Culture and Recreation


When was the first movie shown?

On March 22, 1895, the first in-theater showing of a motion picture took place in Paris, when the members of the Société d’Encouragement à l’Industrie Nationale (National Society for the Promotion of Industry) gathered to see a film of workers leaving the Lumière factory at Lyons for their dinner hour. The cinematography of inventors Louis (1864–1948) and Auguste (1862–1954) Lumière, ages 31 and 33 respectively, was a vast improvement over the kinetoscope, introduced in 1894 by Thomas Edison, whose film could only be viewed by one person at a time. The 16-frame-per-second mechanism developed by the Lumière brothers became the standard for films for decades. The following year, on April 20, 1896, the first motion picture showing in the United States took place in New York; the film was shown using Thomas Edison’s vitascope, which was an improvement on his kinetoscope, and a projector made by Thomas Armat.


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