KEY MOMENTS IN CINEMA
The 1896 Derby
After the race was won by a horse owned by the future King Edward VII, a short film showing the finish of the race was a grand success. It was screened in a London cinema only hours after the horses crossed the line, then shown around the rest of the country.
Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria
This celebration of Victoria’s 60 years as monarch was a huge event in 1897, with filmmakers paying large sums of money to secure good positions among the crowd of onlookers. The film of the event has been described as one of the first to get Scots interested in cinema.
The Battle of the Ancre
Sister film to the Battle of the Somme, this 1917 official war film contained the first moving pictures of tanks at the front – generating great excitement among spectators. At one point it was shown at more than 100 cinemas in London in one week, with long queues and advance bookings the order of the day.
The Jazz Singer
By the end of the 1920s, Hollywood films had started to reach British cinema, with “talkies” fast gaining fans and beginning to replace silent films. The first of these to hit Britain was the Warner Brothers musical The Jazz Singer, released in 1928. It was a revelation, as a featurelength film that contained both synchronised singing and dialogue, and led to an upsurge of popularity for the genre.
Funeral of Queen Victoria
The grand, theatrical procession to mark Victoria’s final journey in February 1901 was captured on black and white film. It was then shown in cinemas across Britain, with Robert Calder even taking the film as far as Shetland with his twice-yearly Cinematograph and Pictorial Concert Party.
The Jazz Singer, above, and Queen Victoria’s funeral