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1895 – 1905 THE EARLY YEARS
By 1850 projection and photography had come together but the result still wasn`t cinema. Before cinema
could be born, one last invention was necessary – a quiet machine able to project high-quality pictures onto a
large screen. The men who produced that machine were two French brothers called Louis and Auguste
Lumiere. On 28 December 1895, they showed a selection of short films to a paying public. These films were
soon produced all over the industrialized world, but the cinema was still a novelty.
1905 – 1915 THE RUN TO THE SUN
Much of what we now take for granted in the cinema was still being discovered at this stage. It is said that the
first film to use a close-up caused commotion amongst audiences who had paid “to see the whole actor”. In
1908 Thomas Edison, who had invented a lot of the technical processes used in the operation of cameras and
projectors, set up a company with the aim of taking a percentage from anyone using a camera.
The demand for films amongst the poor population was unlimited and the public was also becoming more
observant and sophisticated. Longer films were being made (a trend imported from Europe) and they were
being shown in better, purpose-built cinemas. The public was also beginning to recognize and appreciate
good screen acting.
1915 – 1925
The cinema was looked on as inferior to the theatre, and film producers were able to hire actors for $5 a day.
But, as in the theatre, creating stars could attract an audience and soon after the stars were earning
astronomical sums from their popularity. During the late 1920s, most of the Hollywood studios we still know
were established: MGM; Paramount; Fox; Universal. These were companies that owned the means of
production, the distribution companies and the cinemas the films were shown in.
1925 – 1935 YOU AIN`T ...

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