Lewis Sealy (William Arminger Sealy Lewis)

Actor, exhibitor

Born in Bandon, Ireland, on 24 February 1850 and educated at The Cork College, while still in his teens Sealy joined a theatrical company in Liverpool. After various jobs in the theatre as actor and stage manager, he became one of the first film exhibitors in England, showing films as early as August 1896. Sealy's main venue was the Metropolitan theatre in Edgware Road, but he also exhibited in other theatres in London. He then produced, with Esme Collings as cinematographer, two films illustrating popular Victorian songs intended to be accompanied by live singers; Simon the Cellarer in three scenes, which was issued by Philipp Wolff in January 1899, and Tomorrow will be Friday. After this brief excursion into film-making, Sealy emigrated to America, where he again took up a theatrical career and became associated with George Arliss, Lily Langtry and Olga Nethersole. He died in New York on 22 March 1931, aged eighty.

John Barnes