Showing posts with label Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Show all posts

Monday, 5 May 2014

Bill Douglas Cinema Museum: The 'Flicks'

We went to the movies in my last post and saw Bill Douglas' extensive collection of film memorabilia, housed in the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in Exeter.

His collecting didn't stop at all things 'moving image'.
He went back, to the time before we all started going to the cinema.

The magic of the moving image began before cinemas.
Like with this zoetrope with horses galloping.

Here's a selection of images, to have a go for yourself.

Here's a Mutoscope. Not a risque one!

It's brilliant, to be able to see how it works.
Turn the handle and the pictures flip by, making it look like things are moving.
Like a giant flip-book.
Apparently they were popular at the British seaside right up until the 1970s.

Now Magic Lanterns.
Stories told through slides projected onto screens. In colour too!
English Church History anyone?

Or the story of Robinson Crusoe?

Or perhaps Red Riding Hood?

A later, mass produced version for the kids.
A 'Mickey Mouse toy Lantern Outfit'.

If you hadn't got a magic lantern, you could always make your own amusement with shadow puppets.
Perhaps with your hands...

...or with this beautiful Shadow Theatre.

You could intrigue your friends and family with magic mirrors!

Or with pictures in 3D?
With the stereoscope.

My grandad had a stereoscope in the 1950/60s.
He had to stop using it in the 70s when he couldn't get the double slides developed anymore.
Sharing family photos took rather a long time, passing it round, waiting for our turn to look through the viewer.
But then we were rewarded with the magic of the 3D photo.

He was always taking photos, instead of asking us to smile, he'd say 'show us your teeth'.
I still keep my mouth closed now when someone takes a photo of me!

A Viewmaster.
'I've got one of those somewhere', my mum.
We probably have all got one of those somewhere.

Here' a much more low-tech way of making 3D pictures.
No scrabbling round for batteries, for the stereoscope light-bulb, when they run out.

And finally I give you 'sound'!
Thomas Edison's Phonograph.
Sound recorded with a needle on a hollow tube of hardened wax.
However did he come up with that idea?
The first recording was made in 1877,
of 'Mary had a Little Lamb'.

I do however save one last encore for the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum Activity Box.
It was magic, for both adults and kids.
Viewmaster, 3D pictures, magic mirrors, zoetrope, flick books, optical illusions, thaumatrope (spinning discs), shadow shows and more.
Kept us amused for ages.
Big thanks to Big Douglas Cinema Museum for this.
An authentic hands-on experience, and ironically not a screen in sight.

So following this, pictures began to move. You can read all about the moving image in my previous post,

Find out more on the the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum website.
Not only will you find information about visiting,
but it also has a brilliant 'Kids Zone', which I think should be called an 'Kids, Adults & Everyone Zone'.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bill Douglas Cinema Museum: Lets go to the movies!

It took living near Exeter, Devon for over fourteen years, before my mum heard about the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in a chance conversation.
So at the first opportunity we went. We hadn't a clue what to expect.
This was my first trip to a museum on a university campus.
Actually this is not strictly true as the Grant Museum, UCL may count.

Bill Douglas was a keen cinema goer, a film maker and a collector of all things cinema and moving image. Of the 75,000 objects, over 1,000 are on display.

He began his obsession with the cinema as a child, preferring the cinema, 'the other world', to being at home or at school, his 'hated realities'.
He began making films in the 1960s and that's when his collecting really took off.

He didn't appear to have been collecting any one thing, like badges, posters, tickets, programmes, magazines or such like.
He collected EVERYTHING!!!

So to begin the tour

I use the M-word, despite being brought up going to the 'pictures', as this is all about the moving image.

Where do you want to sit?

 A worthy way to advertise a film studio. 'Educational'.

There are quite a few films on at the moment.

We got totally engrossed in the story of The Black Sheep.
No strap-lines to advertise this film, it's worthy of lengthy narration.

I love the way these colour posters advertise black & white films.

Or perhaps go and see a classic. He's back! Gritting his teeth, holding a gun and snogging!
Has anything changed?

Once you start collecting film memorabilia, the possibilities are endless.

Books and games

...minatures and baking cases

...plastic toys

...telephones and alarm clocks

...playing cards

...albums and mugs and writing sets

...lollipop holders and board games


...police boxes

...and bottle stoppers.
Greta Garbo looks a lot more used than Rita Hayworth.

Then their are all the collectables to remember your favourite film stars by.

There are many magazines to chose from.
"Ooh I used to get that every week!", my mum.

Some people kept scrap-books (remember them) about their favourite film stars.

And if that wasn't enough, you get a map 'with home addresses',
with a red line to take you from the home of one star to the other.

The End.

Coming soon...
For your next showing, we go to the 'Flicks'.
To see what was around before the moving image, when pictures 'flickered'.

There is truly so much to see at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. All this and more.
His passion for the cinema is infectious, you cannot help but be carried along, on a wave of enthusiasm, throughout the whole museum.
It is open seven days a week with details about the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum here.

You can tell I'm not a film buff. I found the Mickey Mouse baking cases too exciting! 
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