100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Exploding Film Projector Kills 80 In Spain

The early movie projector the “Cinematograph” was first invented and patented as “Cinématographe Léon Bouly” by French inventor Léon Bouly in February 1892. Bouly was not able to payfor the patent the following year and Auguste and Louis Lumière bought the license. When the Lumiere Brothers made their first film in 1894 itwas publicly screened at L’Eden, the world’s first and oldest cinéma in southeastern France in September 1895. The first commercial public screening of cinematographic films happened in Paris in December 1895 and was organised by the Lumière brothers. Use of the cinematograph spread throughout the world and many inventors such as Thomas Edison in the US developed their own versions.

The first transparent commercially available film base was nitrate base in the 1880s. Eastman Kodak was the first to manufacture this for public sale in 1889. Unfortunately, nitrate also had the drawback that it was extremely flammable and did not need oxygen to burn. Projection booth fires were common often starting when a film was exposed to too much heat while passing through the cinematograph’s film gate.

On May 27, 1912 a fire caused when the cinematograph projector exploded at a movie theater in Villa Real, Spain killed 80 people.




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