The Cinematograph

Source: ‘The Cinematograph’, Pall Mall Gazette, 21 February 1896, p. 9

Text: THE CINEMATOGRAPH.

The world in general and London in particular has been given a new series of “living pictures” by some French inventors who have sufficiently tamed the kinetoscope to compel it to exhibit its wonders on the sheet of a magic lantern. No longer will the curious be conpelled to hunt for pennies to deposit in a slot, and to bend the back at an angle of 45 deg. in order to gaze at a moving picture rather less than two inches square. Now you may go to the Marlborough Hall, alongside the Polytechnic – a theatre, by the way, which has been the scene of famous optical wonders in times past – and having handed in the customary shilling, you can sit at your ease and watch scene after scene pass before you, clearly shown on a white screen, with the figures of life-size proportions. Yesterday there was a fairly successful private view of the new show, although the inventors declared that they hoped to attain still greater perfection. Under their system the series of photograph is taken even more rapidly than for the kinetoscope. For each of these series of negatives forty exposures a second are necessary. Even so there is a certain amount of vibration in the moving picture, although the retina of the human eye retains its impression for a full tenth of a second. There is also some of the glittering flicker which is also a defect of the kinetoscope. The series of scenes exhibited yesterday attracted each its burst of applause. They are also agreeably varied – you may see the throng of employees leaving a factory at the dinner hour, or a baby dabbling its hands in a bowl of goldfish. Altogether, it is a more interesting show, and quite worth seeing. The whole series of pictures is to be exhibited hourly.

Comment: The Lumière Cinématographe had a press show at the Polytechnic, Regent Street in London, a regular location for popular science lectures and demonstrations. It opened to the public the following day. The inventors, Augute and Louis Lumière, were not present. The number of images per second employed by the Cinématographe was fewer than that required by the Edison Kinetoscope peepshow, not more. The two films referred to are La Sortie des Usines Lumière (1895) and Pêche aux poissons rouge (1895).

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