The Herald Magazine - - FOCUS -

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

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