Once again, Chicago Film Archives and the Chicago Film Society join forces to present a free event — CHICAGO HOME MOVIE DAY at the Chicago History Museum. On Saturday, October 27, 2018, viewers can pop into the museum for this celebration of home movies, which is exactly what it sounds like.
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 (16mm, 8mm and/or Super 8mm), and we inspect them, project them, and offer tips on storage, preservation, and video transfer–all free of charge.
Chicago Home Movie Day is dedicated to YOUR home movies. From 11:00am until 3:00pm archivists and projectionists will inspect and project all celluloid home movies that walk in the door. We encourage providers of these gems to introduce their films to an eager HMD audience. Don’t have any films? We’ve got you covered! In the afternoon we’ll present a special program of home movies and amateur films from CFA’s collections.
HOME MOVIE DAY FAQ:
Is there a cost? This sounds amazing! How much will this set me back?
Home Movie Day is absolutely free, but donations are welcome.
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.
My home movies are very personal. Why would I want to watch them with a bunch of voyeurs?
Home movies often commemorate scenes of enormous personal importance: weddings, graduations, birthdays, family reunions. Though home movies often begin as family records with deeply private meaning, the passage of years makes them compelling to people far beyond your immediate family. They serve as authentic records of our neighborhoods, traditions, and communities. You’ll enjoy sharing them–really.
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.