Those who enjoy going to the cinema now don’t usually realise how different it was just about a hundred years ago. Since the first ever screening shown by the Lumiere brothers in 1895, a lot has changed – from the quality of the sound to the size and quality of the picture, not many things resemble the movies from the first years of cinemas. How did it all start and what were the major turning points in the cinematic industry?
The early days
The first Kinetoscope was presented to the world by the Edison Company in 1891. Although it allowed for one person at a time to view moving pictures, it is often referred to as the very beginnings of cinema. During the early days, the movies may not have been that exciting if someone from our time were to view them, but for the people from those days, it was one of the greatest ideas that was set to rise high in the entertainment world.
The first movies were obviously black and white, shown on a smaller screen and without synchronised dialogue, but the movies weren’t actually as silent as we are used to believe and there was music associated with many of them. Colour first appeared on screens in 1909, although it took about 25 years to actually make the Technicolor a standard for movies. As far as the sound goes, first movies with synchronised dialogue were produced around 1927 by the Warner Brother’s, but it wasn’t yet the best that era could handle and soon their sound system was replaced.
From then to now
The Golden Age of cinema is how we refer to the 1930s and 1940s, when seeing movies on a big screen (not actually that big compared to now) was so popular people visited cinemas twice a week. Over the years, many things have changed, including the size of the screen and the quality of the movies shown. With CinemaScope being introduced in 1953 and IMAX that soon followed, people were no longer feeling like they were looking at pictures on a small screen – the idea of the overwhelming image and feeling as you were a part of the movie started. Later came the 3D and 4D technologies and in the recent years, we have seen some 5D or even 6D ideas emerge. If you showed movies produced today alongside ones from the early days, you would be shocked by how much has changed. Cinemas are not dead and even TV can’t replace them.