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Vintage Slide Show Night – Vintage Techology Weekend at the Hacienda

Posted on: March 11, 2012

We invited a bunch of pals over to the Hacienda last night for an impromptu vintage slide show and we all had such a good time that I wanted to write about it to encourage you to dig out your own (or someone else’s) slides, and do it yourself!

Our slideshow was prompted by some boxes of movie film and slides that I saved from someone’s trash heap years ago, but only recently had the technology with which to view it.

Vintage Home Movie Film

Retro Roadhusband and I found a used slide projector when we were thrifting, and while it isn’t a fancy model, and the focus doesn’t work on the remote that is wired into the machine, it works enough to watch slides. (As an aside, we also have a cool neighbor who allowed us to watch some of the movies on his vintage film projectors, but that’s another story for another post!)

Anyhow, we thought it would be fun to invite some pals over and view the slides, which were from 1976 to 1981. There were tons to choose from, but I put them on the lightbox, and selected the ones that I thought would have the most interesting images.

vintage Slides 1970s
It was interesting to realize, as a person who mainly takes pictures of places, that the ones that I thought were interesting had people in them. And landscapes? Bo-ring!

Anyhow, we set up the screen, mixed up some cocktails, put on some background music and started clicking away.

Vintage Slide Show

While slide film and slide projectors are very old technology, I have to say we were all blown away by the colors and the amount of details you could see on an image projected so large. It was fun to comment on people’s clothing and hairstyles (much like people will do in the future, looking at us.) and to notice certain 1970s details that appeared in many of the photos.

This photo brought on an entire conversation about “The Walrus was Paul”, Lewis Carroll, Harry Nilsson’s song Mr. Richland’s Favorite, and the fact that this character probably has been retired completely from the Disneyland Character Lineup.

I am The Walrus

I don’t think ANY of that conversation would have happened without the inspiration of these slides.

I must give a tip of the hat to Retro Roadmap fave personality and “Histo-tainer” Charles Phoenix, for inspiring me to look for value in the slides that other people throw away. He’s famous for his over the top slide shows, and we were even lucky enough to catch one of his live shows on our last visit to Los Angeles.

Mystery Family Slides

So take a look in your own basement or attic, and check out those vintage slides – you may see some familiar faces, or people who you just might want to add to your family. Just because they’re on an old format doesn’t mean they should be forgotten.


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  • Great idea, although I do wonder about the circumstances whereby somebody’s family history ends up in the trash. (My grandfather’s slides from the 1950s and 1960s will stay in my possession until I die.)

    Grandpa’s slide projector used the Airequipt metal magazines – 36 pictures before a tray change. This was soon outclassed by the Kodak Carousel. Despairing that I would ever scan all of Grandpa’s slides, I bought a Kodak Carousel for ten bucks – TEN BUCKS! Haven’t moved the slides to carousels, either.

    • Glenn – I too am curious why someone would dispose of them, but I’m sure there are many valid reasons in their mind.

      I have the original slide cases that my dad had his Navy slides in – they’re like little metal briefcases, and so cool! I’m thinking we’ll have a “Dad in the Navy” slide night too – and OH I just thought of this – invite my pals to bring over THEIR slides! Who needs a thousand dollar high def TV? We’ve got a thrifted $15 slide projector 🙂

  • George

    I’m with you Glenn on this issue. I don’t understand why families destroy their own history either. I also predict that those folks who converted slides and film to electronic media are going to regret it someday and will wish they had kept the original film and slides. Electronic media is more ephemeral than film.

    • George – being a “collector” myself it is hard to fathom, but I know not everyone is bit by this bug. Though I do agree with you, some of these vintage mediums last much longer than what replaced them. That is what concerns me with the death of film and the rise of digital projection. Crossing my fingers we’re not all sacrificing longevity for convenience!

  • My husband has all his family’s slides from the 50s and 60s. We need to have our friends over so they can make fun of his crew cuts and flat tops!

    • You know Lizzie, I was thinking of asking any of my pals that have slides to come over to view them here, since we have the gear. It would be fun to see people’s relatives and how they look like – or not – our pals!

  • jonathan

    Hi i was given a small box of slides,theslides are of ”city of Auckland centennial cavalcade 1871-1971,Auckland is the biggest city in the north island of New Zealand,,many of the floats are highly decorated ,one of them there are five ladies wearing ball gowns standing on the float holding on to white chairs under a floral pergola

    • Jonathan – those sound like some neat slides – congrats!

  • jonathan

    went for a slide search on sunday, i was lucky to find a slide album of the” Holy land ”,100 slides in kodak colour 35mm,

    • Hope you got some interesting images! We’re way overdue for a slideshow at the Hacienda.

  • jonathan

    could not resist from saving a complete AV S 1050 Kodak twin slide projector set up with a dissolving unit and tape deck also with lots of spare slide trays from being taken to the dump,

    • Ah, I know that temptation! Glad you gave it a good home and kept it out of a landfill 🙂