American Cinema

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New York is a movie theater capital of the country. Many of the city's famous large movie theaters, once giving Times Square so much of its glitter, have been torn down or converted (in some cases into smaller theaters), and a new generation of modem theaters has appeared to the north and east of the area. Most of them offer continuous performances from around noon till midnight. Less crowded and less expensive are the so-called "neighborhood theaters", which show films several weeks or months after the "first-run" theaters. There are several theaters that specialize in revivals of famous old films and others that show only modernist, avant-garde films. Still others, especially those along 42nd Street, between the Avenue of Americas and Eighth Avenue, run movies about sex and violence. Foreign films, especially those of British, French, Italian and Swedish origin, are often seen in New York, and several movie theaters specialize in the showing of foreign-language films for the various ethnic groups in the city.

The earliest history of film.

The illusion of movement was first noted in the early 19th century. In 1824 the English physician Peter Mark Roget published an article the persistence of vision with regard to moving objects. Many inventors put his theory to the test with pictures posted on coins that were flipped by the thumb, and with rotating disks of drawings. A particular favorite was the zoetrope, slotted revolving drum through which could be seen clowns and animals that seemed to leap. They were hand drawn on strips of paper fitted inside the drum. Other similar devices were the hemitrope, the phasmatrope, the phenakistoscope, and the praxinoscope. It is not possible to give any one person credit for having invented the motion picture. In the 1880s the Frenchman Etienne Jules Marey developed the rotating shutter with a slot to admit light, and George Eastman, of New York, developed flexible film. In 1888 Thomas Edison, of New Jersey, his phonograph for recording and playing sound on wax cylinders. He tried to combine sound with motion pictures. Edisons assistant, William Dickson, worked on the idea, and in 1889, he both appeared and spoke in a film. Edison did not turn his attention to the projected motion picture at first. The results were still not good enough, and Edison did not think that films would not have large appeal. Instead he produced and patented the kinetoscope, which ran a continuous loop of film about 15 meters (50 feet) long. Only one person could view it at a time. By 1894, hand-cranked kinetoscope appeared all over the United States and Europe. Edison demonstrated a projecting kinetoscope. The cinematograph based on Edisons kinetoscope was invented by two Frenchmen, Louis and Auguste Lumiere. This machine consisted of a portable camera and a projector. In December 1895, The Lumiere brothers organized a program of short motion pictures at a Parisian cafe.

The earliest movie theatres.

Films were first thought of as experiment or toys. They were shown in scientific laboratories and in the drawing rooms of private home. When their commercial potential was realized they began to be screened in public to a paying audience. The first films to be shown publicly were short, filmed news items and travelogues. These were screened alongside live variety acts form theatre shows, called vaudeville in United States. Within a few years fairground tents that slowed nothing but programs of films were common sights. In United States stores were converted onto movie theatre, which were known as storefront theatre. People would pay a nickel to see about an hours worth of film, so the theatre came to be known as nickelodeons. Early film audiences needed patience. There were many technical problems. Projectors were likely to breath down and every projectionist kept slides to reassure the audience: The performance will resume shortly. Many projectors caused flickering on the screen, earning films the nickname of the flicks.

: 15/02/2010