This is mostly for those of us who are around 35 and up.
How many of you used to just love watching 16mm films in school on an old Bell & Howell projector? I sure did. To me nothing was better in school than when they'd roll in the projector on an AV cart and set it up with a reel or two of movies, usually educational films, sometimes from Disney, sometimes not. Even if it wasn't a particularly good film (some of the science and sociology films were real howlers if they didn't put you to sleep), I always liked it, because it meant the lights were turned off and we'd - get to watch a movie! I also liked it when the soundtrack was a little warped and it made the movie sound like it was being played underwater. I liked the Disney films, WWII films, and some of the 50s-era science films best, especially the ones about atomic energy.
In comparison, I really didn't care much for filmstrips, with their silly little BEEP and the slide change. No action in those. Just too static.
Anyway, I haven't seen a movie on a 16mm projector in about 25 years or so now. I miss the sound of it while the movie played, and the whole routine about setting up the screen and positioning the cart with the projector on it just right in the back of the classroom. I remember one time when I was going to be transferring to a different school the next week, and the last day of one class the teacher was showing a film, and the screen was only extended halfway to its normal position. I asked her "are we going to see a short movie?" The teacher, who was an older woman in her 70s, sighed and said, "we're gonna miss ya, Janie...."
Anyway, when videotape invaded schools, it signaled the death knell for the 16mm projector, at least in the classroom. I doubt there's any schools that even use them anymore.
Anyone else remember these wonderful machines fondly like I do?