‘Home Movie Day LA' Gives Us a Reel Way to Connect With Our Past

The poignant cinema celebration is part of the annual Archives Bazaar, an event that features all sorts of incredible ways to delve into our city's stories.

Chinnasorn Pangcharoen

What to Know

  • Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Doheny Memorial Library at the USC University Park Campus
  • Analog equipment will be set up, allowing attendees to view home movies that may have sat in storage for years or decades
  • Free; register in advance

Movies are often called "magic," and that feels quite true, even if such an enchanted assertion can, at first glance, feel a little over-the-top-ish.

For films do transport us to different planets, long-gone eras, and the interior worlds of people we'll never meet.

And sometimes? If you find a reel in the family attic, and place it on a vintage projector, you can instantly connect again with a dearly missed relative or old friend, a treasured pal you haven't spoken with in years or even decades.

That is truly magic, through and through, and Home Movie Day Los Angeles has been creating those memorable moments over two touching decades.

The free event is back as an in-person happening on Saturday, Oct. 22, and people are again invited to attend with a home movie in tow, including those films that have sat dormant for years due to a lack of necessary viewing equipment.

Analog projectors will be set up at Doheny Memorial Library, and the drop-off period begins at noon.

As for the formats that the film-knowing pros and preservationists will take a look at? Show with your VHS, 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8 movies and an archivist will assist you in taking a look at your find. (There may be an opportunity to leave your film for digitization; ask for more information when you arrive.)

You can register here, for free, to let the team know you'll be there.

And if you don't have a film to show this year? You're still welcome to stop by and learn about caring for your personal cinematic history.

Screenings are also on the schedule, as is Home Movie Bingo, and entering a raffle? That, too, is part of the educational and effervescent day.

It's a day that's truly devoted to reflecting on the past, for the home movie celebration is part of the larger Archives Bazaar, which will fill out much of Doheny Memorial Library on Oct. 22.

The 17th annual happening focuses on the many, many, many stories that swirl through Los Angeles, giving visitors a chance to pore over records, photos, maps, and documents originating in "dozens of archives, from large institutions to private collectors."

Several in-depth workshops are on the scintillating schedule, including one devoted to Basement Tapes, which, like the Home Movies event, will give guests the chance to play their "open-reel tapes, cassettes," and other retro recordings on analog equipment.

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