Feb 23, 2012

16mm Revere Film Projector

This week it finally arrived.  After a month of casually browsing online I finally found a vintage 16mm projector that was both stunning to look at and in perfect working condition.  I purchased this 1952 Revere Model 48 silent film projector for $150.  Almost half of that was shipping costs, but even still, given its condition I have to say it was a steal at that price. 

You might be thinking that that's a lot to pay for a decoration, but that actually wasn't the motivation behind the purchase.  I have a box of 16mm projects that I shot in film school that I haven't seen since they were made.  Among these are a couple of animation shorts and a silent film that I shot with my friend Dave - the first thing either of us ever shot on film.  For the sake of preservation and my own nostalgia, I wanted to buy a projector so that I could record the footage and make digital copies of some of my early work.  I figured if I was going to the trouble anyway, I might as well buy one that would be pretty to look at afterwards.

The Revere projector also shipped with a spare lamp and an original 16mm WWII reel of an American army base and Japanese cities.  The film wasn't in great shape, but I was able to watch it along with a few of my own projects and it was a kick to say the least. The sound of the projector, the process of how to load it properly, and the flicker of my film school history projected across the room was a pretty amazing memory to rediscover. 

I can't wait to share some of these shorts in the near future, but in the meantime have a look at this cool piece of history that I've added to my collection.  


Wendy said...

How cool! I can't wait to see the project you and Dave did together :) Also wanted to add that I'm loving your current header!

Editing Luke said...

I want to temper your expectations as it was the very first thing either of us shot on film, so even at its best it's still pretty rough, haha. That said, it is exciting to see some of this stuff again.

I'm glad you like the new header too, it's always fun trying out something new every few weeks :)

Leslie said...

This is super awesome Luke! Well done. The projector is beautiful and the fact that you can use it too is of course wonderful. I think my Dad has some old family film, 16 mm, that had previously been duped to VHS, but it would be awesome to have a digital copy of it. Can you ask him? Also did you see the picture I posted of Chris's reel to reel tape deck? The two of you should get together and form a vintage audio/video club. Such cool stuff.

Seth said...

Hi Luke,

I stumbled across this post while in search of information about a Revere projector that I recently found at a thrift shop. I'm considering purchasing it.

I noticed that the projector I found (same model as yours) has a knob next to the lens that appears to advance the film one frame at a time. Or so I thought. I'm wondering if you can use it to actually project the film this way or if it would melt from sitting in front of the bulb for too long or if that knob is used for something else. I'm interested in doing some old-school rotoscoping. I've seen projectors that can stop on a single frame before. Can this one do that?


Editing Luke said...

Seth - I find that knob is more so for lining up your film when threading it. You can preview the film this way, but your assumption is correct about the heat, it will melt the film if left for too long.

Otherwise, it's still a great projector and is certainly nice to look at when it's not in use. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

I have purchased the same projector .... what a beauty I found a manual for it at www.craigcamera.com for about $12.00. One thing though it looks like it will only take up to a 7" reel .I have a larger reel that I want to view so I guess I will have to purchase another projector.