When I was a little kid, watching home videos on an old-school film projector was a staple of holiday visits to my grandparents’ house. Each year, we would sit in the living room, half of us stuffed on their old nylon couches, the other half on the floor and watch my father’s bar-mitzvah, family birthday parties, and the same mundane family moments, but year after year, the tradition never lost its luster.
We watched as I scored my first goal playing soccer when I was 5 and heard my parents cheering in the background, witnessed trips to vacation spots that have since closed, and experienced the comradery and love between my father and his father, who I never met, allowing me to get a sense of who my grandfather was in real, tangible moments.
There’s something special about being surrounded by family members and watching younger versions of yourselves. It brings about nostalgia, talk of simpler times, and sparks all sorts of interesting conversations and stories that likely wouldn’t have been revealed otherwise. The greatest things about these videos is how they tend to capture the in-between moments that are generally forgotten, the mannerisms that can’t be captured in photographs, and brings people back to life who have since passed.
While we might not have that film projector anymore, the novelty and nostalgia of watching home videos on a projector screen or bare wall can easily be replicated today using one of the many high quality and versatile home theater or home entertainment projectors on the market. Watching home videos on a TV or computer screen just doesn’t elicit the same feeling of being back in the moment that projectors provide for a number of reasons.