Well, I've gone and done it - I've purchased a 35mm projector. I met a guy at the last CineSea show in Wildwood, New Jersey last April, who until pretty recently had collected 35mm. We talked quite a bit, and I caught the bug.
He put me onto a forum, gave me some advice on what to look for, and after a few weeks got a solid lead on a Century projector that had just been taken out of service from a theatre.
When I first went to see it, I thought "no way - much too big for my basement, my wife will kill me, and way too complicated of a machine (the thing is actually several different parts)".
Then he threaded a trailer, and I was just blown away - and within the week I was picking it up. Got an incredible deal - Century projector head, Simplex sound head, the dolby sound processor, DTS reader, laser optical reader, equipment rack, xenon lamphouse, iron pedestal base, flat lens w/ aperture plate, almost brand-new scope lense w/ aperture plate, lots of reels, and a ton of spare parts - almost enough to build a second one someday!
I'm keeping it in the back file room of the office until I get the other side of my basement finished (at which time I'll break the news to my wife) - have been coming into the office extra early so I can tinker with it before starting my days. Recently got my amps and speakers in the mail, and have just finished cleaning it (which took over three hours - my gosh, it was filthy!) and setting everything up so I can practice using it. My current screen is the white cinder block wall.
Everything works perfectly, except the threading lamp - which I discovered this morning just needs a new switch.
So, definitely a learning experience, and definitely a bit over my head, but also very exciting! So far just screening trailers, but have a couple of inexpensive features on their way, so will take some screenshots once I get them!