Movie Film

While home movies are not technically photographs, they are often part of a family photograph collection. In fact, it would be difficult to find a family without at least one reel of 16mm or 8mm color movie film.

Movie film first became available in the same 35 mm formats used to make early commercial films. If you own any 35mm motion picture film, please contact the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute at the American Film Institute, 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027, Telephone (323)856-7708. Since nitrate film was produced from 1889 to 1939, most of the early movie film is unstable and should be transferred to safety film.

All color film, both still and motion picture, fades. You should follow a set of guidelines to slow the deterioration of your home movies.

For more information on those guidelines and caring for your movie film. See Chapter 7 of Preserving Your Family Photographs or email me at

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