Birth of the Movies
Scientific Experiments 1867-93
- Etienne-Jules Marey in France after 1867
- Marey was influenced by Nadar's 1865 revolving portraits
- Marey used a phenakistoscope motion wheel - graphing of man walking, rubber bulbs on horse hoofs
- Marey's photographic animations of 1882
- Eadweard Muybridge in U.S. 1872
- 12-camera horse sequence for Leland Stanford
- proved theory of unsupported transit 1877
- zoopraxiscope 24-image projector 1879
- Pierre Janssen revolver in France 1873
- revolver camera to record transit of Venus
- Marey's improved gun camera made chronophotos 1882
- Marey's paper-base strip film camera 1888
- George Eastman's celluloid film
- Hannibal Goodwin's 1887 patent
- Eastman's 1889 rollfilm - Kodak Co.
- Thomas Edison in West Orange, NJ
- met Muybridge Feb. 25, 1888
- told W.K.L. Dickson to design camera
- patent caveat Oct. 1888
- met Marey Aug. 19, 1889
- 1891 patent; 1893 demo
- 35mm film, sprocket, intermittent shutter
- Black Maria studio built 1893 around 500-lb. Kinetograph camera
- Edison: The Invention of the Movies from Kino
- Andrew Holland opened 1st peep-show parlor on Broadway April 1894, with Kinetoscopes for individual viewers
- 25 cents for 16-second film viewed individually, at 40 fps by electrical motor
- W.K.L. Dickson's flip-card Mutoscope 1895
- Alfred Clark's 1895 film The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
Vaudeville Theaters 1895-1905
ad from Edison NHS
- Louis and Auguste Lumiere in Paris Dec. 28, 1895
- 16 lb. hand-cranked Cinematographe camera & projector
- lamp, lens, crank, screen system used at Grand Cafe in Paris on Dec. 28, 1895, to show short films recorded at silent film speed of 16 fps on 35mm film with one sprocket hole per frame. Lumiere Institute has digitized films from the first public film show.
- 1st in U.S. at Keith's Union Square theater
- Thomas Armat & C. Francis Jenkins in Atlanta 1895
- Vitascope projector using Latham loop and reels
- Raff & Gammon exhibition April 23, 1896, in New York's Koster & Bial Music Hall
- Edison purchased rights to the Vitascope 1896
- Armat film from 1900 available on DVD33
- W.K.L. Dickson's Biograph projector Oct. 1896
- J. Stuart Blackton and Albert Smith's Vitagraph 1897
- Sigmund Lubin's Cineograph projector in Phila. 1897
- George Melies - Theatre Robert-Houdin opened as the 1st public movie theater Apr. 1896
- 1897 studio in Paris - made 500 films by 1913
- 1902 A Trip to the Moon
- Thomas Tally 1902 LA theater- wholesome films for 10 cents
The 300 vaudeville theaters offered a variety of entertainment for 50 cents, highly stylized, artificial, ritualistic with recognized and repetitive actions expected by the audience. But movies were different, more visual, surprising, praised for "pictorial realism" and better for melodrama (sentiment, passion, emotion) than for traditional stage drama (rules of cause and effect).
Bijou Dream Nickelodeon,
(from Bowers) - see interior of Hannibal MO Rex 1912, and Iowa nickelodeon (from Bowser)
- urban working-class storefront theaters, not Hollywood
- many films had urban themes, such as workers' rights, class conflict, political graft, injustice, white slavery, alcoholism, suffrage, Griffith's "cinema of the submerged" of escaped prisoners, tenement dwellers
- Edwin S. Porter's photoplay The Great Train Robbery in 1903 told a story with 20 shots in 12 scenes for $150, filmed on the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad near Dover, NJ; no stars but big cast, Gilbert Anderson became Bronco Billy and founded Essanay 1908; Porter's film was purchased by storefront owners and shown continuously for years to draw customers
- Pathe Freres was the world's largest film producer, especially comedies, and was the largest distributor challenging Edison's monopoly, selling equipment and encouraging local producers and establishing film exchanges in major cities
- Motion Picture Patents Co. 1908 by Edison, Kleine, Melies, Pathe, Vitagraph, Selig, Essanay, Lubin, Kalem, and Biograph
- National Board of Review 1909 (comment by Emily Peterson)
- by 1910, 26 million attended 10,000 theaters each week
- production, distribution, exhibition
- Vitagraph was founded by J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith, Ronald A. Reader from their vaudeville act.
- John Bunny was America's first comic star, made 150 films for Vitagraph 1910-1915, including Her Crowning Glory, and was considered the most famous movie star in the world in 1911.
The Princess Nicotine was an early special effect film made by J. Stuart Blackton and his Vitagraph studio in Brooklyn; according to Scientific American in 1909: ""The effect of The Princess Nicotine when thrown upon the screen is so startling that it defies explanation by the uninitiated.The little fairy moves so realistically that she cannot be explained away by assuming that she is a doll, and yet it is impossible to understand how she can be a living being, because of her small stature."
Kleine poster 1913, from LC
- Carl Laemmle was the first independent producer to break from Edison's Trust, became one of the Hollywood Moguls who created the studio system followed by the Evolution of Hollywood Studios
- outside the Trust, own store-front theaters, star system, longer and more complex feature film.
- Earliest surviving feature film is the 1912 film Richard III produced by M. B. Dudley Feature Films and released under the states rights distribution method.
- Chicago distributor George Kleine imported the Italian feature film The Last Days of Pompeii.
- growing emphasis on better films for middle class by Balaban & Katz, Roxy Rothapfel, William Fox, D.W. Griffith.
- rise of the neighborhood theater and the movie palace
The huge New York Hippodrome was built in 1905 by John Gates at a cost of $4 million, with 5200 seats to attract the large middle class audience. Thomas Lamb was one of the first movie palace architects who designed the Regent in 1914, the Strand in 1914, the Rialto in 1916, the Rivoli in 1917, and the Capitol in 1919, and became the main architect for the Loew chain. Samuel "Roxy" Rothapfel was a pioneer of the movie palace in New York, opening the Strand in 1914. His great Roxy Theater in 1927 seated 6215 and became the flagship theater for William Fox.
L. M. Glackens in Puck, 11/9/1910, from LC
- D.W. Griffith pioneered feature films Birth of a Nation 1915 and Intolerance 1916
- continuity, montage, chiaroscuro, mise-en-scene, spectacle, sentiment
- William Wyler learned filmmaking from D.W. Griffith, made his Jezebel as a southern film genre
- Adventures in CyberSound: Magic Machines: 1876 - 1890 from Russell Naughton
- American Memory includes The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 and America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915 and Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies
- Anima from Charles Lucassan includes Marey and Janssen
- Black and White, 1999 from IMDB
- Bowers, Q. David. Nickelodeon Theatres and their Music. Vestal, N.Y. : Vestal Press, 1986.
- Bowser , Eileen. The Transformation of Cinema, 1907-1915, vol. 2 of The History of the American Cinema. New York : Scribner, 1990.
- Disneyland QTVR tour
- Edwin S. Porter - Time after time from British Film Institute Innovators in Sight and Sound
- "Father of the Motion Picture" from Kingston
- Great Train Robbery MPEGs from Americvan Memory
- Great Train Robbery from filmsite
- Hollywood documentary series by Gill and Brownlow on TCM
- Jazz Age Chicago: Urban Leisure from 1892 to 1934 from Scott Newman at Loyola University of Chicago
- Landmarks of Early Film, from Blackhawk Films, DVD PN1993.5 .A1 .L353 1997
- Silent Era: the silent films from Carl Bennett
- The Silent Western as Mythmaker article by Peter Flynn in Image, Issue 6
- Vitagraph: Three men and their 'baby'by Tim Lussier