film viewer, purchased in Woolworths, that ran a continuous loop of film and I discovered that by shining a torch through the bit you held up to the light and through the viewing lens I could project a picture onto a white handkerchief. Ah the sweet memories of childhood.
Brian Saberton
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