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The History of Cinema: 1908







Albania - Gt. Britain


Fantasmagorie (France, 1908)

    – A newsreel of the Congress of Manastiri is filmed. [ADD]
  24/5 - The country’s first fiction film, El Fusilamiento de Dorrego, directed by Italian Mario Gallo, is screened in Buenos Aires.

– Photographer Anton Kolm produces Von Stufe zu Stufe (Step by Step), reputed to be the country’s first film.   Actor Heinz Hanus stars.  [ADD]

    – American Benjamin Polaski founds the Asia Motion Picture Company. [ADD]
    – The country’s first fiction film, El Cabildo de Romualda, directed by Enrique Diaz Quesada, is released. [ADD]
  31/1 - Eclair Co. increases its capital from 150,000 to 500,000 francs and buys a 14-acre site for its new studio.   The company also hires Georges Hatot and Victorin Jasset as directors. [ADD]
  8/2 -

Publicite Animee, the first cinematographic advertising business, is formed in Paris. [ADD]

  14/2 - Paul Lafitte, Henri Lavedan, Jean-Camille Formige and Charles Le Bargy form the Film D’Art company.   The company’s studio is at Neuilly. [ADD]
  9/3 - European film producers meet at the Continental Hotel in Paris to protest against Thomas Edison’s protectionism.   Charles Pathe, who was represented at Edison’s gathering of major film producers in America the previous November, is conspicuous by his absence. [ADD]
  15/4 -

The concessionary firms that will have the monopoly of the distribution of all Pathe films is announced in the Phono-Cine-Gazette. [ADD]

    Charles Pathe
  1/7 -

Societe Cinematographique des Auteurs et Gens de Lettres (SCAGL) is founded in Paris by Saul Samuel Merzback.   Charles Pathe is principal shareholder and administrator.  [ADD]

  22/7 - Compagnie des Cinematographes Le Lion is founded in Paris. [ADD]
  3/8 - Gaston Melies opens a branch of the Georges Melies Manufacturing Co. in Chicago with a capital of $75,000.   As well as distributing Star films, movies will be produced there under the supervision of Lincoln J. Carter. [ADD]
  10/8 -

Police introduce safety measures in projection booths stipulating that the booths must be fire proof and contain a 5-litre fire extinguisher and two bottles of selzer water. [ADD]

  15/8 - George Dureau’s Cine Journal begins publication. [ADD]
  17/8 -

Emile Cohl’s animated story film, Fantasmagorie, made for Gaumont, is released. [ADD]

  26/8 - Romeo Brosetti starts a relief fund for film actors. [ADD]
  8/9 - Eclair release le guet-apens, the first in a series of films featuring fictional private eye Nick Carter. [ADD]
  19/9 - Andre Debrie applies for a patent for his new camera, le Parvo, which can hold 120 metres of film. [ADD]
  Sep - L. P. Bouvillain shoots the first film taken from an airplane. [ADD]
  17/11 -

The Film D’Art company makes its first presentation at the Charra Hall in Paris.   The films, which are designed to appeal to a more highbrow audience, are Myrto’s Secret, The Impression, and The Assassination of the Duc de Guise.   The music for the last film is especially written by the composer Saint-Saens. [ADD]

  10/12 -

20 representatives of the major French film producers meet with George Eastman at the Paris offices of the Eclair Co. in the hope of persuading him to favourably influence Thomas Edison with regard to his recently formed Film Services Association, a virtual cartel from which all European producers other than Pathe and Melies are excluded.[ADD]

    – The Pathe Journal Newsreel, under the direction of Albert Gaveau, is first screened in Paris and distributed to the whole of France in 1909. [ADD]

– The first film in Georgia is made by Aleqsandr Dighmelov and Vasil Amashukeli, and shows scenes of Georgian society life. [ADD]

  13/11 -

The International convention of Author’s Rights agrees that films “having a personal and original form” should be legally protected. [ADD]


– Report cards for censored films are introduced in Berlin. [ADD]

    Great Britain
  27/1 - Dr. H. Campbell uses films to illustrate a medical lecture in London. [ADD]
  May - Walter Tyler introduces “Daylight Projection”: screening films without darkening the auditorium. [ADD]
  May -

The Urban Trading Company opens its new headquarters, Urbanora House. [ADD]

    The Gem, Great Yarmouth
  4/7 -

The Gem, Britain’s first purpose-built cinema to hold over 1,000 people (it actually holds 1,200) opens in Great Yarmouth under the management of C. B. Cochran. [ADD]

  Nov -

The Bioscope, a trade paper, proposes a sliding scale of charges for the rental of films to showmen. [ADD]

  9/12 -

The first films from G. A. Smith and Charles Urban’s Kinemacolor Ltd. are presented to the Royal Society of Arts in London following an inaugural screening to the press at Urbanora House in May.   The non-fiction films utilise a two-tone colour process. [ADD]


    Charles Chaplin is employed by Fred Karno for his ‘London Comedians.’ [ADD]
    – The production company Cricks & Martin is established. [ADD]

Key Films of 1908

    Happy Bob series (Viggo Larsen) [ADD]

Sherlock Holmes series (Viggo Larsen) [ADD]


Le Retour du Croise (Louis Feuillade[ADD]


Le Serment des fiancailles (Louis Feuillade) [ADD]

    La Guitare enchantee (Louis Feuillade) [ADD]
    La Course aux potirons (Emile Cohl) [ADD]

Au Pays des Jouets (Georges Melies) [ADD]


Cendrillon (Alberto Capellani) [ADD]

    La Civilisation a travers les ages (Georges Melies) [ADD]
    Une Conquete (Georges Monca) [ADD]

Drama chez les fantoches (Emile Cohl) [ADD]


La Photographie electrique a distance (Georges Melies) [ADD]


La Poule aus oeufs d’or (Gaston Velle) [ADD]


Promethee (Louis Feuillade) [ADD]


Le Raid Paris-New York en Automobile (Georges Melies) [ADD]


Riffle Bill series (Victorien Jasset) [ADD]


Romeo series (Gaumont) [ADD]


Great Britain


Animated Matches (Arthur Melbourne-Cooper) [ADD]


In the Land of Nod (Arthur Melbourne-Cooper) [ADD]


Romeo and Juliet (Gaumont) [ADD]


The Tell-Tale Kinematograph (Lewin Fitzhamon) [ADD]

    Greece - USA



1908: Greece - USA







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