A brief history of cine film

The invention of the transparent film roll by George Eastman in the late 1880s was the spring board for the boom of moving image. Still as popular as ever, albeit via smartphones, Tiktok and Youtube, film and video has been a huge cultural movement for more than a century.

But it is with Eastman and his Kodak company that making home videos was made possible.


With his inventions of 16mm, and then the 8mm film format, Eastman had created an easier and more importantly, smaller type of film that could be used not only by real film makers, but amateurs too.

However, the film industry began to take note as well, and 16mm film began to be used by documentary filmmakers, eventually being used by businesses and Governments to create their own films, as a cheaper alternative to the larger format 35mm that had been traditionally used for movies and films before.


It was Kodak’s 8mm film that would be the most common and successful home move format though, being used to film family holidays, birthdays, Christmases and more.

Initially available as Regular or Double8 in the 1930s, 8mm cine film came 16mm wide with double the number of perforations on each side. This film was run through the camera twice, once in one direction and again in another. Then the film would be processed, where it would be developed and then split down the middle, resulting in your 50ft roll of film.

By the 1950s, Super8 was a further improvement on the format. The perforations were made much smaller, allowing for a larger area of image capture within each frame.

By the late 1970s, VHS and Betamax came along, allowing for even easier and cheaper home video making. But many people still to this day use and enjoy 8mm film.

Digitize your cine

Have you got some 8mm film rolls? Are you or is a family member an enthusiast? Why not get those films digitized by us and watch those old home movies again and again. We use cutting edge technology to scan your films to digital formats or DVDs using our Flashscan HD; a frame by frame HD film scanner from Germany.

Contact us today or visit our order page above.