On December 28, 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe, a device with which one could make chronophotographic prints and look at them in sequence. Louis Lumière projected his first film: Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine de Monplaisir.

However, they were probably not the first to do this: the Latham brothers in New York were screening boxing films to paying audiences from 20 May 1895, using their Eidoloscope projector.

According to History.com, Auguste began the first experiments in the winter of 1894, and by early the following year the brothers had come up with their own device, which they called the Cinématographe. Much smaller and lighter than the Kinetograph, it weighed around five kilograms (11 pounds) and operated with the use of a hand-powered crank. The Cinématographe photographed and projected film at a speed of 16 frames per second, much slower than Edison’s device (48 frames per second), which meant that it was less noisy to operate and used less film.

The Lumière brothers’ first film (in fact, they made three versions) was shot outside their factory as the workers left at the end of the day. It was shown to the Société d’Encouragement à l’Industrie Nationale in Paris on 22 March 1895: this was probably the first public screening of moving pictures (the Lathams’ first public demonstration in New York took place on 21 April 1895).

They shot several more one-minute films and gave a second demonstration of the Cinématographe to the French Photographic Congress in Lyon that June. Their father Antoine organized a public screening several months later at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines. Among those in the audience: illusionist and future pioneering director Georges Méliès, who made one of the first science-fiction films (1902’s A Trip to the Moon). While the brothers were initially reluctant to hold a public screening, feeling it was premature

Lumiere Brothers, arrived in India right after their 50-second film ‘The Arrival of a Train’ created waves in 1895, first in Paris and then in India. It was July 7, 1896, when the Lumiere Brothers arranged a screening of six films at the Watson Hotel in Bombay. The screening of the films at the Watson Hotel in Mumbai priced at INR 1 was reported as the ‘miracle of the century’ by The Times of India.

The first film ever to be shot by an Indian was called The Wrestlers made in 1899 by H.S Bhatavdekar depicting a wrestling match in Mumbai’s Hanging Gardens. This was also India’s first documentary film. The first film to be released in India was Sree Pundalik, a silent Marathi film by Dadasaheb Torne, on May 18, 1912.


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