Projectors designed for viewing Super 8 film allow you to watch movies recorded in Super 8 cameras, as well as vintage commercial films which were sold in this format. Here are some details on features to look for when purchasing a projector of this type, as well as information on vintage films available for them…
These projectors have been made in a variety of types, including portable units with built-in viewing screens and larger models which project onto an external projection screen. Some models are capable of playing the audio on Super 8 films with sound (including some old commercial films); try searching for “super 8 projector sound” to find these on eBay. Also, some projectors (like the Chinon 2500GL or Bell & Howell 471A) can play both Super 8 and regular 8mm films; these are usually more expensive, but can be found on eBay by searching for “dual super 8 projector.”
Make sure the projector’s bulb works, as these can be expensive to replace. When choosing a projector to buy, determine if there is a source of replacement bulbs, and keep in mind that projectors which include an extra bulb generally have an added value of at least $15; some bulbs can cost as much as $50 or more. Projectors more commonly run on AC power, but portable battery-powered units are available as well. The Bentley BX-11 projector, for example, runs on “C” batteries. When buying a projector which runs on AC power, make sure it comes with a power cord; some have removable cords.
Vintage Super 8 commercial films which can sometimes be found on eBay include “The Wolfman”, “Dillinger”, and “War is Hell.” Some are black & white, others are in color. Such films may or may not include sound, which is inaudible on projectors which don’t have audio capability. These movie films generally sell for about $5-10, plus shipping and handling. Super 8 mm projectors which can also play regular/standard 8 mm film (see 2nd paragraph) allow additional vintage films to be viewed, including some “Three Stooges” episodes, old cartoons, and various movies. Like Super 8 films, these can be in color or black & white, and may or may not be silent.
Super 8 mm movie projectors have been manufactured by a variety of brand names, including Keystone, Bauer, Sears, Minolta, and others. They can be purchased on CraigsList.org, internet auctions, some websites specializing in Super 8 equipment, and the occasional yard sale. It is sometimes less expensive to buy a Super 8 movie camera and projector set from the same person or business at the same time, if you want both; especially online, because of lower combined shipping costs.