I bought a like new Bell & Howell 8mm / Super 8 projector for $5.00 at a yard sale. I had no need for it, but at $5.00, I couldn’t resist. The woman I bought it from was in her 80s, and she got a good laugh when I asked her if it would play DVDs. I think she thought I was serious.
Initially, I thought I might try to make some money and sell it. Then I thought it might make for good eye candy on a shelf in my office. Then I had a brilliant idea. Why don’t I find some film and use it as a projector??? So that’s what I did. I went to eBay and made two purchases.
My first purchase was a small reel of 8mm film. The seller had not previewed the film and there was no label, so it was a complete mystery. My second purchase was two seven-inch reels of Super 8 film that only had the years marked on the canisters. 1970-1971 & 1971-1972. So both purchases were a complete mystery, which I found very intriguing. I guess you never know what you could end up with. Hairy 1970s porn, satanic rituals, or maybe even footage of what happened to Jimmy Hoffa…
You have to wonder how reels end up separated from the people who filmed them. I suppose it’s either due to estate sales, or that people lack projectors and just end up disposing of this outdated format. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame these little bits of time are locked away for nobody to see.
So that’s why I decided that for now on when I come across 8mm/Super 8 film reels, I’m going to free them from their tin sarcophagi and post them on YouTube for all to see.
The first small reel I bought turned out to be some home movies from an older group of friends in Canada. Nothing crazy here except the part where they walk out of bar. Could they have had a few beverages? ***GASP*** At one point in the film, a sign for Gaspé, Quebec is seen with another sign in the background for Hotel Vibert’s. There is also some footage of Percé Rock. The film ends with a sign from the city of Brampton, Ontario.
The two seven-inch reels come from what appears to be a tight knit family. The thing that strikes me the most in these two reels is how happy this family is. And it doesn’t seem like an act for the camera… It seems genuine. The reels contain footage of some equestrian training, family gatherings, cigarettes, cocktail parties, dinners, goofing around, fishes caught at Pompano Beach, Florida, a slumber party, and much more. There is a scene where a couple starts making out at a party for about three seconds, but that’s about as salty as this film gets.
The children in these two films are now in their 40s and 50s and my hope is that they’ll somehow stumble across this video. It seems like something somebody in their family would really treasure.
While there is nothing overly exciting that occurs in these films, I think they’re a fascinating peek back into time. The clothing, the jewelry, the furniture, the cars, the smoking, the lack of smartphones, computers, video games, and flat screen TVs…