In addition to my interests in mechanical music, _and_ toy trains
(too many hobbies!), I have been a film collector since I got my first
hand-cranked 8 mm movie projector at about the age of 9. From that
point through the advent of affordable home video, I purchased films
regularly in 8 mm and Super-8, sound and silent, mainly from Blackhawk
Films in Iowa.
Once I got my first VHS VCR in the early 80s, the affordability of
video vs. film made me switch formats, but I missed the "touchie-feelie"
of holding film up to the light and seeing the frames, of threading
the projector, and of the big, sharp picture on a screen.
Recently I purchased a 16 mm projector on eBay, and now am regularly
buying films again. I also have gotten hooked on a fairly rare (at
least here in the US) home movie format from the 20s and 30s, Pathe's
9.5 mm format. I found a complete 1928 Pathe' outfit in its original
box in a flea market a few months back, and am now actively seeking
Pathe' (Pathex) films to add to my collection.
And how does this all tie to mechanical music? I love accompanying
my silent films with selected player piano rolls (the ones meant for
Photoplayers are perfect!), or also will often use 1920s dance music
on one of my spring-wound phonographs. It gives folks a real period
"multimedia" experience, seeing _and_ hearing the films as they were