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What do I need to have/do to host a Home Movie Day event in my area?
Aside from a venue that’s available on Home Movie Day, you’ll need certain supplies and equipment to do this properly. It also helps to have support from local archives, libraries, film societies, or other organizations—they can help you reach a local audience that already has an interest in regional history, filmmaking, or preservation.

Isn’t it risky to project these old films? Shouldn’t we require that people make video copies of their films and submit them instead?

Sure it’s risky to project shrunken, damaged, and dirty film. That’s why we urge our local venues to inspect and prep every piece of film before it’s projected. We feel that the risk of damage to films in good condition, when projected with clean, well-maintained equipment, is far smaller than the risk that those films will be discarded or destroyed through neglect if they’re never seen.

I have equipment and I know how to handle film, but I need a venue. Where can I look?

Any big room where you can pull down the shades and put up a screen will do, so think creatively and keep your eyes peeled. Libraries, community centers, colleges, bookstores, museums, independent movie theaters, and even bars have hosted Home Movie Day events in the past. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to managers or owners of places where you think it’d be nice to have your event; Home Movie Day is a community-oriented activity that can help bring in local business, so there’s a benefit to them, too!

What’s a good projector/viewer for 8mm/Super8/16mm film?
We fielded this one to Ken Fountain at the Echo Park Film Center: “There are very few projectors that I have not run film through, but it is very hard to recommend a selected few… Elmo projectors would be at the top of the food chain, but they also fetch top dollar. There are a small handful of projectors that will harm film, but for the most part, a well maintained projector with a knowledgeable projectionist is usually what is needed to keep films from being damaged. I would advise anyone looking for a projector to look at what type of bulb the projector uses (some are extinct or very expensive), and how well cared for the projector was.” That good care should continue with you. Once you’ve found your viewers and projectors, you’ll want to give them some extra attention before putting them to use. Toni Treadway offers expert advice on restoring film hardware at: http://www.littlefilm.org/RehabLeaves/TechTips.html