Here is a link provided by Mikael Barnard to a reproduction of a long piece from the SMPE Journal about Alexander Victor and his involvement with both 28mm and 16mm. Seems to have been a guy of infinite inventiveness.

This is Chris Bird's manual Victor 28 Safety Cinema, made in Canada, where 28mm persisted much lomger than elsewhere.

Vic281      Vic282


Now here's a sight you don't see every day of the week......

2 x_victor_001a



Ian Green found these pix on American ebay, a Victor Home Cinema. A very rare creature, Victor's last attempt to shore up a flagging 28mm market with a cheap machine. It still has an intermittent sprocket, tho'.

victor 1     victor 2     victor 3     victor 4     victor 5



Mikael Barnard has just acquired a Victor Safety Cinema machine and I shall be working on it with him.  Here are some pix.

boy victor_006a     Boy Victor_007     Boy Victor_003     Boy Victor_005     boy victor_010a     boy victor_011b    


This is, as you see, partly dismantled for cleaning and for figuring out how to make and fit the missing parts. You can see in Pic 5 a Mazac crack which looks like it plans to crack off the entire corner - probably be easier to repair if it does. This pic also clearly shows the intermittent set-up and one of the Victor's unusual features - pair of contra-rotating shutters, which should give a faster cut-off and therefore reduced blank time and more light thru the film. Note that you get little idea of scale from these pix; what you see stands nearly 18" high and the top spool arm, with a 300' spool, adds another 6", making it surprisingly big when you first see it.

Here are a few more Victor pix. The lamphouse, of which only the front and back remained useable, is swung in and out of position by a spring beneath a plunger, which in turns acts on the front leaf of the lamphouse (see pix 1 and 2 below). Pic 3 is the lamphouse "skeleton".


P1010020     Victor LH_002     Victor LH_001a     Victor LH_005    P1010023      victor int_spr_retain_001a     victor int_spr_retain_002a

Pix 4 - 7 are views of two different intermittent "shoes" on and off the machine.  The odd little grooved bit on the right in the "off" pix engages with the spring holding the shoe in place. Finally, on it's own row for lack of space above, is a pic showing much-improved versions of the transfers on the Victor; these are the work of Brian Giles. 

Further report on Mikael's machine (Aug 2012). Mikael has had most of the machine re-sprayed and the relevant parts re-plated with nickel. Here are some notes I made for him on work I did. As usual, I have avoided making any unalterable changes as far as possible and kept any parts removed.


Starting at the bottom, I have replaced the existing rear rubber feet; the old ones are in the box. I have fitted the same sort of foot   to Mikael 28_005each of the front feet. These are fixed in place for adjustment by specially-made knurled knobs; only one of the   originals had survived and I think it had lost the actual knob part. The new knobs for the speed control and on-off   switch you have already seen.




You will recall that the flywheel/pulley was very loose on its spindle and was grating on some part of the body. I tried a different screw to get maximum grip, but it wasn't enough. I have therefore wrapped very thin sheet brass around the spindle (except the bit where the screw goes thru) and pushed the flywheel over this. Its a good, tight fit, but it will all come undone if you remove the flywheel, so beware.


I have rewired so that the motor and lamp are on completely separate circuits. This means there is no motor/lamp interlock, so care is needed. I have sketched some wiring diagrams to help.

 Mikael Victor_wiring_orig     mikael victor_wiring_rev     Mikael 28_003

The motor is fed thru a slight variation of the original connections, the lamp takes its input from a plug fitting into the ceramic block where the external resistance was originally attached. You will need to provide your own power supplies for the lamp and motor, tho I have provided the connecting plugs. I have made a paxolin replacement for the fibre cover over the mains input terminals (original broken and in box), which you can paint black if you prefer.

The original circuit had a wire from one of the mains input terminals direct to the lamp. Part way along, this was bared and had another wire twisted into place (and covered with insulating tape). This extra wire then connected to one of the motor terminals. I disconnected this, insulated the bared part of the lamp cable and re-directed it to the RH side of the ceramic block. I havent cut this cable, as there was plenty of room to tuck the excess away, so the original layout could be re-connected. The extra wire turned out to be the right length (with an added end termination) to connect direct to the mains input terminal. I removed the red wire (actually shown in dull blue on the Before sketch) that ran from the RH terminal of the ceramic block to the motor resistance. The second mains input was originally connected to this terminal. The latter cable was just the right length to be diverted to feed the mains direct to the resistance, instead of via the aforementioned red wire.

The feed from an external tranny for the lamp has to come in via a 2-pin plug. Normally, one would never feed live power thru a plug with exposed terminals, but it should be OK with a low-voltage lamp such as the 12v 100w I have used. Part way thru, I met a problem with the motor resistance. You might have noticed a small brown stain near the RH end of the resistance mat. I thought nothing of it, until during one test run I noticed a little bright spark in the middle of this stain. Before long, the resistance failed altogether. I suspect the stain may have been due to water, which in turn rusted the wire to the point where the connection was so tenuous it over-heated and failed. I had to undo a number of turns of wire to get back to a sound section - it kept breaking every time I reached the stained area. It was lucky it was so close to the end that it doesn't make a lot of difference, but if you try to turn the speed up too high, the motor actually slows right down and may stop.


I have retained the original lampholder. I used the base from a (dead) bulb that would screw into the socket and fitted the new lampholder inside that. I have replaced the missing screws that control the push-and-twist arrangement that should in theory enable the inner part of the lampholder to be removed thru the bottom for lamp changing. In fact, the lamp base I used is too wide at the top. As this means disassembling the lamp - house to change the bulb, this would probably be better replaced with a narrower one. I have no idea how the lampholder was originally fixed inside the lamphouse. What I have done is to remove a spring metal strip at the inside lower back of the lamphouse and use the two holes thus revealed for a flexible metal strip that acts a bit like a jubilee clip to hold the lampholder.

Lens Holder

You will recall the lens mount assembly comprises a fixed tube on the machine, an inner tube fitting into this, and the lens itself, which fits into the inner tube. All of this fitted together rather sloppily, no use for actual projection. Also, the lens was very long throw - 100mm or more giving far too small a picture for domestic use. I have bent out the friction strips on the inner tube, to give it Mikael 28_004 a somewhat better fit in the fixed tube. I have found a shorter-throw lens which, with the judicious addition of thin metal   sheets wrapped round it, is a firm sliding fit in the inner tube. Unfortunately, in order to focus, it needs to be so far back   in the inner tube that it falls out the back. I have overcome this by the crude but simple expedient of unscrewing the fixed   tube from the front of its mount and refitting it at the rear. (Compare with pix above) 


The inner tube has a spiral groove which should engage with a screw in the fixed tube to provide fine focussing. The screw was missing; I have replaced it but it's too long and care is needed to avoid screwing it in too far and interfering with the lens itself. I have cleaned and re-mounted the condenser lens elements.


You will recall the rollers guiding the film are secured on their shafts by rings of metal which are split at one point and presumably then squeezed a bit to form a tight fit. These do not appear to be very happy about being removed and replaced, and two have already broken. I have replaced these with collars, made of suitably polished metal which matches nicely with the nickel plate. I have also made hollow rollers (made shiny again!) to fit as a spacer between the outer rollers on the film retainers that ride on the sprockets. I have not tried to fit these as it means removing the last two split rings. If they are to break, you can do it!

Intermittent Shoe

I have spent innumerable hours trying to devise and fit some sort of replacement shoe to hold the film onto the intermittent sprocket. In the end, I have gone with one of my earliest attempts. It is not right, not being wide enough to completely cover the sprocket, but it does seem to work. The spring-loading was a particular problem; the original spring is in the box. I have used another, cut about, which gives only a very short travel. If you try to open the shoe more than just enough to get the film in, it will break. But Im afraid its the best I can do without an awful lot more work. It is held on by another collar.


Even when I thought I had finished, I found there was an awful lot of rain on the screen. I have, however, figured out how to fix it - you really need the pic for this. There are two contra-rotating shutters as you know, each with two blades, one wide and one narrower. I have assumed the narrow ones are flicker blades. I have also assumed the ones of the same size work together. What I did Mikael 28_002 was to unscrew the double gear seen in the pic. The outer gear, a pinion, engages with the main mech. The inner   gear is bevelled, and engages with two smaller bevel gears mounted on a shaft at 90 degrees to the double gears   shaft. You can only see the left hand one of these two in the pic. It's a bit like half of a differential. These gears are   on shafts that fit one inside the other and have the shutter blades mounted on them. By pulling the double gear out   of engagement with the smaller bevels, the shutter blades were free to rotate, so I set the two larger blades to just meet in the centre of the gate aperture and then re-engaged the double gear, having first made sure this happened at the same time as the intermittent is about to start to move by rotating the mech while the double gear is out of mesh.