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Author Topic: Folkestone first picture show  (Read 2472 times)

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Folkestone first picture show
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 13:08:32 »
July 6th 1896 Folkestone became the first town in Kent to introduce a "moving picture show". Hundreds of people crammed into the Pleasure Gardens Theatre to welcome a wonderful new invention called a Vivaceographe, watched with growing bewilderment as whole crowds actually walked into a station, porters loading up the luggage and passengers getting in and out of a train.

Described by the promoters, Messrs Banks and Graves as "the sensation of the age" and "the electric marvel of the day" this animated picture show had already become the talk of the town, it had to be seen to be believed.

The Folkestone Herald urged that "all should make a point of seeing the Vivaceographe, which presents with unerring accuracy animated pictures of everyday life...the movements of which are strikingly lifelike". The Folkestone Up To Date was not so enthusiastic saying "the animated pictures are blurred and indistinct".

The "flickers" - as many people called them - were the consequence of almost simultaneous inventions on both sides of the Atlantic; by Thomas Edison in America and the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere in France. They were more appealing and realistic than the old magic lantern shows where pictures were made to move in a revolving drum.

Moving pictures were introduced in Paris in December 1895. By March 1896 the Lumiere brothers were wowing audiences at the Empire, Leicester Square with their "Cinematographe" but were not the only ones with moving shows. Rival operators were soon showing films in London.

 

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