This part of the collection reconstructs the basic lines of film projection technology from 1895 until around 1990. The collected items can be roughly divided into devices for professional, stationary cinema use and devices for mobile projection / school and home use. In accordance with the collections concept, mainly projectors made and used in East Germany are obtained and preserved.
A jewel and, at the same time, "piece of evidence" of the complicated projection procedures of the early years is the double Bioscope projector, a permanent loan from the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv. Used by Max Skladanowsky for the projection of his first films at the Wintergarten in Berlin, the projector is now part of the museums foyer exhibition.
Rarities from the years 1910 to 1920 include a self-made device, type Pathe III, a 35 mm projector by Buderus, Hannover, and a Herkules projector made by Kinematographenwerk Leipzig (serial number 9).
Several versions of the Imperator steel projector, mass-produced as of 1909 by Heinrich Ernemann in Dresden, are among the stored items. A device with the serial number 746 (year of manufacture: 1909/10) and a fragment of one of the 1914 jubilee series projectors that were placed in a case are especially remarkable.
The biographies of two companies serve to exemplify the enhancement of projection equipment manufacturing between 1920 and 1950: the Ernemann AG / Zeiss Ikon AG / VEB Pentacon Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden (Ernemann II, III, IV, VII, VII B and the Dresden series) as well as the Johannes Nitzsche AG Leipzig (Matador, Reform, Saxonia I, IV and V).
As of 1970, the COMECON directives required GDR cinemas to increasingly use Czech projectors instead of the Ernemann and Dresden series. Thus, 35 mm devices by Meopta Prerov (Meo 4 and 5) became part of the collection.
As the 70 mm format gained more and more popularity during the 1960s and early 1970s in the GDR as well, Pentacon built the universal projector Pyrcon UP 700 for 35 mm and 70 mm film. In 1980, 10 GDR cinemas were still equipped with this device. Filmmuseum Potsdam was allowed to take over a UP 700 from the House of Culture and Education Neubrandenburg.
An important portion of the collection consists of portable and school cinematographs that were introduced around 1920 and were also distributed as 16 mm devices from 1930 onwards. Besides well-known models, such as Kinox (Ernemann) and Monopol (Ica), rarer items have been collected, e.g., the Wanderton projector, produced in Babelsberg as of 1935 by Mechanoptik, Gesellschaft für Präzisionsmechanik mbH. Also, numerous portable projectors - most notably the TK 35 - have a permanent place in the collection.
Amateur and family cinemas form a large section of the collection. Most of them are easy-to-use devices for 8 mm, 9.5 mm or 16 mm film, while some are even able to play two or three formats, such as the Heurtier Supertri from 1953/58.
Various specific technological paths of film projection have been documented as well, e.g., a projector with optical compensation via mirror segments (models III and IV) developed by Emil Mechau already before World War I. Cassette projectors, "showcase" or "cabinet" cinemas were extremely popular, as they made continuous film projection possible (some of them even during daylight). Among the collected items are a Kolm projector of Wuppertal-based Kinomat-Film (built around 1925) and a Scopitone film jukebox from the 1960s.