The History of Early Cinema
The history of the cinema in its first thirty years is one of major and, to this day, unparalleled expansion and growth. Beginning as something unusual in a handful of big cities – New York, London, Paris and Berlin – the new medium quickly found its way across the world, attracting larger and larger audiences wherever it was shown and replacing other forms of entertainment as it did so. As audiences grew, so did the places where films were shown, finishing up with the ‘great picture palaces’ of the 1920s, which rivalled, and occasionally superseded, theatres and opera-houses in terms of opulence and splendour. Meanwhile, films themselves developed from being short ‘attractions’ only a couple of minutes long, to the full-length feature that has dominated the world’s screens up to the present day.