Although the start of the historic timeline of cinema is unclear, it is said that the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière, were among the first filmmakers in history, showcasing the first motion picture on March 22nd, 1895 in Paris, France. Their first short film was titled ‘La sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon (Exiting the Factory)’. The screening took place at a private showing at a conference in front of 200 people. The main focus of the conference was to showcase the newest discoveries in the photography industry, namely the research about color photography at the time. But to the brothers’ surprise, the guests were much more intrigued by the moving black-and-white images than they were with the colored still photographs.
First Public Paid Screening
On December 28th, 1895 the Lumière brothers had their first public paid screening that featured 10 short films, including that first film ‘La sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon (Exiting the Factory)’ at the Grand Cafe in Paris, France. Each film was 17 meters long, which, when hand-cranked through a projector, ran approximately 50 seconds.
After their successful public screening, the Lumière brothers went on tour in 1896. The pair visited Brussels on March 1st, 1896, where they played their films for the first time outside Paris at the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. They then visited Bombay, London, Montreal, New York City, and Buenos Aires. Shortly after their tour, they sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material to be presented at their very own cinemas, which opened up in 1896. This was only the beginning for the film industry. Now, millions of people visit theaters every day to enjoy motion pictures all over the world.
Other Early Cinematographers
Other early cinematographers included Eadweard Muybridge, an English-American photographer, Étienne-Jules Marey, a French chronophotographer, and Ottomar Anschütz, a German chronophotographer, who all helped develop the scientific chronophotography devices that were able to create motion pictures in the 1880s.
William Friese-Greene, an English inventor and photographer, created the “machine camera” in 1889, which produced moving photographs on a strip of film. Another inventor of motion pictures was Thomas Edison who was said to have created the kinetoscope in 1894. The kinetoscope was designed for films to be viewed by one person by looking through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device.
Despite the many influences that helped develop techniques to create motion pictures, the Lumière brothers were often credited as among the first inventors of the technology for cinema as a mass medium, and are among the first who understood how to use it.
Now that you have learned a little French film history, come join us for some French cinéma and cuisine during French Movie Night at Le Manhattan Bistro. Reserve your table by visiting us online or by calling us at 570-901-4040. Bon appetit!