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  Largest private collection of movie cameras-world record set by Dimitris Pistiolas
 ATHENS, Grece -- A retired postman Dimitris Pistiolas, 78, has a collecttion of 937 cinema cameras in the basement of his home-setting the world record for the   Largest private collection of movie cameras.

   Photo: Camera collector Dimitris Pistiolas checks a camera at his museum in central Athens. Photo Thanassis Stavrakis /AP   (enlarge photo)

Dimitris Pistiolas, camera collector, said, "When I get a camera in my hands I feel like it's New Year's Day and that I'm getting a present, like a little kid. The first thing I will do is examine it. Then I will restore it and I will put it there, in its place, to stay."

  Admission to the world's largest private collection of movie cameras is by invitation only. The owner is a retired postman, who's been collecting cameras for more than 60 years.

   All of the vintage equipment is on display in a tiny basement of about 25 square meters. Cameras, some made more than a century ago, fill cabinets and cover every inch of wall space.
  (enlarge photo)
   There's every kind of camera, for all types of film. All are neatly arranged, dusted and labelled. All are restored to working order.

Dimitris Pistiolas, started buying cameras when he was 15. He's never stopped. Now he's 78. His collection has burgeoned to nearly a thousand vintage cameras and projectors.

Dimitris Pistiolas said, "It is an effort that dates back to 1960. I made many sacrifices, because this material couldn't be bought even by the richest person. There is no shop where they can be bought. You must search for them, chase them for many years to find them. I had the patience, the craze, the passion."  

  Pistiolas insists he'll never stop collecting. Cameras, he says, are his great love.

  Ronald Grant, a director at the Cinema Museum in London, says it takes time and money to hunt such cameras down at fairs and auction rooms.
   "There's a lot of investment there in time, and knowledge, and of course memory. Once you have a few hundred, then you have to remember, 'Have I got this one?'" Grant says. "You can't just buy these in a shop."

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  Saturday, December 6, 2008

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