Eastman Kodak introduced the 16mm film in 1923. It was an alternative to the more expensive 35mm film format. It was most commonly used for making home movies and educational films. However, Hollywood made use of this new format for making cartoons like Tom and Jerry and feature films like Stormy Weather. Even though many classic 16mm films are available on DVD, many movie lovers enjoy watching movies in the original 16mm format. Some film dealers rent 35mm films, including rare and out-of-print titles. The films are available for private use, classroom instruction and public showings.
- Skill level:
Locate classic film dealers. Search an online classic film database such as Reelclassics.com. Visit the Reel Classics home page. Select "Merchandise" from the top menu. Choose "16mm and 35mm" from the drop-down menu.
Click the "For Rent" link. This takes you to a list of retailers and libraries who rent 16mm and/or 35mm film reels. For example, Em Gee Film Library, Modern Sound Pictures, Inc., New Yorker Films, Milestone Film and Video and The National Center for Jewish Films rent 16mm films.
Contact a retailer or library via e-mail or phone. Place an order for your 16mm film. Once your order is confirmed and processed, your film is shipped to you. You're responsible for paying the rental and shipping costs. Order procedures may vary among retailers and libraries.
Tips and warnings
- You must acquire a public performance license if you show the film for something other than personal or home use.
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