This section contains a number of special presentations on aspects of Victorian cinema. Follow the links on the left-hand menu for individual features.


The world's first film productions, and first film shows, are the subjects of this chronology, originally published in 1994 as a booklet, by The Projection Box. This new web edition is in continuous revision - we welcome your additions and corrections.

Establishing exactly who did what, and when, has always been a contentious area in the field of motion pictures. The facts listed here include findings by researchers in many parts of the world. Today, more than a century after the introduction of the Kinetoscope and Cinematographe, new information is still being discovered. Read full introduction.



References are in brackets, and refer to publications listed at the end of the chronology. These publications frequently cite earlier sources of information, such as contemporary newspaper accounts. For this web edition, many of the new entries are from Deac Rossell’s 1995 special issue of Film History journal, ‘A Chronology of Cinema 1889-1896’; compiled from publications detailed in an extensive and useful listing in that journal. The research of Chris Long has been especially useful in filling in information on the use of the Kinetoscope and Kinetophone in Australia.

The chronology gathers together information from many sources. If it proves to be of any value to those interested in the first films, this is due to the efforts of the original authors and researchers whose work is included, and the generosity of those listed on the final page, who have shared their knowledge and enthusiasm. Corrections, additions and comments are most welcome.

Countries are identified by their present-day flags. The sources of information are given as initials; the full citations are listed under References.



EDISON'S 'BLACK MARIA' FILM STUDIO building, for Kinetograph camera, commences at Orange, New Jersey, December 1892, finished in February 1893, fully fitted by May. (GH1, CM2)

(Prior to this, experimental Kinetoscope films were shot in the '1889 photographic building'). Black Maria film production was slow at first, probably due to delay in producing Kinetoscopes.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE production model demonstrated at the Department of Physics, Brooklyn Institute, 9 May 1893. (GH3)

The demonstration included Blacksmiths film.

[EDISON KINETOSCOPE : Chicago World's Fair (the World's Columbian Exposition), Summer 1893] (GH3, CM1)

Despite a notice in the Scientific American that the Kinetoscope, connected to a phonograph, was exhibited in the Electrical Building, it now seems certain that it did not appear in the exhibition at all.



IOSSIF TIMTSCHENKO demonstrates his projector/camera for a group of natural scientists at the University of Odessa, January 1894. (RW)

I have not established whether projection was attempted.


EDISON KINETOGRAPH films strongman Eugen Sandow in the Black Maria studio. West Orange, 6 March 1894, and before 14 April films Spanish dancer Carmencita, and an employees' picnic, as well as the subjects shown at the Broadway, New York kinetoscope parlour from that date. (GH3)


FIRST KlNETOSCOPE PARLOUR opens to the public 1155 Broadway, New York City, 14 April 1894. (GH3, CM2)

There were ten machines in the arcade. Films exhibited at the opening were Sandow, Horse Shoeing, Barber Shop, Bertholdi (Mouth Support), Wrestling, Bertholdi (Table Contortion), Blacksmiths, Highland Dance, Trapeze, and Roosters. (According to CM2, Organ Grinder and Trained Bears).


EDISON KINETOSCOPE parlour opens, Masonic Temple, Chicago, 148 State Street, ten machines, 17 May 1894. (DRos)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE parlour opens, at Peter Bacigalupi’s phonograph parlour, 946 Market Street, San Francisco, 1 June 1894. (DRos)

WOODVILLE LATHAM and his sons OTWAY and GRAY arrange for enlarged capacity Kinetograph camera to film boxing match between Mike Leonard and Jack Cushing, 14 June 1894 (DRos says 15 June), in the Black Maria. The six-round film was exhibited in enlarged Kinetoscopes; one round in each machine, in a parlour on Nassau street, Manhattan, from late July 1894. (GH3)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE is shown to Magazine Pittoresque journalist Henri Flamans, in Paris, by Georgiades, July 1894. (MP)

PHANTASCOPE CAMERA of C. Francis Jenkins (USA) had produced experimental films by July 1894. (GH3)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE installed in the telegraph office, le Petit Parisien, 20 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, September 1894. (GH3, LM)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE VENUE opens at 20 boulevard Poissonière, 1 October 1894. (LM)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE ARCADE previews 17 October 1894 at 70 Oxford Street, London. Opens to public 18 October. (JB1)

There were ten machines, and films shown included: Blacksmith's Shop, Cock Fight, Annabelle Serpentine Dance, The Bar Room, Carmencita, Wrestling Match, and Barber Shop.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE VENUE opens at 85 rue de Richelieu, Paris, October 1894. (LM)


ANSCHUTZ ELECTROTACHYSCOPE opens at Swedish photographic exhibition in Stockholm, 3 November 1894. (B1)

ANSCHUTZ ELECTROTACHYSCOPE exhibited to the public, Horsaal des Postgebaudes, Berlin, 25 November 1894. (FZ2)

Improved model with two discs rotated intermittently by Maltese cross mechanism. with rotating shutter blending images.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE parlour opens at 148 Pitt Street, Sydney, 30 November 1894. (CL)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at Vilhelm Pacht's Panorama and Kinoptikon, Copenhagen, 16 December 1894. (EN)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE exhibited at Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam, 27 December 1894. (FV, ABr)

Films shown included Een Smedery in Werking, Gevecht in een bar, and Anne Belle Serpentine Danseres.

ANSCHUTZ TACHYSCOPE opens at Avenida Palace Hotel, Lisbon, 28 December 1894. (AF)


FIRST LUMIERE FILMS shot, Lyons, France, early months of 1895. (BCh)

Some experiments on paper 'film'. Then celluloid: first was (one of several versions of) Sortie d'usine/Workers Leaving the Factory. This was the Lumière photographic factory.


KINETOSCOPE mentioned by humorous magazine Fun, 8 January 1895, as on view at 432 Strand, London. Opening date not known. (SH)

KINETOSCOPE item in Fun; Kinetoscopes on view in Bond Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly, Holborn, Oxford Street (two), Strand (two). Item dated 10 January, in 22 January 1895 issue. Opening dates not known. (SH)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE shown at Palace of Industry, Valhalla Street, Stockholm, 4 February 1895. (RW)

ANSCHUTZ 'LIVING PICTURES' (double-projector with Maltese cross movement) demonstrations. Reichstag building, Leipzigerstrasse, Berlin, 22 February 1895. (FZ2)

Films included: Skat Players, The Barber Lathers a Customer, The Postman Brings the Mail.


EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at the Tabacaria Neves, Lisbon, 6 March 1895. (AF)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens to the public at the Concert hall, Münster, 20 March 1895. (WH)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation to the Société d'Encouragement a l'Industrie Nationale, 44 rue de Rennes, Paris, 22 March 1895. (HF, JA)

A single film was shown: Sortie d'usine/Workers Leaving the Factory.

Edison Kinetoscope opens in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for two weeks, 23 March 1895. (DRos)

EAMES ANIMATOSCOPE talk. Boston Camera Club, Boston, 25 March 1895. (FZ1)

It is unlikely that projection was attempted.

BIRT ACRES shoots film with camera produced by Robert Paul, at Barnet, Hertfordshire, before 29 March 1895. (JB1)

Incident at Clovelly Cottage. A view of Henry Short, Acres' assistant. outside Acres' home, Clovelly Cottage, Barnet. Cricketer Jumping over Garden Gate, listed by Barnes as a separate film shot in February, is probably part of the same film.

ACRES films Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race, London, 30 March 1895. (JB1)

First saleable Acres/Paul Kinetoscope film.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE exhibited at Castan's Panopticon, Berlin, March 1895. (RW)


LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation at the Sorbonne, Paris, 17 April 1895. (JA)

Only one film shown. Sortie d'usine/Workers Leaving the Factory.

PANOPITKON PROJECTOR demonstrated to press, 35 Frankfort Street, New York City, 21 April 1895. (MQ)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE demonstrated at the Berlin Trade Fair, 23 April 1895. Unconfirmed. (FZ2)


EIDOLOSCOPE CAMERA of Gray and Otway Latham films boxing match, Young Griffo and Charles Barnett, rooftop ‘studio’, Madison Square Garden, New York, 4 May 1895. (DRos)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens in a bar, Place de la Cataluna, Catalogne, Spain, 5 May 1895. (DRos)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE parlour, 5 machines, opens at Ganesmarkt 2, Hamburg, 16 May 1895. (DRos)

EIDOLOSCOPE (PANOPTIKON re-named) opens to paying public at 153 Broadway, New York, 20 May 1895. (MQ, CM1)

Films included boxing match, Young Griffo v Battling Charles Barnett.

ACRES films The Derby at Epsom, 29 May 1895. (JB1, JB2)

Also filmed in May: Comic Shoeblack, Performing Bears, Arrest of a Pickpocket, The Boxing Kangaroo, Carpenter's Shop. The following were filmed at about the same time; ie. between February and June 1895: Boxing Match, Dancing Girls (or Skirt Dancers), London Street Scene, Rough Sea at Dover, Tom Merry Lightning Cartoonist Sketching Bismarck, Tom Merry Lightning Cartoonist Sketching Kaiser Wilhelm II.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at the Salon Edisson [sic], Carrera de San Jeronimo, Madrid, 30 May 1895. (JM)

SKLADANOWSKY BIOSCOP camera shoots films shown at November 1895 Wintergarden show, Germany, May 1895. (MH)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens in Palermo, Italy, in a salon of Sr. Moccia, via Vittorio Emanuele, 151, 1 June 1895. (DRos)

Films shown: Danza Buffalo, Contorsionista Bertholdi, Una Bottega da Falegname.

ROBERT PAUL KINETOSCOPES on view at 39, Leather Lane, Holborn, noted in Fun, item dated 23 May, in 4 June 1895 issue. Opening date not known. (SH)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presented to the Congrès des Sociétés Françaises de Photographie, place Bellecour, Lyons, 10 June 1895. (JA) (HF has 1 June)

Films shown: Sortie d'usine/Workers Leaving Factory, Lyons: Place des Cordeliers/Street Scene, La Voltige/Riding School Lyons, Les Forgerons/Blacksmiths at Work, Pêche aux Poissons Rouges/Fishing for Goldfish, Le Jardinier/The Gardener (one of at least three versions), Répas de Bébé/Baby's Breakfast (and possibly, Un Incendie/A Fire).

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE films Le Debarquement du Congres de Photographie a Lyon/Photo Congress members disembarking from a boat at Neuville-sur-Saône, and 'close-up' of M. Janssen causant avec M. Lagrange/M. Janssen chats with M Lagrange, Consul-General of Rhone, 10/11 June 1895. (MH, HF)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens, Albion Chambers, View Street, Bendigo, Australia. Five machines, 11 June 1895. (DRos)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE second show to Photographic Congress delegates includes the two films shot at the Congress, 12 June 1895. (BCh, JR1) (Note also extra film of the 'Congressistes' (?) listed in NF)

LUMIERES produce numerous films, from Spring/Summer. For details of Lumière films shot in 1896 see JR3 and JB2.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens, Academy of Music, Lydiard Street South, Ballarat, Australia. Five machines, 19 June 1895. (DRos)

ACRES films opening of Kiel Canal, Germany, 20 June 1895. (JBl)

Also: The German Emperor Reviewing his Troops, June/July 1895.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at Exhibition Theatre, Geelong, Australia, five machines, 28 June 1895. (DRos)

CASLER MUTOGRAPH CAMERA shoots its first film, USA, June 1895. (GH2)


EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens, shop opposite Lyceum Theatre, Pitt Street, Sydney, Australia, 6 July 1895. (DRos)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation to the Revue Générale des Sciences Pure et Appliquées, Paris, 11 July 1895. (HF, JR1).

Films: A similar programme to June 'Congress' show.

SKLADANOWSKY BIOSCOP PROJECTOR demonstrated to Directors of Berlin Wintergarten, Sello in Pankow, Berliner Strasse 27, 20 July 1895. (FZ1, AN)


MUTOSCOPE [BIOGRAPH] CAMERA takes first ‘official’ film, Canastoda, New York. ‘Professor’ Al Leonard and Bert Hosler, boxing match, 5 August 1895. (DRos)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at Organ Hall, Bowen Park Exhibition Grounds, Brisbane, Australia. Five machines, 13 August 1895 (16 August moves to Telegraph Chambers, Queen Street, through August 26 1895). (DRos)

LATHAM EIDOLOSCOPE opens to public at Olympic Variety Theatre, Chicago, 26 August 1895. (GP).


LATHAM EIDOLOSCOPE opens at Kohl & Middleton's Clark Street Dime Museum, September (?) 1895. (CM1)

LATHAM EIDOLOSCOPE opens at Cotton States Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia, September (?) 1895. (CM1)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens in Townsville, Australia , five machines, 2 September 1895. (DRos).

JENKINS/ARMAT PHANTOSCOPE gives public shows in special building at Cotton States Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia, 29 September 1895. (IN, TA, CM1)

Films shown: (at 21 October) - Edison Kinetoscope subjects: Two acts from Trilby, one act from 1492, Carmencita, Sousa's Band, dances, fist fight, Annabelle in the Sun and Serpentine dances; a cock fight.

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens Cafe de Vereeniging, Utrecht, Netherlands, 26 September 1895. (DRos)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens East Street, Rockhampton, Australia, 27 September 1895. (DRos).


EDISON KINETOPHONE opens at Kinetoscope venue, East Street, Rockhampton, Australia, four machines, 4 October 1895. (DRos)

Films - ******* singing ‘The Holy City’, Harry Rickards singing ‘E dunno where ‘e are’, and the American Auctioneer.

HENRI JOLY (using a camera patented by himself) makes a film for Charles Pathé's counterfeit Kinetoscopes, Le bain d'une mondaine, France, October 1895. (Reference not yet established)


SKLADANOWSKY BIOSCOP opens to public. Wintergarten Theatre, Berlin, 1 November 1895. (FZl)

Films shown: Italienischer Bauemtanz der Kinder Ploetz Lorello (Larella?)/Italian Folk Dance, Brothers Milton: Komisches Reck/Comic Parallel Bars, Der Jongleur Paul Petras/The Juggler Paul Petras, Das Boxende Kanguruh: Mister Delaware/The Boxing Kangaroo: Mr. Delaware, Die Gymnastikeifamilie Grunato/Acrobatic Potpourri, Kamarinskaja/Russian Folk Dance, Ringkampf zwischen Grainer und Sandow/Wrestling Match: Grainer and Sandow, Max und Emil Skladanowsky verbeugen sich/Skladanowskis take a Bow (MH), Serpentine Tanz/Serpentine Dance (ML)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation to the Belgian Photographic Association, Palais du Midi, Brussels, 10 November 1895. (JR, JD2)

La Sortie d'Usine, Le Sauté la Couverture, Le Bébé et les Poissons Rouges, Les Forgerons, Janssen et M. Lagrange, Un Incendie, Les Baigneuses, La Place des Cordeliers å Lyon.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation to the Cercle Artistique et Litteraire (Cercle Gaulois), Parc de Bruxelles, Brussels, 12 November 1895. (JRl).

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE shown at Louvain, Belgium, at Musée de Physique de l’Université Catholique de Louvain, for Association Belge de Photographie, 13 November 1895. (DRos).

Films shown: La Sortie des Ateliers Lumière à Lyon, Le Saut à la Caserne, Le Bébé et les Poissons Rouges, Les Forgerons, La tête-à-tête de M. Janssen, L’incendie, Les Baigneuses (si amusantes dans leurs ébats), La Place Cordeliers à Lyon.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presentation to the Faculté des Sciences, Sorbonne, Paris, 16 November 1895. (HF)

EDISON KINETOSCOPE opens at Barlett’s studio, Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand, 29 November 1895 (from 15 February 1896, machines went on tour of North Island). (DRos)

Films shown: Fire Rescue Scene, Comical Barbershop Scene, The Chinese Laundry, Annabelle’s Butterfly Dance. From 20 December: Highland Dance from ‘Rob Roy’, The Boxing Cats, Scene from Hoyt’s Milk White Flag, Princess Ali Dance.


JENKINS PHANTASCOPE demo to Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 18 December 1895. (DRos)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens to paying public at Salon Indien, Grande Café, 14 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, 28 December 1895.

There was an afternoon showing to an invited audience.

There are many differing published lists of the first public Lumière film programme. The films were chosen from a selection available by that time. One of the earliest surviving printed programmes, apparently for 9 January 1896, lists: La sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon, La Voltige, La Pêche aux Poissons Rouges, Le Débarquement du Congrès de photographie à Lyon, Les Forgerons, Le Jardinier, Le Répas, Le Saut a la Couverture, La Place des Cordeliers à Lyon, La Mer. (JR1, see also JA; GC gives a different list.

ACRES films , and Niagara Falls, circa December 1895. (RB2).



ACRES' KINETIC LANTERN demonstrated to Lyonsdown Photographic Society, Barnet, 10 January 1896. (RB3)

Films included The Derby, Skirt Dancers, Opening of the Kiel Canal.

ACRES' KINETIC LANTERN demonstrated to the Royal Photographic Society, Hanover Square, London, 14 January 1896. (JBl, RB2, RB3)

Films included: Emperor's Review of Troops (photographed with Acres Kinetic camera), Dancing Girls, Boxing Match, The Derby, Rough Sea at Dover (all photographed with 'Paul-Acres' camera).

ACRES' KINETIC LANTERN demonstrated to Photographic Club at Anderton's Hotel, 162-5 Fleet Street, London, 15 January 1896. (JB1)

Films as previous performance, plus Boxing Kangaroo.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE salon previews at Empire Theatre, 1 rue de la Republique, Lyons, France, 25 January 1896. Opens for public run 26 January. (JRI, MD)


[LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE press showing. London] 7 February 1896. (FZ1, HT)

Not according to Brown or Barnes.

[LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE shown at Polytechnic Institute, London], 17 February 1896. (HT, MD, JR1, JR2)

Probably should be 20th? (see below)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE is shown at Bordeaux, France, 18 February 1896. (MD, JRl, JR2)

According to (JR3), not until 18 Dec 1896.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE gives press show at the Marlborough Hall (Polytechnic Institution) Regent Street, London, 20 February 1896. (JBl, RB3)

Films shown included: Street Scene, Blacksmith, Partie d'ecarte/Card Party, Photo Congress Leaving Boat, Fishing for Goldfish, Bathers in Ocean, Prize Fighters, Cowboy, Workers Leaving Factory, Baby's Breakfast, Train Entering Station, Le Serpent/Trewey's Calico Strip. A selection from 25 or more films was shown.

PAUL THEATROGRAPH demonstrated at Finsbury Technical College, London, 20 February 1896. (JB1, RB2. RBa)

Imperfect result. Films included Rough Sea at Dover and Trilby.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens to public at the Polytechnic, Regent Street, London, 21 February 1896. (JB1, RB3)

Films as press show above (?).

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE gives private showing at the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, 28 February 1896. (RB3)

PAUL THEATROGRAPH demonstrated at the Royal Institution, Albermarle Street, London, 28 February 1896. (JB1)

Films shown included: Ship Leaving, Boxing Kangaroo, Rough Sea at Dover, Play Rehearsal, Acrobat on Pole.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at Eldorado, Nice, 28 February 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE is shown to the press, Brussels, 29 February 1896. (HTl, MD, JR1)


LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens to the public at 7, galerie du Roi, Brussels, 1 March 1896. (JR1)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at salle sur la Canebière, 3 rue de Noailles, Marseille, 6 March 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE has trial public showing during a matinee at the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London, 7 March 1896. (RB3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE begins its main engagement at the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London, 9 March 1896. (JB1, RB3)

Films shown: Arrival of Train at Station, Baigneurs en mer/Bathers in the Mediterranean, Workers Leaving the Factory, Tea Time for Baby, Blacksmith at Work, Game of Cards, Scene d'enjants/Children at Play, Gardener's Hose Trick, Trewey's Serpentine Ribbon, La Place des Cordeliers a Lyon.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens in Amsterdam, 12 March 1896. (FV)

Films: Workers Leaving the Factory, De Besproeier (?), Baby's Breakfast, Arrival of a Train.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at the photographic studio of Henri Le Lieure, 17/19 via del Mortaro, Rome, 13 March 1896. (AB)

PAUL THEATROGRAPH opens at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, London, 19 March 1896. (JB1, RB3)

Films included: Band Practice, Highland Dancers, Serpentine Dancer, Boxing Cats.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE demonstrated at the K.K. Lehrund Versuchanstalt für Photographie, Vienna, 20 March 1896. (HT, MD, MLo)

PAUL THEATROGRAPH opens at Olympia, London, 21 March 1896. (JB1, RB1)

Films shown included: Trilby, Boxers, Skirt Dancer, Comic Singer, Egyptian War Dance.

ACRES KINEOPTICON (Kinetic lantern re-named) opens to public at 2, Piccadilly Mansions, Piccadilly Circus, London, 21 March 1896. (JB1, RB3) (programme illustrated in JB1 spelling is KINEOPTIKON)

Films shown: A Carpenter's Shop, A Visit to the Zoo, A Boxing Match, German Emperor Reviewing Troops, The Derby of 1895, Rough Sea at Dover, Arrest of a Pickpocket, London Street Scene.

PAUL THEATROGRAPH gives private evening show to Alhambra Theatre management, 22 March 1896. (RB3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at the Circus, Reims, 23 March 1896. (JR3)

PAUL ANIMATOGRAPHE (Theatrograph re-named) opens at the Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square, London, 25 March 1896. (JB1, RB3)

Films shown: Nautch Dancers, Female Contortionist, Beer Time in a Carpenter's Shop, Boxing Kangaroo, Rough Sea, Scientific Boxers, Lightning Cartoonist Sketching Bismarck.

KINEOPTIKON (T.MOORE HOWARD) opens at Empire Variety Theatre, Newcastle-U-Tyne, 28 March 1896 (NS), with unknown rival attraction ('Cinematographe'?) at Palace Theatre same day, or 26th. (RB3)

Films shown at Empire (RB3 says, 'Using a projector made by Paul'): Dancers, Boot Black, Boxing Dogs, At Palace: Highland Fling, Acrobat, Man Playing with Dog, Girl Doing Handstand, Boxing Cats, Scotch Reel, Wrestling Dogs, Barthold the Contortionist, Nautch Dancers.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE demonstrated for the Photographic Circle, via Principe Umberto. 30. Milan, 29 March 1896. (AB)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens to public, Teatro Milanese, corso Vittorio Emanuele 15, Milan, 30 March 1896. (AB)

BIRT ACRES makes the following films during March: (JB1)

Street Scene (?), A Visit to the Zoo, Tower Bridge Working, Highgate Tunnel with Passage of a GNR Luggage Train, Golfing Extraordinary - Five Gentlemen, Finsbury Park Station.


LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE presented to the Emperor François-Joseph in Vienna, 1 April 1896. (JR1)

ISOLATOGRAPH shown at Theatre Isola, Paris, 2 April 1896. (JR2)

EDISON/ARMAT VITASCOPE exhibited to the press, Orange, New Jersey, 3 April 1896. (CM2)

Films included: Paul's Derby of 1895.

CINEMATOGRAPHE LUMIERE opens at the Salone Margüerita of Carlo and Igino Marino. Turin, 4 April 1896. (AB)

GEORGES MELIES projects films as part of stage act. Théâtre Robert Houdin, Paris, 4 April 1896. (JD1, DR)

According to Deslandes he probably used a machine he made himself after an English or American model; Robinson says that he used a Paul Theatrograph.

RIGG AND KUMBERG KINEMATOGRAPH exhibited at Royal Aquarium, Westminster, London, 6 April 1896. (JB1)

EDISON'S CINEMATOGRAPH (sic) opens at the People's Palace. Bradford, 6 April 1896. (NS)

Films shown: Barber's Shop, Dentist's Surgery, Blacksmith's Forge, Regimental Band, A Contortionist, Skirt Dancer (two versions).

CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at the Theatre of Varieties, South Shields, 6 April 1896. (NS)

SKLADANOWSKY BIOSCOP shown in Oslo, 6 April 1896. (RW, ML)

PAUL THEATROGRAPH/ANIMATOGRAPHE opens at Circus Parish, Madrid, 7 April 1896. (JM)

CINEMATOGRAPHE (advertised as Kinetoscope?) opens at Gaiety Palace of Varieties, Birmingham, 13 April 1896. (NS)

Films shown: Grenadier Guards Band, Boxing Cats, A Contortionist, Serpentine Dance, Scotch Reel, Umbrella Dance, Blacksmith's Shop.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at Salle Poirel, galerie Nord, Nancy, 16 April 1896. (JR3)

LUMlERE CINEMATOGRAPHE showing in the canteen of the Stollwerck factory, Cologne, 16 April 1896. (HT, FZ, MLo).

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at 17, rue Esquermoise, Line, 19 April 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE exhibited at Cologne, 20 April 1896. (HT, MS, MLo)

CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at the Star Theatre of Varieties, Dublin, 20 April 1896. (NS)

Despite poor illumination and breakdowns, apparently ran for a week. Films shown: Grand Boxing Match, Umbrella Dance, Contortionist Act, Serpentine Dancer, Grand Marching Band, A Private Rehearsal, Boxing Cats, Scotch Reel - 2 persons, Scotch Dance - 8 persons, Scene in a Barber's Shop, Fire Scene.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens; Côté du Cafê Riche, Passage Inalbert, Place de la Comedie, Montpellier, 2 April 1896. (JR3)

EDISON/ARMAT VlTASCOPE opens to public at Koster & Bial's Music Hall, Herald Square, 34th Street, New York City, 23 April 1896. (CM2, BC2, MQ, JD2)

Various sources mention some or all of the following films: The Barber Shop, Walton and Slavin (Burlesque Boxers), Umbrella Dance, Butterfly Dance, Serpentine Dance, Boxing Match, Bar-room scene, The Milk White Flag (finale, 1st Act), View of Venice with gondolas, and - a film specially produced for the Vitagraph debut, not included on the printed programme - The Monroe Doctrine, plus one or two films shot by Birt Acres in England, and supplied by Robert Paul: A Rough Sea at Dover and The German Emperor Reviewing his Troops.

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at Ancien café de l'hotel d'Espagne, 4 place de la République, Rouen, 24 April 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE previews Salle des fêtes de l'hotel de Ville, to the Société de Photographie, Saint-Etienne, 25 April 1896. (JR3)

ISOLATOGRAPHE opens at Wilhelmshollen, 21 Unter den Linden, Berlin. 25 (26?) April 1896. (FZ1, HT1, MH)

Films shown included: Serpentine Dance, Boxing Match, Contortionist (male), A Paris Suburban Train, Paris Street Scene.

PAUL'S THEATROGRAPH opens to public Canterbury Theatre of Varieties, Westminster Bridge Road, London, 27 April 1896. (JB1)

Only partial success. The programme included Boxers, and Lady Gymnast.

PAUL'S THEATROGRAPH opens to public, Paragon Theatre of Varieties, Mile End Road, London, 27 April 1896. (JB1)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at café-concert Le Moulin-Rouge, 4-6 rue Jules-Lecesne, Le Havre, 27 April 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE opens at Café Riche, Nantes, 28 April 1896. (JR3)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE premieres at Panoptikum, Friedrichstrasse 65a, Berlin, 28 30 April 1896. (MLo, MB) (HT says 28 April, promotional exhibition in Edison Pavilion)

ALHAMBRA 'STUDIO': Paul shoots The Soldier's Courtship on April the roof of the Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square, London, April 1896. (JB1).

ROBERT PAUL also films London Street Scene (aka A Crowd in the City), On Westminster Bridge, Up the River, April 1896. (JBl)

LUMIERE CINEMATOGRAPHE: three salons open in Paris: Musée Oller, 28 boulevard des Capucines; I'Eldorado, boulevard de Strasbourg; and the Dufayel store, April 1896. (JR2)

GEORGES MELIES uses Paul Theatrograph to project Edison films as part of stage act. Théâtre Robert Houdin, April 1896. (JD1, DR)

ISOLATOGRAPH of the brothers Isola opens at the Théâtre Isola, Paris, April 1896. (ED)

EMILE REYNAUD uses PHOTOSCENOGRAPHE camera to film clowns Footit and Chocolat in Guillaume Tell for his Théâtre Optique. La Villette, April 1896. (DA, VS)

PAUL'S THEATROGRAPH opens to public, Wonderland, Whitechapel Road, London, April 1896. (JB1)

Performances 'blurred and indistinct'.

The following month, Edison's employee William Heise starts to film 'actualities' with a portable camera; and by the end of the year Lumière operators take and project films throughout most of the world. During 1896 new cameras and projectors appear on the market to rival Edison, the Lumières, and Robert Paul. The film industry had taken a hold; the movies had begun.


Web edition compiled by Stephen Herbert. With thanks to all those whose works have been cited.