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1913 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
January 1  British Board of Film Censors comes into effect and issues U and A certificates, children being admitted to films bearing the latter when accompanied by ‘a parent or bona fide adult guardian’.
History of British film censorship
January 1  Parcel post introduced in the US, removing a previous limit of 4lb on the weight of mail items.  
January 13  US government lawsuit against the Motion Picture Patent Company goes into court. The case continues for well over a year
January  J D Williams Amusement Company joins General Film Company of Australasia (see 1912 November), forming ‘the combine’—one of the first vertically integrated film company in the world, combining production and distribution (as Australasia Films) and exhibition (Union Theatres). Triangle > 1915
Famous Players > 1919
February 17  Reworked version of Edison's Kinetophone sound film system is premiered at 13 cinemas, four in New York and others across to Chicago and St Louis. The system lasts no more than two years, during which time about 260 films are made. 0025  
February  The first ‘movie palace’ cinemas appear in New York. The Regent Cinema [right] is among them and probably the first.  
March  Stern Family Barn at Vine and Streets in the California farming community of Hollywood is adapted by J J Burns and Harry Revier into a film studio facility for hiring to independent producers. First client for the Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory is Fred Mace, a comedian formerly employed by Mack Sennett's Keystone company. > December 22
April 9  Danske Statens Arkiv for Historiske Film og Stemmer (Danish State Archive for Historical Film and Sound) is established at the Royal Library, Copenhagen—the world’s first film archive. Its function is to collect records of significant events. > 1933 (Swedish Archive)
•  Major European film of the year is Atlantis, produced in Denmark by August Blom.  
April 21  Bioscope Chronicle (Warwick Trading Co) first uses an aeroplane for filming of a news event: George V leaving on the Royal Yacht for a visit to Paris. The film was rushed back to Hendon and thence for processing and was shown at the Coliseum at 5.20pm that day.  
May 9  Fantômas posterFirst episode of Louis Feuillade's film serial Fantômas is released in Paris.  
May 13  Release of Raja Harishchandra (King Harishchandra), made by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (1870-1944) and widely regarded as the first Indian feature film (but see 1912 May 18). Phalke had been to London to buy film equipment, where he was much helped by Cecil Hepworth and Mr Cabourne, editor of Bioscope, weekly trade paper.  
May 24  An article in Moving Picture World uses the term 'natural history film', probably for the first time, and a year before the word 'documentary' is applied to film. [0056]  
May 26  Actors' Equity Association trades union is formed in New York.  
May  Members of the Motion Picture Patent Company ('the Trust') reject the film distribution scheme pioneered in San Franciscom by W W Hodkinson. Hodkinson, who has been trying to persuade the Trust to adopt the system nationally, resigns and forms Progressive Pictures to act as a distributor on the US West Coast.  
May  First British six-reel film, the melodrama East Lynne produced by Will Barker film studio, is released.  
June 12  Pathé Frères releases an animated cartoon, Dachshund.  
July  Jesse L Lasky begins to organise the Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company with himself as president. His brother-in-law Samuel Goldfish is general manager and Cecil B DeMille is designated 'director general'. > November 23
July  A Message from Mars, a four-reel production by United Kingdom Films is released—the first science-fiction feature film?  
August 26  Eugène Lauste gives a public demonstration of the latest version of his Photocinematophone sound-on-film system in London. 0025, 0029 > 1914
August  Release of David Copperfield, first eight-reel film produced in UK, by Hepworth Company at Walton-on-Thames.  
October 11  US trade paper Motion Picture News is first published by Cinematograph Publishing Company in New York. 1931 January 3
October  Edison launches his Disc Phonograph, using hill-and-dale recording technique and signaling the effective end of his cylinder technology, of which there are well over a million players in use, although he keeps on releasing cylinders until 1929.  
November 23  Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company is incorporated in New York with a capital of $50,000. > December 20
> 1916
November   First Finnish feature-length film is Kun Onni Pettää, directed by Konrad Tallroth.  
December 20  Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company arrives at the Alexandra Hotel in Los Angeles to prepare for production of its first film, The Squaw Man.  
December 22  Cecil B DeMille, on behalf of the Lasky Company, takes a lease on the Burns & Revier Studio in Hollywood. The rent is $25 a month. Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company thus becomes the first production company to establish a base in Hollywood. > December 29
December 29  Selig-Polyscope Company releases the first of 13 episodes of The Adventures of Kathlyn, co-produced with the Chicago Tribune, which also publishes the story in serial form.  
December 29  Lasky Company begins production of The Squaw Man, directed by Cecil B DeMille.  
December   Release of The Sea-Wolf, first seven-reel movie produced in the US. It is one of 12 ‘feature’ film (over an hour’s running time) releases made in US during the year.  
•  Germany is the leading producer of feature films (over one hour) with 49 releases during the year, followed by Russia 31, Italy 29, UK 18, Denmark 13, US 12, Hungary 11 and Romania 10. (The French total is not known.) The world total is over 200.  
•  Patterns of cinema construction in England are patchy. Manchester has 11 cinemas serving a population of 739,000; Brighton and Hove have 15 cinemas for a population of 176,000.
•  UK exports 2.8m feet of film to the USA. > 1925
•  All foreign film activity in Russia is prohibited.  
•  Some California-based film cameramen form the Static Club of America, naming the organisation for the static discharge caused by friction between the film and the metal of the camera gate, especially in cold weather. In New York, three Edison Studio cameramen form the Cinema Camera Club.  
•  Box Office Attraction Company is formed in New York by William Fox—the basis for Fox Film Company.  
•  Gaumont British Instructional Films is formed in the UK.  
•  In France, Georges Méliès’ Star Film Company is forced into bankruptcy by the strength of competition from newer styles of film-making. It is bought out of receivership by the Pathé Company.  
•  London Film Company is formed by exhibitor Dr Ralph Jupp, based at Twickenham Studios in a former skating rink. It is the largest British film studio to date.  
•  Nominal capital of Provincial Cinematograph Theatres is increased to £400,000, the largest of any company in the British film industry. For 544 public companies in the sector, average capitalisation is £5,400.  
•  Sunny South Film Company is formed by Will Evans and F L Lyndhurst at Shoreham on the Sussex coast west of Brighton. The area surrounding the daylight-only studio becomes popular with film and music hall artistes who build bungalows locally, many constructed from old railway carriages. The Progress Film Company soon after takes over the studio.
•  Theodore Brown demonstrates his Kinoplasticon system, which projects stereoscopic colour moving pictures with sound, at the Scala Theatre, London. The experiments are funded by Charles Urban.  
•  ‘Irising’, circular masking of the moving picture, is first used by D W Griffith in The Battle of Elderbush Gulch.  
•  First dramatic film made in Canada is The Great Unknown, directed by O A C Lund.  
•  First film made in Bolivia by Luis Castillo.  
•  First feature-length film made in Belgium is the ironically titled Franco-Belgian co-production Maudite soit la Guerre (War Be Cursed), directed by Alfred Machin, with a running time of 82 minutes.  
•  Guarany Film Company makes first Brazilian feature film, O Crime dos Banhados, directed by Francisco Santos.
• First in Cuba is El Rey de los Campos de Cuba (The King of the Cuban Plains), directed by Enrique Diaz Quesada.
 
•  Cuckoo hatchling pushing a reed warbler chick from its nest is filmed for the first time by Oliver Gregory Pike. 0056  
•  Canada’s new Radio Telegraph Act includes radiotelephony (voice transmissions).  
•  Two complete Beethoven symphonies are released on disc by Odeon in Germany.  
•  First classified sales chart, based on sales of sheet music, is published in the American trade paper Billboard.  
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Page updated 2 November 2009
© David Fisher