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1896 in Film
The following is an overview of the events of
1896 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.
Ad for Vitascope Hall,
, offering "an entirely new series of pictures".
January - In the
United States, the Vitascope film projector is designed by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Armat begins working with Thomas Edison to manufacture it. January 14 -
Birt Acres demonstrates his film projector, the Kineopticon, the first in Britain, to the Royal Photographic Society at the Queen's Hall in London. This is the first film show to an audience in the U.K.  February 20 - In London:
 April - Edison and Armat's
Vitascope is used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City. May 14 - Tsar
Nicholas II of Russia is crowned in Moscow, the first coronation ever recorded in film. July 26 - "Vitascope Hall" opens on
Canal Street, New Orleans, the first business devoted exclusively to showing motion pictures at a fixed location  September 28 - The
Pathé Frères film company is founded. October 19 - "
Edisonia Hall" in Buffalo, New York, the first building constructed specifically for showing motion pictures.  In France, magician and filmmaker
Georges Méliès begins experimenting with the new motion picture technology, developing early special effect techniques, including stop motion.
William Selig founds the Selig Polyscope Company in Chicago. Demeny-Gaumont work on a 60 mm format, first known as
Biographe (unperforated), then Chronophotographe (perforated). Casimir Sivan and E. Dalphin create a 38 mm format.
Notable films released in 1896
The pioneer filmmaker, Alice Guy, debuted this year.
The Cabbage Fairy
Le chapeau de Tabarin
Les démolisseurs Chez le barbier
Maybe a surviving print of the film
Arrival of a Train at Vincennes Station
Contrary to myth,
Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat
it was not shown at the Lumières' first public film screening on 28 December 1895 in Paris, France: the programme of ten films shown that day makes no mention of it. Its first public showing took place in January 1896.
Robert W. Paul
William K.L. Dickson
, a French erotic Le Coucher de la Mariée short film considered to be one of the first erotic films (or " stag party films") made. The film was produced by Eugène Pirou and directed by Albert Kirchner under the pseudonym "Léar".
, a Macintyre's X-Ray Film documentary radiography film directed by Scottish medical doctor John Macintyre.
, is a silent film reenactment of McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio William McKinley receiving the Republican nomination for President of the United States in September 1896 produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
A Morning Alarm, produced by Edison Studios.
a short Salida de la misa de doce de la Iglesia del Pilar de Zaragoza silent film by Eduardo Jimeno, a pioneer of the Spanish cinema. Probably the first film made in Spain by a Spaniard.
A Sea Cave Near Lisbon , a British short silent actuality film, directed by Henry Short. Up the River, directed by Unknown.
Births January 20
April 8 -
Einar Juhl, Danish actor (died 1982) April 26 -
Ruut Tarmo, Estonian actor (died 1967) May 16 -
Gilda Langer, German actress (died 1920) June 28 -
Constance Binney, American actress, singer, dancer (died 1989) July 16 -
Evelyn Preer, American actress, singer (died 1932) July 25 -
Jack Perrin, American actor (died 1967) August 14 -
Theodor Luts, Estonian film director, cinematographer (died 1980) August 18 -
Jack Pickford, Canadian-born American actor (died 1933) August 30 -
Raymond Massey, Canadian-born American actor (died 1983) October 1 -
Abraham Sofaer, American actor (died 1988) October 6 -
David Howard, American film director (died 1941) October 23 -
Lilyan Tashman, American actress (died 1934) October 30 -
Rex Cherryman, American actor (died 1928) December 10 - Torsten Bergström, Swedish actor and director (died 1948)
"Birt Acres". EarlyCinema.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-12 . Retrieved .
Mast, Gerald; Kawin, Bruce F., eds. (2007). "Birth". A Short History of the Movies (abridged 9th ed.). Pearson Education. ISBN 9780321418210.