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Chronology of World and Thai Cinema
 

 

 
The present-day Grand Cafe 14 in Paris. Photo was taken in 1996.

1889 : As with many other historic discoveries, early cinema was primarily a scientific research competition among scientists. The most closely related machines to the technology that followed was the Kinetograph, produced in 1889 by American inventor Thomas Alva Edison. The Kinetoscope was a wooden case fitted with an eyepiece and a crank. Viewers turned the crank and the machine flicked through a sequence of pictures that created the illusion of movement - most often of a woman dancing in her underwear.

Dec.28, 1895 : Cinema in projected form was first shown by two French brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere, owners of a photographic studio in Lyons . They came to Paris to open a new show called The Cinematograph , shot using a small hand-cranked camera. At the Grand Cafe at 14 Boulevard des Capucines, a man stood outside the building all day handing out programmes to passersby. Unfortunately the cold weather prevented people from stopping and, as a result, only 33 tickets were sold for the first show.

When the lights went down, a white screen was lit up with a photographic projection showing the doors of the Lumiere factory in Lyon . Without warning, the picture started to move. The factory doors were flung open, releasing a stream of workers and everything moved. This first film was entitled La Sortie de l'Usine Lumiere a Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory).

Ten more short scenes followed, each reel roughtly 17 metres in length, including Baby's Dinner and The Waterer Watering - a comical one involving a man and his garden hose.

Audiences rushed to catch a glimpse of the machine, full of questions. By passing this milestone, the Lumieres had won the race: Their rivals had been crushed.

After a few days, with no advertising but word of mouth, more than 2,000 spectators went to the Grand Cafe each day. Tickets cost one franc. Mobs formed and the police had to move in to maintain order.

The cinematograph was requested for public showings both in France and worldwide after that. The Lumieres sent their agents and staff all over the world to both screen and produce more movies.

Feb 20, 1896 : The cinematograph had its first public screening in London at the Marlborough Hall, organized by French magician Felicien Treway, who was a friend of Antoine, the Lumiere brothers' father.

March 1, 1896 : The first public showing of the Lumiere brothers' invention was held at 7 Galerie due Roi, Brussels. Tickets cost one franc.

April/May 1896 : The cinematograph was shown in Vienna, Madrid, Berlin and Geneva.

June 7, 1896 : A screening was held in Bombay, India.

May 14, 1896 : Seven films were shot in Russia to record the Czar Nicholas II's coronation before a public screening on May 17, 1896, at the Aquarium, St Petersburg's summer theatre with the frightening Arrival of a Train.

June 29, 1896 : The first American demonstration of the cinematograph took place in New York. The arrival of the Lumiere brothers had dealt kinetoscope producer Thomas Edison a hard blow. For the first time the American public saw Arrival of a Train and The Waterer Watering.

Aug.3, 1896 : King Rama V visited Singapore and was invited to see a short series of animated pictures at the Hurricane Palace in Singapore, afterwards saying, “I could not remember the titles. They are a long roll of pictures put into a machine and the pictures were moving.”

Aug.11, 1896 : The cinematograph was shown in Shanghai, China.

May 25, 1897 : King Rama V visited Bern in Switzerland and was recorded by a Lumiere cameraman. Dome Sukwong, a Thai archivist, claims it was the first film concerning Thailand .
June 9, 1897 : The first advertisement appeared in Thailand 's Bangkok Times for the Parisian Cinematograph by S G Machovsky.

   
 

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