Whether in the theater or streaming, cinema is currently one of the largest creative industries. But what did the audience see at the first performance in 1895?
By: Laura Puentes
The first time I went to the movies, I was like 13 years old. I remember that we got together after leaving school my friends, my friends and I. It was a unique experience, buying popcorn, soda. But the most exciting part was walking into the room and seeing the huge screen head-on. Until these days visiting the cinema is one of the things that I enjoy the most.
Who would think that 126 years have passed since the world’s first film projection? That’s right, on December 28, 1895, the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière were showing a film made by them with images of everyday life at the Grand Café in Paris.
The beginnings of cinema
The first steps in image projection date back to as far back as 1659, when the Dutch astronomer, physicist and mathematician Christiaan Huygens invented the “magic lantern”. Which was like a projector where the images painted on glass were placed.
It would be in the 1830s that Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria developed a device called a phenakistcope , which consisted of a rotating disk through which drawings could be seen through gaps that created an effect that the image had movement .
In 1891 Thomas Alva Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion picture camera, called a kinetoscope . A machine with a peephole viewer that allowed a person to see a film strip while passing through a light.
An extraordinary combination
The Lumière brothers were impressed with the demonstration of the kinetoscope, however, they came up with something better: adapting the films to a magic lantern show, projecting them on a screen to a large audience so that more people could see them and not just one.
It would be by 1895 that Auguste and Louis already had their own system , which consisted of a camera operated with a crank and a projector, which they called a cinematograph. The first film they showed was that of a group of workers leaving the factory.
Unlike the equipment created by Thomas Alva Edison, the Lumière camera was smaller and more manageable, allowing it to be moved to different places, capturing images of daily life.
In this way, on December 28, 1895 , they made the first projection of what would be known as cinema.
That day they presented ten short films in the following order:
- Departure of workers from the Lumière factory in Lyon.
- Demolition of a wall.
- Fishing Day.
- Landing of the Congress of Photographers in Lyon.
- The blacksmiths.
- The gardener, later known as “The irrigated irrigator” (the first fiction film in history).
- Baby food.
- The jump on the blanket.
- Cordeliers square in Lyon.
- The sea.
Since then, films have been screened continuously around the world, giving way to one of the most important industries in the world.
Cinema is here to stay and we can enjoy it convinced that new technological advances will come that will make us delight in any story.