stoned on movies

Keystone ad in a late 1953 LIFE magazine

Toronto. When I went to Labrador to maintain a tropospheric scatter communications system that Bell selected to service communities in the far north of Quebec and Labrador, my dad said he would like to do movies, so I bought him a cheap GE tan light meter, some reels of Kodak colour film, a Eumig P8 projector and a Keystone Capri turret 8mm camera (the Boston company made a model K-8 in the 1930s).

I grew up in a small Ontario town and Keystone was a common name back then in consumer movie equipment. This was brought back to me when George Dunbar sent an email around touting a November 2, 1953 LIFE magazine ad on p122 for Keystone cameras.

Sadly, like the Polaroid camera of later years, tiny 8mm movies never caught on with my parents. Tiny, blurry, scenes projected in a darkened room just didn’t compare to B&W stills in print form that all could touch, view, and admire in bright daylight.  No special gear. No need to thread and start a special projector. No screen to set up.

I can still remember one movie of a wedding. My mom panned so fast that watching it made my head swim. The various outdoor scenes drifted from over to under exposure and back as the camera erratically moved around to capture the guests. Fortunately most shots were in focus and correctly exposed. At least I could recognize people I knew.


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