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Author Topic: Film prices of the mid 1960's
Barry Attwood
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1411
From: Enfield, U.K.
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted September 02, 2015 05:01 AM      Profile for Barry Attwood   Email Barry Attwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've just had in the first 6 volumes of Heritage Films "Flicker Flashbacks" in Standard 8mm 'Hi-Fidelity' Sound (all superb quality!), and on the front of the original box is the R.R.P. which was £6 9 Shillings & 6 pence, which made me think how dear (if you paid the full asking price) one of these reels must have been, I bet the weekly wage for the mid sixties would only be between 10 & 15 Pounds. It just shows that film has always been dear (especially sound items), but as is today, we collectors always seem to find a way of buying a title we really, really want!

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Gary Brocklehurst
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: West Bromwich, West Midlands, England
Registered: Apr 2006

 - posted September 02, 2015 05:55 AM      Profile for Gary Brocklehurst   Email Gary Brocklehurst   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Barry

An online inflation calculator indicates that £6.47 in 1965 would be worth £117.24 today!

Kindest Regards Always

Gary Brocklehurst

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Barry Attwood
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1411
From: Enfield, U.K.
Registered: Aug 2003

 - posted September 02, 2015 06:11 AM      Profile for Barry Attwood   Email Barry Attwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Gary,

Yes and I forgot to mention these were only 200' reels as well!

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Clinton Hunt
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 845
From: Waharoa,North Island,New Zealand
Registered: May 2010

 - posted September 02, 2015 08:11 AM      Profile for Clinton Hunt   Author's Homepage   Email Clinton Hunt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Barry,
I have 2 of these on standard8 sound as well and they are great with good sound and picture,and one on super8.
That inflation calculator really does show the expense they were but I guess it was still new technology? [Smile]

Cheers from me in New Zealand :-)

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted September 02, 2015 10:49 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here are prices from the 1969 Walton catalogue for sound films:-

200ft Standard 8 = £5 10s
200ft Super 8 = £6
400ft 16mm = £10 10s

10s = ten shillings, i.e., 50 pence in new money.

In 1969 I was probably earning about £20 a week.


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Steven J Kirk
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 873
From: Southern England
Registered: Apr 2008

 - posted September 02, 2015 11:11 AM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, the hobby has certainly gotten a lot cheaper! I have just purchased a Walton one reel B/W sound for £8.48 including postage.

Motion Picture High-Fidelity

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted September 02, 2015 11:22 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Those were different days.

If you wanted to have a movie on demand back then it was basically watch film or do without.

So back on the last day before the VCR was introduced, some people who showed film were hobbyists, others (maybe even "most") were just people who wanted to see a movie at home and this was the means to that end.

-and that explains all the projectors and films coming out of storage these days.

Most of us here got the VCR and then the DVD player and still showed film anyway. The "movie people" bailed out like they were aboard a burning ship.

-different needs...

All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Dave Groves
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 508
From: Southend on Sea, Essex, UK
Registered: Feb 2015

 - posted September 02, 2015 11:30 AM      Profile for Dave Groves   Email Dave Groves   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In 1971 you could buy Will Hay in 'Ask a Policeman' 8 reels for £38. 'Genevieve' was also available on eight reels Super 8 B/W at the same price. Prices seem to have come down as Super 8 200' was now £4.50. At that time I could go to the pictures, have a Fry's Cream Bar (2p approx) and an ice cream and have change out of 2/6(12 1/2p). In 1960 i was earning £2.02 as an apprentice in the printing trade. In the 1950's 9.5 was popular (many Chemists on the High Street sold it) and silent prints were 30' 5/- (25p) and 60' was 9/6 (47 1/2p). Films and projectors did seem expensive, especially the better models but the choice was growing and titles were increasing. It was a great time.


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Brian Fretwell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1785
From: London, UK
Registered: Jun 2014

 - posted September 02, 2015 06:11 PM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looking at a 1976 "Movie Maker" magazine, cover price 35p, Derann 1 reel colour/sound Look at Life prints were £11 with 15p postage. Powell were selling similar spec Disneys at £11.85, Mailmaster - Columbia 400ft £23.50. A Eumig Mk 810D Lux HQS was £200. An Elf RT-1H optical only 16mm £382 new and a second hand B&H 643 (opt and mag) £249, both plus a massive 8% VAT!!!.
A glossy specialist magazine now would be more than £4 so multiply those prices by at least 10 (plus the increased VAT) and prices now seem a real bargain

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted September 02, 2015 07:53 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was growing up in the UK in the 1950's, cine was a wealthy man's hobby. An 8mm Bolex M8 projector at about 60 pounds Sterling was equivalent to a months wages for my dad who worked at Barry docks. The Bolex C8 camera was about another months wages. Until I left home and started working, my cine hobby was restricted to a lowly 9.5mm Pathe Ace and renting 9.5mm silent films at 2 shillings a clip for a weekend. The prospect of ever owning a sound projector seemed light years away!

The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted September 02, 2015 11:26 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Beside talking the inflation rate into our calculation, we have also to think about the advance of technology between those years and now.

For example in 1980 a 25 MB hard disk was already considered huge and might have cost you $100, but now a small USB with 8 GB capacity is only $3.

So it is not only the cost of material but how the technology has made everything cheaper.

So if a 150' reel was $25 in 1980 and it is equal to $72 at today's money, however, if we produce a 200' reel with today's technology, it may get down to $50.

And if the size of market is supposed to be the same as if in 1980, I may say the price will be going down even cheaper to $30 something I think is not that expensive for this hobby.


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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted September 03, 2015 04:33 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Paul

In 1972 I was earning about 21 pound a week as a qualified mechanic, after tax left 16 pound, then 6 pound of that went into the house, another 5 pound for a weekly rail ticket to get to work.

Well what was left after working 40 hours was what I would call "weekly survival money".... thinking of buying a projector or camera just never came into it [Eek!]

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012

 - posted September 03, 2015 04:58 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
As Paul and Graham have both pointed out, you would have had to have been a very wealthy individual indeed to pursue this hobby to any kind of level many of us do today.

It's still not cheap now, but even us mere mortals can now afford some of the very best of what is still out there compared to back then, when it was a million miles beyond reach.

"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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