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Author Topic: Bell & Howell 609
Maurice Leakey
Film God

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

 - posted September 23, 2013 05:23 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Recent mention of a Bell & Howell 609 carbon arc projector for sale reminds me of my first meeting with the beast. It was at Butlins in North Wales in 1965 and we went to the cinema. Actually it was a theatre which also doubled as a cinema by pulling down their sheet.

I was surprised to see a square screen. Not a wide-screen, or even a 4x3, but square. I assumed it was probably also used for lantern slides. But when the film started there was a gap top and bottom to the picture, it didn't fill the screen.

After the show I asked if I could visit to see the projection box. I was surprised to see not 35mm, but 16mm Bell & Howell 609 carbon arc projectors. They were model 601 projectors out of their wooden case and missing their amplifiers, and installed in front of quite a large arc lamp.

I asked about the screen ratio. The projectionist said that the projectors had no method of instant tilt like the portable projectors had. They were fixed on their stands after installation.

Those familiar with the wooden blimp models will know that they have non-optical framing, i.e., the picture moves up and down when the framing knob is turned. Therefore the screen size had to accommodate the up and down range of the framing control.

Simple when you know the answer!


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