How to Load Bell & Howell Filmosound Movie Projectors

I recently bought a 16mm Bell & Howell 1545 Filmosound movie projector with sound and after bringing it home discovered that it didn’t fully work.  The lamp worked, the motor turned… but the gears inside didn’t.

So, I’m going to try to turn lemons into lemonade by posting the instructions on how to load film into this projector.  Inside the cover of the projector are illustrated instructions.  I took a photo of that, but will also transcribe it for you.  I believe these instructions will work on several different model numbers, not just the 1545.

Here’s a photo (click to enlarge) – below is a transcription of the instructions.

Bell & Howell Quick Reference Guide

for the Specialist Autoload Filmosound   threads film automatically!  Just follow the numbers…


a. Raise reel arms

b. Position take up reel

c. Plug-in power cord 110-130 volts, 60 Hertz only (use adapter if necessary)

d. Turn on volume control

e. Position full reel of film


1 Turn motor-lamp switch to “FWD” position

2 Trim end of film leader

3 Push autoload lever toward front of projector until it locks into position

4 Insert film into film channel.  If using 400′ autoload take-up reel (in lowest arm position) film will automatically thread itself onto reel.  If using reel larger than 400′, turn motor-lamp switch to “off” position after approximately 2′ of leader has passed through projector.  Pull film until threading mechanism clicks open.  Place film onto take-up reel.

5 Turn motor-lamp switch to “lamp

c. RUN

a. Adjust focus

b. Turn tilt know to center picture on screen

c. Adjust framer if necessary

d. Set speed control for silent or sound film while projector is running

e. Adjust volume and tone controls


a. Press take-up arm release button and raise reel arm

b. Attach film to front reel

c. Turn motor-lamp switch to “reverse”

d. Depress rewind button


1. Remove exciter lamp cover

2. If closed, open threading system using threading system release roller, swing out the lens carriage, and open the three sprocket guards

3. Starting at the blue roller (4), slip film out of the entire film path.  (holding film on both sides of sprocket rollers relieves film tension permitting easy removal)

4. Proceed with rewinding as in instructions or rewind.

Detailed threading and unthreading instructions are described in your instruction book.

Model 1545, 545, 552, 1585, 1552

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