Chapter One – The Magic of Moving Pictures: Filmmaking 1895 – 1918

By Chris Pugsley. Summary by Jakki Galloway

Joseph Perry and his operating staff, Salvation Army Biorama Company, 1906.

Before the movie theatre, the moving image was limited to contraptions that only one person could view at a time. French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière were the first people to develop a system for projecting moving images onto a big screen with a 'cinematographe'. They displayed their new invention in a Parisian café on 28 December 1895.

“Within a mere 14 months, the peep-show box had progressed to a movie theatre.” p 30, New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History

“By 1915, there were 165 picture theatres in the country, and for thousands of New Zealanders attendance at them had become as much a habit as wearing a hat or drinking tea.” p 50, New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History


Activity 1:  The First Film Projectors
Describe the changes of development.

Activity 2: The First New Zealand Filmmakers
Discuss their influence on New Zealand film.

Activity 3: Film as News
Close read a film clip.


FORWARD to Chapter Two – The Rise of Fiction: Between the Wars

BACK to Introduction

BACK to Our Film History

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