Individual media Reference department
Quotations department Media department Reference department
< previous | next >
1909 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
January 9  New York's city authorities enact an ordinance that bans children under 16 from film theatres unless accompanied by adults. [0079] < 1908 December 24
January  International Projecting and Producing Company (IPPC) is formed by American film companies not included in the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC). Although initially relying on imports as well as existing American films, new indigenous US production by independents is stimulated.[0071]  
February 2-4  Congress International des Editeurs du Film (International Film Publishers Congress) convenes in Paris under the chairmanship of Georges Méliès [fourth from left in the front row], at least in part to consider the threat posed by the Motion Picture Patent Company. The aim is to create a cartel to rival the MPPC but only succeeds in agreeing international standards for film stock perforation. It is agreed by resolution, however, that all films will be rented rather than sold outright, adopting the business model established by Pathé-Frères. Eastman Kodak is one of the convenors of the congress.  
February 26  The first Kinemacolor presentation to a paying audience is made at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London. The programme includes 21 films. The first film made in the system is G A Smith's A Visit to the Seaside, featuring scenes of Brighton.
•  In France Gaumont forms a separate distribution company, Comptoir Ciné-Location, to rent rather than sell films.  
•  Danish distributor Fotorama introduces 'stable customer service', one of the earliest instances of block-booking of films in cinema practice. Exhibitors sign up for a package of films of varying appeal in order to secure the most desirable titles.  
early  Pathé's output of positive film prints is now 80,000 metres a day. The company is also producing over 500 items of equipment a month. < 1907
March  People’s Institute of New York and Dr Charles Sprague Smith set up the National Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures (later National Board of Review) and begin film censorship, responding to public pressure for official censorship.  
March  Having acquired five-year rights to exploit G A Smith’s Kinemacolor colour film system, Charles Urban establishes the Natural Colour Kinematograph Company. > December 11
April   First large-scale orchestral gramophone recording, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, made in London for German Odeon company by London Palace Orchestra conducted by Hermann Finck; recordings took three days to complete at reported (but questionable) cost of ‘upwards of £800’; four double-sided discs in a special album sold for 16s (80p).  
•  French four-reel version of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, produced by Pathé, is the first European feature film specifically written for the screen.  
May 23  Bioscope Cinema (later renamed the Biograph), a purpose-built cinema with 560 seats, is opened in Wilton Road, Victoria, London by an American, George Washington Grant. Its programming is devoted exclusively to newsreels.  
May  The first film to combine drawn animation and live action within the same image is Clair de lune espagnol, made in France by Emile Cohl for Gaumont.  
September 18  First of four reels of the Vitagraph production of Les Misérables is released in US; the producers do not think the American public is prepared to watch a film lasting over an hour. However, exhibitors also stand to lose out from the increasing length of films as they are no longer able to compile individually a programme of short films to suit their audiences.  
November 25  Cinematograph Act introduces controls over UK exhibition, requiring cinemas to be licensed by local authorities. Introduced by Home Secretary Herbert Gladstone, this is the first UK legislation specially concerned with cinemas, resulting from concern over fires caused by the highly combustible nitrate film stocks.
Cinematograph Act 1909
•  First censorship action is taken against films in the US on a local basis.  
November  Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT) is founded in the UK with £100,000 capital, with the aim of opening a cinema in every town with a population of 250,000 or more. The chairman is Sir William Bass, the managing director R T Jupp. > 1913
November  Dr Jean Comaudon demonstrates microscopic cinematography at the Académie des Sciences in Paris. His work has been conducted at Pathé's educational films division.  
December 4  The Life of Moses, produced in five reels by Vitagraph, is released in five separate parts.  
December 11  Kinemacolor is demonstrated to the trade at Madison Square Garden, New York. > 1910
December 20  Volta Picture Theatre, Ireland’s first cinema, opens in Mary Street, Dublin (in a disused warehouse), managed by James Joyce and with a group of Italian backers.  
•  Ruhmer demonstrates successfully a ‘television’ system.  
•  Ninety cinemas are now open in London.  
•  Exchange Hall cinema opens in Blackburn, Lancashire in a former cloth hall. [It is renovated as the New Majestic in 1924, becomes the Essoldo in 1956 and is later called the Classic, Unit Four and the Apollo.] It is probably the oldest cinema building still operational in the UK. > 1910
•  Pathé has a chain of 200 cinemas in France and Belgium. The company claims to have made over 800 films and 6,000 items of equipment during the year. It has 4,000 employees.  
•  Pathé acquires the English film stock manufacturer European Blair Camera Company but, after failing to achieve satisfactory products, plans to build a plant at Vincennes.  
•  Purpose-built cinema with 4,000 seats, the largest to date, is opened in Melbourne, Australia by T J West. Another Australian exhibitor, J D Williams, opens the Colonial Cinema in Sydney to run with continuous programming between 11:00 and 23:00 daily.  
•  English producer Cecil Hepworth introduces the Vivaphone system in which performers mime on film to pre-recorded 10-inch audio records. Gramophone records and short films are leased to cinemas between now and 1913.  
•  By now, Edwin S Porter is producing one 15-minute film every three days for the Edison company.  
•  Champion Film Company builds a studio at Coytesville, near Fort Lee, New Jersey. Its design is deliberately 'un-movie-like' to avoid the attention of the Motion Picture Patent Company ('The Trust'), of which Champion is not a member. > 1912
•  Closure of Edison’s European audio cylinder plants marks effective end of the cylinder audio format in Europe.  
•  Birth of the Hong Kong film industry, with at least four short dramatic films directed by Benjamin Polaski for Asia Film Company.  
•  NipperThe Gramophone and Typewriter Company adopts the trademark based on Francis Barrault’s painting of the dog Nipper  for the British company and its new record label His Master’s Voice (HMV).  
•  Messter Company in Germany experiments with a cinema plan in which its Alabastra colour pictures are projected via a series of mirrors from a booth beneath the auditorium.  
•  First large-scale orchestral recordings are issued by Odeon in England.  
•  Guglielmo Marconi is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.  
< previous | next >

Page updated 2 November 2009
© David Fisher