Bell + Howell Flat Screen for your Film Projector
It's getting close to the international celebration of Home Movie Day, which reminds me to get out some home movie reels to prepare for the fun. When my family projected movies, my father had a special space picked out on the wall - other families had tripod screens. All are great when you've got the room to set up a big projection. Sometimes, I just want to review films with a quickie setup on a tabletop. This screen is perfect for those moments.
Bell + Howell made their name with all sorts of optical devices; cameras, projectors, and screens. This one is unusual; it has the look of a high quality picture frame. You can either hang it up like a painting, or it has feet that swing out to use on a tabletop. Most important is that the screen is a true silver screen - super bright, and with a very wide viewing angle (apologies to all of you LCD TV's out there...).
Of all of my home movie gear, this screen may be my favorite. It's only 1" thick, and at about 31" wide it's small enough to store easily while remaining large enough for watching movies with a group. Since it's all one solid piece it never wrinkles. Being freestanding makes it surprisingly versatile, but the best part is just how darned classy it looks.
What's really funny is that when I leave this out on the table, friends (okay, my not-very-observant friends...) have thought it was the thinnest LCD TV they've ever seen! Of course I'm not above baiting them further when pointing out that super 8 can still pump out an image with higher resolution than HD. Oh sure, you kids with your desire for "sound" and "shooting for more than 3 minutes" might be a little disappointed, but I still say that threading up a movie projector is way more fun than watching a DVD.
One last thing... here's a call for help from our readers. I accidentally put a mighty scratch in the screen years ago. A film collector friend once told me about a special kind of paint that would be compatible with the rest of the silver screen finish. I don't want to just repaint the whole thing grey... I definitely want to maintain the silver screen look and blend in the scratch. Any ideas out there?