700 antique and vintage movie cameras to be auctioned Oct. 13 at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal
Scottsdale resident’s lifetime collection includes a rare ICA Kinamo 35mm camera dating back nearly 100 years
A Scottsdale man’s lifetime collection of 700 antique and vintage movie cameras will be auctioned during “The Darkroom Auction” at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal on Thurs., Oct. 13 starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
Luis Bohorquez grew up in Los Angeles and was just 10 years old when he got his first Super 8, the popular Kodak camera that brought movie-making to the masses. That experience sparked his interest to pursue film-making as a career, and today he is a successful producer/cinematographer and owner of Three Horizons Productions in Scottsdale.
Bohorquez started his collection during film school, when he became friends with technicians who gave him some of the old movie cameras. “Eventually, I sought out the collectible ones to purchase,” Bohorquez says, adding that he often would buy duplicates in case parts and accessories were needed.
At one point his collection soared to more than 800 movie cameras, which he said he kept in mint condition, making sure all parts and accessories were included.
“While I had a room in my house dedicated to my collection, I could only fit about 100 of them inside, so I stored the rest in an air-conditioned storage unit and would rotate them every now and then,” he explains.
While he focused on small gauge movie cameras, he is most proud of the only 35 mm camera in his collection.
“It’s a rare ICA Kinamo hand-held professional format camera that’s almost 100 years old,” he said. “It’s a wind-up camera with no motor or springs inside. The body, lens and leather are in mint condition, and it’s really one of the stars of the auction,” he says.
Because parts are often hard to find, Bohorquez would often buy duplicates so that he could swap out parts. “I’ve sold about 100 duplicates to both collectors and young hipsters, but the auction still includes some 700 antique and vintage movie cameras from more than 100 worldwide manufacturers,” he states.
While digital cinema is ubiquitous, there’s been a resurgence of interest in antique and vintage movie cameras, according to Josh Levine, auctioneer and owner of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest from interior designers and millennials who are using them as décor,” Levine says. “And, many of Luis’ movie cameras are still functional, which is a big selling point to collectors.”
Kodak still manufactures film, but Bohorquez said that one manufactures movie cameras any more.
“There are some hold-outs in our industry, like Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg who still want to shoot on film. There’s also a look associated with older movies that still has a lot of appeal. And, many collectors value these old movie cameras for their place in history and significance to storytellers,” he says.
J. Levine Auction & Appraisal is located at 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., in Scottsdale, on the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. The public can preview the movie cameras on Wed., Oct. 12. Doors open for the auction on Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. with live bidding starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Bidders can also bid online and via phone. For more details, visit www.jlevines.com or call (480) 496-2212.