Antonio Ramos

Spanish exhibitor who introduced film to the Philippines and subsequently established the film exhibition industry in China

Ramos, a Spaniard, on concluding his military service in the Philippines (then governed by Spain) purchased a Lumière Cinématographe and with a collection of twenty films toured the Philippines, introducing the first films to that country in 1897. Following the introduction of American rule (a result of the Spanish-American war of 1898) Ramos moved to China, where a fellow Spaniard, recorded by Jay Leyda as being Galen Bocca (?), had had little success in exhibiting films in Shanghai since his arrival in 1899. Ramos, beginning at the Ching-Lin-Ko tea house in 1903, was a more forceful businessman, and his Ramos Amusement Corporation became China's first well-established film enterprise and the dominant force in Shanghai film exhibition for the next twenty years. Having expanded his exhibition business successfully throughout Shanghai Ramos made a brief and ill-judged move into production in 1924 before the threat of revolution in 1927 forced him to sell up and return to Spain.

Luke McKernan