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Author Topic: Kodascope film libraries
Dino Everette
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1535
From: Long Beach, CA USA
Registered: Dec 2008

 - posted April 04, 2011 05:49 PM      Profile for Dino Everette     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am wondering if anyone has leads to where some of the old UK Kodascope libraries went?
I realize this is probably the question all film collectors want to know and it is entirely possible they were all destroyed in some fashion during wartime activities but even if they went to the BFI (which I do not think has them), or other institutional type places which would be off limits for the collectors that would be very very helpful..I am trying to track down a lost film that was last seen on a Kodascope 8mm in the 1930's 1940's... I feel that finding a copy of this would really do a great deal in terms of making archives take the narrow gauge seriously...

For Instance were there ever articles someone came across in the magazines of the 1940's about the closure of such libraries?

Alright now laugh amongst yourselves at the absurdity of my question : ) BUT stranger things have happened than this lost film popping up on an old 8mm I can assure you...The film by the way is WINE starring Clara Bow, which I have listed in the 1939 UK Kodascope catalog, which means there was some 16mm material of some sort and multiple 8mm prints for the different libraries...And of course If anyone just happens to have this you will be pleasantly rewarded....

"You're too Far Out Miss Lawrence"

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Mikael Barnard
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, UK
Registered: Jun 2009

 - posted April 04, 2011 07:24 PM      Profile for Mikael Barnard   Email Mikael Barnard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From the hallowed pages of 'Film Collecting' by our dearly departed friend Gerald McKee:

"1941 was a black year for the future collectors, for this was the year when the Kodascope Library in Britain closed its doors forever. There were several reasons for this: there was a shortage of personnel to man what was a luxury service, there were vague worries that the films represented a fire risk in air raids (ill-founded in view of the non-flam base), and one suspects Kodak saw little future in hiring outdated silent films while during wartime it was inappropriate to launch a modern sound film concept. Stacks of reels of silent features awaited cremation, the ashes used for silver recovery. [...] Probably many of the titles destroyed have disappeared forever. But there was a happy ending for some of these features: those subjects in which Kodak had the selling rights, but had not chosen to use when the library was operative, were sold to photographic dealers to use in their own libraries. The big libraries like Wallace Heaton were able to increase their scope, and the prints they did not want were offered to the public. Fortunately many of the subjects that did become available were some of the most popular Kodascope releases".

He then goes on to say that Williams and Ivey also purchased quite a number. Williams and Ivey closed a long time ago and Wallace Heaton closed and sold off their collection in 1973. So alas many Kodascope titles are no more I'm afraid. The existing ones do crop up now and then but we're not as flooded with them as we would have been if Kodak hadn't been hungry for the silver. Most unfortunate.

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