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Films, projectors to be sold

September 28, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Local movie buffs have a chance to buy a bit of nostalgia - actually 125 bits.

The Washington County Free Library is selling part of its 16 mm film collection along with 10 broken 16 mm film projectors, said Chris Henry, interlibrary loan manager.

The library is selling 115 films and keeping 145 others, Henry said.

Titles to be sold include the feature film "It's a Wonderful Life" and many shorter films such as a cartoon version of "A Hard Day's Night" and an 11-minute animated version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," "Old Yeller," "Frosty the Snowman," "Mickey's Christmas Carol," two versions of "Peter and the Wolf," "1776," "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," also are among the films to be sold.

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The library will accept sealed bids on the entire collection until Friday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. Sale proceeds will go into the library's book budget, which pays for books, videos, compact discs and books on cassette.

Interested bidders can review a list of the films between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The films are not available for review because none of the library's projectors has worked since last year, Henry said. The library doesn't have the money to fix them, she said.

Some of the films are damaged with lines through the center of the picture and the film is dry and brittle, Henry said.

Use of the 16 mm collection declined over the years as videos became more popular, Henry said.

"Videos were much easier to take home," Henry said.

A film projector weighs about 40 pounds and a video is lighter and more compact than 16 mm reels.

The film collection's heyday was back in 1984-85, peaking in May 1985, when 948 films were borrowed and projectors were borrowed 55 times, Henry said.

Last month, only 24 films were borrowed.

The films are used mainly by teachers and the library's branch offices throughout the county. The branch libraries hold weekly story times featuring a 16 mm film and a book that relates to the movie, library officials said.

The main library at 100 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown shows 16 mm films on Friday mornings for 3- to 5-year-olds during Preschool Story Time, said Donna Parks, head of the children's department.

The collection still available at the main library includes "The Canterville Ghost," "Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham," "Stuart Little," "Yanks Are Coming," and "Casey at the Bat."

The 16 mm collection had been part of the Western Maryland Public Library's collection, but that library distributed the films to libraries in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties after phasing out its film department in 1993, Henry said.

Sealed bids may be sent to: BIDS-FILMS, Washington County Free Library, Attn: Chris Henry, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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