Once again, Chicago Film Archives and Northwest Chicago Film Society join forces to present CHICAGO HOME MOVIE DAY at the Chicago History Museum.
Home movies provide invaluable records of our families and our communities: they document vanished storefronts, questionable fashions, adorable pets, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods-in-transition. Many Chicagoans still possess these old reels, passed down from generation to generation, but lack the projection equipment to view them properly and safely. That’s where Home Movie Day comes in: you bring the films, and we inspect them, project them, and offer tips on storage, preservation, and video transfer–all free of charge. And best of all, you get to watch them with an enthusiastic audience, equally hungry for local history. We’re also very fortunate to have silent film pianist extraordinaire, David Drazin, on-site to tastefully accompany your moving histories.
Chicago Home Movie Day is dedicated to YOUR home movies. From 11:00AM until 1:30PM archivists and projectionists will inspect and project all celluloid home movies that walk in the door. We encourage all providers of these gems to introduce their films to an eager HMD audience. From 1:30PM to 3:00PM, there will be a curated screening of home movies from the CFA and NWCFS collections that spotlight Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and local railroads & trains. Highlights include a pet city goat named P.D. (short for Prosperity/Depression), toddlers tumbling down the boulevard and a “League of American Wheelmen” cycle train excursion to Beloit, Wisconsin. Do you have any celluloid home movies that fit our themes? Even if they don’t, we’d love to include them! Give us a call at 312-243-1808 or just show up with those 8mm, Super8mm or 16mm reels.
HOME MOVIE DAY FAQ:
What film formats can I bring to Home Movie Day?
We can inspect and project 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8. If you have any other oddball formats (28mm, 9.5mm, etc.), we can’t project the films for you, but we can help you find a safe, cost-effective way to view these prints. You’ll also earn our undying film nerd envy.
Do I need to bring a home movie?
Nope. You’re welcome to stop by and just watch other people’s home movies. And if you’re a walking encyclopedia of forgotten Chicago landmarks, eateries, and parades, your commentary will be much appreciated!
I have a whole box of ‘em! Can we watch ‘em all?
Nobody likes a home movie hog. Bring as many films as you’d like, but we’ll be screening one reel from each participant until everyone has had a chance to see their home movies. After that, second helpings are totally fine–especially in Kodachrome.
Do I have to get up and talk about my home movies?
You’re welcome to narrate your home movies and inform everyone that this scene was shot at Aunt Bertha’s high school graduation and that this one was shot on your family trip to Florida in 1982. Or you can just sit in the auditorium and watch them in anonymous silence. Whatever floats your celluloid boat.
Will you take my home movies and never give them back? They’re incredibly precious to me!
Nope. We’ll just inspect and project your home movies and return them to you in comparable condition. (If there are broken perforations or cracked frames, we’ll fix those and return the films in better condition!) Keep in mind that decades-old films are fragile and there’s an inherent (though slight) risk of damage during any projection. If we do not feel that the film can be safely projected, we will not screen it.
Will you take my home movies and never give them back? I don’t want ‘em anymore! (They smell funny.)
The Chicago Film Archives would be happy to discuss options for donating your old, unwanted home movies to its ever-growing collection.
This sounds amazing! How much will this expert consultation set me back?
Home Movie Day is absolutely free, but donations are welcome.
The Official Promo Video for CHICAGO HOME MOVIE DAY 2014: