Home Health The first public screening of 10 films by the Lumière brothers at the Grand Cafè in Paris

The first public screening of 10 films by the Lumière brothers at the Grand Cafè in Paris

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On December 28, 1895, at the Salon Indien at the Grand Cafè in Paris, the first paying public screening of a film was held. The projection took place thanks to the cinematograph, an instrument created by the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière.

They were 33 and 31 then. They were the children of a photographer who had become an entrepreneur with a small photographic equipment factory and when the family ran into financial difficulties they set about developing applications of photography (moving images) which they patented. At that time in Europe, but especially in France, there were other inventors working on the same path. The Lumière patented their version of the cinema on February 13, 1895. A few weeks later in Paris they presented their invention to the National Industry Development Society. That day was only scheduled Exit from the Lumière factory in Lyon (the same video that will then be shown to the public on December 28, 1895): it is a 46-second video in which workers are seen leaving the Lumière factory in Lyon. This caused quite a stir.

Meanwhile, on May 20, another inventor, l’americano Woodville Latham, made a similar screening on Broadway for a paying audience using an instrument he had just made, the eidoscope (the video was 4 minutes of a boxing match on the roof of Madison Square Garden). And 27 days before the famous public screening of the Lumière in Paris, another inventor, Maximillian Skladanowsky, at the Wintergarten Hall in Berlin he showed his bioscope with 8 short films lasting a total of 15 minutes.

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In short, 1895 was the year in which cinema was born (even the great Thomas Edison he was working on it, but his kinethoscope could only be seen by one person at a time). And the screening of December 28 in Paris was the definitive sign of this: 10 short films lasting about 50 seconds each, opened by the one in which the workers leave the factory. In January 1896 the Lumière will also film the arrival of a train at Ciotat station and the projection was so realistic that the audience ran away thinking that the train was indeed coming into the room. But that’s another story.


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