A gentleman named Jon Torrence made the above home video of a beautifully restored machine from 1939 called a Mills Company Panoram. This was a period jukebox with a screen that permitted the viewing of soundies–short films of bands and singers performing popular songs of the day. Mr. Torrence is justifiably proud of his rare machine (he appears to be the person who restored it) and gives us a thorough tour of the outside and the inside which is particularly fascinating. We see the mechanism that held the film reels and how it works as well as a bit of an actual soundie (I can’t tell who the singer/band is). Judging from the other artifacts in what appears to be his living room, Mr. Torrence is a collector and connoisseur of rare machinery of an audio/visual nature. Plenty of ‘soundies’ are available on Youtube and are the best way to view performers who didn’t generally appear in commercial movies. More on that subject next week. Enjoy!


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