1/1/1897: New Year/New Art
A Spaniard called Pertierra introduced the Philippines to the cinema when he presented four films to a paying public on the 1st January 1897, after a number of abortive attempts during late 1896. The screening took place at the Salon de Pertierra at No. 12 Escolta, and the films shown were Un Homme au Chapeau (Man with a Hat) Une Scene de Danse Japonaise (Scene from a Japanese Dance), Les Boxers (The Boxers), and La Place de LíOpera (The Opera House). The projector was a 60mm Gaumont Chronophotograph.
Later in the year, Antonio Ramos, a Spanish soldier from Alhama de Aragon, having completed his national service, imported a Lumiere Cinematograph from Paris and a selection of thirty films. Ramos financed his purchase with a couple of Swiss businessmen named Liebman and Peritz. In August, Ramos presented the first screenings in Manila on a Lumiere Cinematograph at a hall at Escolta corner San Jacinto, which was formerly the Ullman Jewellery Shop. Ramos presented a test screening to an invited audience on the evening of the 28th, before opening to the public the following day, and presented four hourly screenings from 6pm to 10pm each day thereafter.
Ramos showed a selection of ten films each week, but by the fourth week he had run out of new films. He presented a series of different permutations of the 30 films but, inevitably, the publicís interest began to wane. Ramos moved the show to a warehouse in Plaza Goiti and cut the price of tickets, but to no avail, and the show closed down by the end of November. [ADD]
The Philippines: 1897
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