Cinema Product Reviews

RTV-8900 rewind table
Manufacturer:  Kelmar
Grade:  C+
Reviewed June 2000 by Joe Redifer

Time to inspect and assemble that wonderful new Steven Segal epic?  Why not drag it over to the Kelmar RTV-8900 workbench? There you can give Steven all of the attention his wonderful films so rightly deserve.

One cool thing about the RTV-8900 is that it has a hole so that you can mount a Neumade film counter on it.  An oddity about this, though, is that the older models of the Kelmar bench (such as the RTV-8500) had a threaded hole to mount a bolt into.  This version just has a pissy little hole that you have to cram a screw into.  Oddly, Kelmar doesn’t even make a mounting bracket for attaching their own media film cleaner to the workbench.

Left...RTV-8900 with "hole".
Center...Neumade film counter mounted to screw.
Right...older model RTV-8500 with actual threaded hole.

The Kelmar table has a nice light on the current models, such as the 8900, which help you to see what you are doing when you make your cuts and splices.  However, it is not quite as effective as having some kind of overhead light.  If you can deal with the light which can shine up into your eyes, you will probably be OK.

One of my biggest bitches is the fact that there is no motorized way of rewinding.  If you pass a lab splice or other defect while inspecting your film, you have to roll the supply reel back by hand, and that can be very time consuming.  If both sides had a motor, it would be much more efficient.

We have also noticed the backdrag becomes uneven as the pads wear, meaning that each revolution has a “tight spot” to it.  That can make the winding tension very uneven.  Also, the supplied 5/16th” spindle can be easily bent, and that can cause wobbling reels, which is no fun.

Bottom Line:  The Kelmar is a good reliable table, but for the price it could be better.

--Joe Redifer
Kelmar can be reached at

Joe Redifer has been a projectionist for the last few years.  He learned at Mann Kipling, went on to the UA Greenwood and finally spent 2 years at Mann Chinese.  At the Chinese, Joe performed most of the daily maintenance on the equipment.  Joe is not a technician and has no test equipment, but is an experienced projectionist.  These reviews are representative of the performance of the equipment/services from his perspective.

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