Vintage Movie Projectors



2015-06-26 10:33:42

Vintage movie projectors are 20th century devices used to display moving pictures from a reel of film which are then projected onto a screen.

Brief history and description

The inventor of the movie projector is often disputed among historians. Thomas Edison invented the first moving picture camera in 1893, however, the French Lumiere brothers also invented a movie projector device in 1895. Also, in 1896, Thomas Armat and C. Francis Jenkins invented the first vitascope which was initially marketed by the Edison Manufacturing Company.

Incandescent lighting was commonly used in movie projectors from the early 1900s until the late 1960s, and some of the earliest forms of movie projectors were often called vitascopes, kinetoscopes and cinematographs.

Guide for collectors

A projector which was built as both a movie and photo citoscope projector and dating back to the early 1900s is considered to be the most rare and valuable among collectors. Antique movie projectors which include a cameragraph featuring a GE incandescent light source are also considered to be collectible.

Restoration of an antique movie projector is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring the movie projector may decrease its value.

For more information regarding antique movie projectors, visit the official website for 8mm/16mm Film Collectibles.


Auction Team Breker in Koeln, Germany sold an antique movie and photo camera citoscope projector (circa 1906) for €1,600 in October of 2011.

Fantasticantiques Inc. in Temecula, California sold a black metal Powers projector with a cameragraph featuring a GE incandescent light source for $850 in January of 2008.

Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold a Power's Magazine movie projector (circa 1906; 67" x 19" x 44") for $325 in November of 2010.

Dirk Soulis Auctions in Lone Jack, Missouri sold an antique Century cinema movie projector (76" x 52") for $140 in August of 2005.

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