Cornwall 1970s

8mm Movie Film Scans Offer Nostalgic Peaks from the Past

Home movies document the baby boom generation

Any movie connoisseur knows that film has been around for well over 100 years. The 16mm and 35mm formats were pricey and mostly used by movie studios and professionals. Kodak introduced the more affordable 8mm format during the Great Depression but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it really took off. Movie cameras and projectors using 8mm and later Super-8 film, were a hit with amateur film makers. The home movie let baby boomers see themselves on their own silver screens.

Archiving Our Region’s History

While it appeared that most home movie makers were mainly interested in family gatherings or baby’s first steps, some had the foresight to archive their community and its changing landscape. In the late 1950s, one region going through a monumental transformation was the St. Lawrence River valley between Montreal and Iroquois. With the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project the river and its shoreline would be changed forever.

A ship passes under the New York Central Railway swing bridge on the Cornwall Canal in 1958

Residents along this segment of the river where being displaced as their ancestral homes, entire villages and their way of life would be lost to inundation. Some local film makers realized the importance of capturing scenes of the huge engineering feats while getting shots of the old towns and canals before they were gone.

Like many, I find the film footage of the pre-Seaway era fascinating.  As a kid, I would watch my father’s old films with keen interest. My dad, Robert Lamoureux, shot lots of footage around Cornwall and area in the 1950s. He also captured some unique perspectives while navigating the river and the old canals during the Seaway construction.


Sharing vintage footage

While still in high school, I developed a fascination with filmmaking. My dad gave me a few pointers, then let me borrow his old 8mm movie camera. My first film in 1979, was a compilation of street scenes filmed around Cornwall and area. This footage had been long forgotten until it was used in a trial run of KAV’s new digital film scanner in 2019. For the 40 your tribute, some music and titles were added to the old footage then the video was posted on the KAVProductions Facebook page. In no time, the video went viral as it generated nostalgia with local history buffs and those living in the area at the time.


Digitizing your old home movies

At KAV, we use high-definition film scanning technology to digitize your old home movies. A scan is made of each frame of 8mm / Super-8 movie film. It is then reassembled and edited into a continuous video file. Optionally, scenes can be rearranged, while background music, your own narration and titles can be added to the final cut.

If you would like to have your films digitized, simply make an appointment to drop them off. We will make an estimate based on the footage. Reels come in 50, 200, 300, or 400-foot lenghts. As long as those films have been stored in their boxes or cans, and kept in a dry, non-extreme temperature envorionment, they should maintain their original quality. Expent a little petina and reframing. They just give this old film format its nostalgic charm.


8mm/Super-8 Movie Film Scans

We’ll preserve those cherished memories stored on your old 8mm or Super 8mm movie film reels. Watch them in HD digital video format from your video library.