George Green

Scottish exhibitor, producer

Glasgow based fairground and cinema-theatre pioneer. The son of a master cabinet maker, George Green started his career as an apprentice watch maker coming into ownership of a fairground carousel through a bad debt owed to his father. From that he developed a number of travelling shows based in Glasgow, and gave his first public film show during the Christmas season of 1896/7 at 'The Carnival', a venue he owned and ran in the city, using a machine obtained from Robert Paul. From Easter 1898 George Green travelled with a fairground Bioscope show throughout Scotland and the North West of England. In 1902 he began to look for permanent venues and bought the Whitevale Theatre, Glasgow, chiefly for film exhibition. Following the death of one of his sons, John, in 1914, George ceased travelling. He died a year later, leaving a chain of some ten or more cinemas in various parts of Scotland. Just prior to his death, George Green & Sons had also established Green's Film Services in Glasgow, a Scottish renting and distribution network. A supplementary service Scottish Moving Picture News was added soon afterwards, providing cinemas with local newsreel subjects. In 1919 the firm expanded, establishing a scond office in London, when the newsreel service was re-named the British Moving Picture News. During the First World War the company also produced propaganda films for the War Office, including Patriotic Porker (1916).

Mervyn Heard (revised December 2012)