Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures

By Martin Quigley Jr. | Go to book overview

XVII
WORLD PREMIERES

Success at last -- Magic shadows reach the screen in living motion -- Edison-Armat and the Vitascope--Les Frères Lumière and the Cinümatographe --Paul of London and the Animatograph or Theatrograph.

THE MOTION PICTURE made its commercial debut in 1895 and 1896, more or less simultaneously, in Paris, London, New York and elsewhere. That debut is duplicated occasionally at the present time when important Hollywood films have a number of simultaneous "world premieres."

With the introduction of a satisfactory projector of life-size moving pictures which were not limited to a few seconds' duration but could run for a number of minutes, the story of the origin of magic shadow entertainment comes to an end. From that day the phenomenal progress in entertainment and instruction of the motion picture is particularly history of that art-science. Magic shadow history is being written currently every evening on tens of thousands of screens before millions of spectators.

The motion picture projectors which finally were entirely successful and from which the history of the motion picture, properly speaking, arises were all principally based on Edison's Kinetograph film peep-show which in 1894 was shown in New York, Paris and London.

In the Fall of 1894 Louis Lumière saw the Edison Kinetograph demonstrated at the Werner firm exhibit in Paris at 20 Boulevard Poissonière. From this he conceived the idea of combining such

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Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations 6
  • Foreword 7
  • Introduction 9
  • I It Started with "A" 13
  • II Friar Bacon's Magic 24
  • III Da Vinci's Camera 29
  • IV Porta, First Screen Showman 36
  • V Kepler and the Stars 43
  • VI Kircher's 100th Art 48
  • VII Popularizing Kircher's Projector 62
  • VIII Musschenbroek and Motion 70
  • IX Phantasmagoria 75
  • X Dr. Paris' Toy 80
  • XI Plateau Creates Motion Pictures 85
  • XII The Baron's Projector 98
  • XIII The Langenheims of Philadelphia 106
  • XIV Marey and Movement 115
  • XV Edison's Peep-Show 130
  • XVI First Steps 139
  • XVII World Premieres 149
  • Appendix I MAGIC SHADOWS A Descriptive Chronology 163
  • Appendix II BIBLIOGRAPHY and Acknowledgements 177
  • Index 185
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