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Author Topic: 8mm film library/hire and those memories
Mark Silvester
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: England
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted April 12, 2019 02:30 AM      Profile for Mark Silvester     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all

although, I am only into the VP side of big screen entertainment...I do love reading the threads of those great days of the film collecting hobby. For me it started in 1973..but I thought it would be nice to think back about some of those wonderful 8mm film library's that were about.

Obviously there was Derann - and I remember getting my first block booking from them in 1976.

What about some of your experiences...it would be interesting to get some of those great stories..

My personal favourite was in hiring films from DJ Hurst in the early 80's...lovely man and I had block bookings for a long time.

Did Tony Powell have a hiring facility - he's the one guy I would have liked to have met. He had some great releases but I am told - Derek Simmonds confirmed it to me as well...that Tony Powell could be quite volatile and a hndful sometimes. [Eek!] [Big Grin]

But...the ability to rent 8mm films and have film shows was a wonderful thing because in those days the actual price of 8mm to buy was often out of our reach!


Mark [Eek!] [Smile] [Smile]

Mark Silvester

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Bill Sherren
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Kent, England
Registered: Dec 2018

 - posted April 12, 2019 10:43 AM      Profile for Bill Sherren   Email Bill Sherren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Never brought many films- but hired absolutely loads!
From places like Watsofilms, .Bream Film Library, Perrys movies and others as well. Happy days!
It also introduced me to those marvellous old German silent UFA films..

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Brian Fretwell
Phenomenal Film Handler

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

 - posted April 12, 2019 10:59 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I only hired from Perry's which was local, but bought a couple of ex-library prints from PM Films

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Leonard Goss
Film Handler

Posts: 33
From: Launceston, Cornwall, UK.
Registered: Jul 2012

 - posted April 12, 2019 11:00 AM      Profile for Leonard Goss     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tony Powell did indeed have a hiring library which he also operated by post, I remember hiring many shows from him back in the day. I was living in Reading, Berkshire at the time.

A fan of 8mm movies since the mid 1960s and still as keen as ever!

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David Michael Leugers
Master Film Handler

Posts: 264
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted April 12, 2019 06:43 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For a few years I lived just down the road from Dearborn Michigan. The Henry Ford Library there was just incredible. They had a huge catalog of 8mm films from the silent era and quite a few S8mm and 16mm sound films. The curator of the films (I've forgotten his name) had his own show on the local PBS station covering film history. Each week I'd check out at least a few films to watch in our apartment. I always wondered what ever became of the collection of films.

Live Free or Die

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006

 - posted April 13, 2019 08:05 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dad used Golden Films quite a bit in London particularly for the old B&W British comedies also Harris Films. He used to tell me lots of stories how Watso Films 9.5mm sound prints were usually delivered with multiple centre perforations due to poor projection at home.
We also hired direct from Columbia who were shall we say tricky to deal with, but the short lived Derann Film Library was a great way to see a film before you ordered which I did with a couple of top titles.

Golden Films could hire you 8mm, 16mm and even 35mm! One memorable programme was Mr Pastrys Double Idendity 40 odd minutes of fun, a Laurel & Hardy and Inferno in Space. They had 3 episodes in all and I only ever got to see the first not knowing how Agar was dealt a blow. If you wanted a rest from projecting they offered a service to come and do it for you.
Happy times.

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David Ollerearnshaw
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1373
From: Penistone Sheffield UK
Registered: Oct 2012

 - posted April 13, 2019 08:26 AM      Profile for David Ollerearnshaw   Author's Homepage   Email David Ollerearnshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lee those from Columbia were they the super 8 titles? I hire quite a few of them, plus from FDA and Rank all in super 8 It took the rest a number of years to get the same print quality. D.J. Hurst ad a few years on the block booking every two weeks I think. Bought a lot when he was closing down.

I love the smell of film in the morning.


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David Hardy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 955
From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
Registered: Jan 2015

 - posted April 14, 2019 03:37 PM      Profile for David Hardy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I used our local film libraries in our photographic shops a lot when i first got into the hobby around 1965/66.

In Aberdeen Scotland we were lucky to have four at one time who hired 8mm and 16mm films daily or over the weekend.

They were James Henderson , Elena Mea , Lizars and The Aberdeen Photographic Services.

They had an excellent range of movies to hire.

Later i started hiring via mail order from the likes of Watsofilms and Westburn Film Sevices in Glasgow.

Happy memories. [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

" My equipment's more important than your rats. "

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006

 - posted April 15, 2019 01:05 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
16 David happy days waiting for the courier to deliver titles.

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Ken Finch
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 543
From: Herne Bay, Kent. U.K.
Registered: Oct 2011

 - posted April 17, 2019 11:50 AM      Profile for Ken Finch   Email Ken Finch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was never into 8mm film hire as I have been a 9.5er for most of my life but also acquired a Cinetechnic Debrie D16 sometime in the late 1950s and hired films from Watsofilms,John King, and the sponsored film libraries of Sound Services, Petroleum Films Bureau, and Central Film Library. For the so called sponsored film libraries you only had to pay the postage. As a teenager I used the local 9.5mm film library of Butcher Kernow Chemists in Blackheath Village who also started me off as an amateur film maker with a Coronet camera! I stated collecting 9.5mm films in earnest when Super 8 started and many people were dumping 9.5 for the new upstart and I could obtain good 9.5 prints for £1.0 per reel!!!Ken Finch. i [Smile]

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