Finding Vintage 16mm Projectors

Do you have years of old 16mm film that you just cannot let go of and that you want to watch over and over again? It used to be that 16mm projectors were quite common and you could find them easily, because they were popular for creating home movies. As the years passed by the 16mm projector fell out of the loop and most people have turned to digital. Even now it’s a special experience to sit down and watch a movie that brings back long gone memories of amazing times, on a 16mm projector.


It was in the days of the Great Depression when 16mm projectors made their debut in the world, and they were the main attraction for many moviegoers. Eastman Kodak and Bell & Howell built these projectors to give a boost to entertainment and industry while setting up early companies of film. Once sound was introduced the projectors had to run at least 24 feet of film per second, but in those days the technology only have to push the film at about 17 feet per second.


By the 1970’s lamps nicknamed “Mazda lamps” were used which were tubular lamps in 16mm projectors. 750 watts were needed to power these and they could reach up to 6 inches in some situations. Succeeding these lamps were new, tungsten-halogen lamps which were much more efficient and even became the standard after some time. With Tungsten lamps, you could have just a 250 watt lamp, and it would easily be brighter than a tubular lamp that was 750 watts. the reel sizes of these projectors also varied depending on the user, some were 2000 feet for home movie makers while 6000 foot reels were often used by professionals.


It has become easier to find a good second-hand 16mm projector in the past ten years, thanks to internet sites like eBay. Before the internet came along, 16mm projectors were pretty rare and difficult to find, so it was hard to play all those old home movies. Many would frequent second-hand shops, garage sales and flea markets with the dream of finding a projector, or repairment parts, which was just as difficult. It appeared as if this unique way to watch movies was dead and gone, except for die-hard enthusiasts and collectors. When the internet arrived, especially eBay, people had a new way to sell their old goods. 16mm projectors that had been sitting in attics for decades suddenly rose to the surface of commerce as a desireable piece of equipment for the new generations. Even with the internet 16mm projectors are still collector’s items and the demand has risen for people who just found those old home movies in the attic.


There is a solution for people who have sadly lost their projectors but kept the movies and it can be done with one mouse click. Go to eBay, or another website that sells used items, and you’ll be able to find used 16mm projectors at a great deal, allowing you to travel back in time by enjoying your old home movies!

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