The Pathescope Kid
Picked this up for a tenner in a junk/antique shop in Edinburgh’s Causewayside. It’s an original Pathéscope Kid, the follow-up to the Pathé Baby, a 9.5mm projector, manufactured between 1930 and 1933. Since that exactly coincides with the period when Bernard Natan was running Pathé, this is a delightful find for the NATAN film I’m making with Paul Duane — we can use it as a prop.
This little gizmo tells a whole story in itself. The Pathé Baby had been popular with home cinema aficionados, but with the stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression, they weren’t selling so well. The Pathéscope Kid was designed to be cheaper and thus to sell more.
My Kid is missing several parts, including the reels and any mechanism for getting electricity into it, which doesn’t greatly matter as I don’t have any 9.5mm film (the crazy stuff with the perforations down the middle) anyway. For decorative purposes only, but it sure is decorative!
Ultimately, the Pathé Baby, a tiny part of the Pathé empire, gave rise to a crooked scheme which ultimately destroyed Natan, the most dynamic and effective European producer of the era — a tale which shall be unfolded in our film (coming soon to a cinema near you).