Castle Films was a home-movie distributor founded in California by former newsreel cameraman Eugene W. Castle in 1924. The company originally produced business and advertising films. In 1937, Castle branched out into 8mm and 16mm home movies, buying newsreel footage and old theatrical films for home use. Castle’s first home movie was a newsreel of the Hindenburg explosion. The films were sold at camera shops, in department stores, and by mail order catalogue.
In 1947, United World Films, Inc., the non-theatrical division of Universal Pictures, purchased a majority stake in Castle Films. Castle subsequently became a Universal subsidiary, drawing upon the studio’s library of vintage films (with Abbott and Costello, Boris Karloff, etc.). Castle Films changed its name to Universal 8 in 1977, but the era of home video finally brought an end to Universal’s home-movie enterprise in 1984.
The complete inventory of Castle Films (more than 1,000 titles over 40 years) is listed in Scott MacGillivray’s book Castle Films: A Hobbyist’s Guide.
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