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The Cinematographe on the Stage.

Says a Melboiirne'papar : — " An exhibition so interesting in a scientific sense as the einematographe, and yet of such irresistible . popular attractiveness, has never till -nowbeen seen at a place of public entertainment. The pictures shown nightly to the audience by means of this astonishing invention would have suggested witchcraft a century ago. The word ' picture ' seems a misnomer ; for. the scenes are not pictured, they are reenacted, s A conjurorrsSes" 'through the rapid movements of his SKlght-of-hand tricks, London streets are suddenly reproduced upon the^ screen, full of stir, bustle, and evermoving traffic. Gabs, omnibuses, tramcars, and the hurrying throng of pedestrians flit across the canvas, their outlines minute at first in the distance, but gradually increasing in size with each step until proximity reveals the details of dress and features. A boat moves slowly shoreward over a calm sea ; its , sails are swiftly lowered, its male occupants -^ leap out bare-legged, and, with' the waves lapping coolly about their feet, proceed to carry their lady passengers ashore. At a great metropolitan station a train steams slowly up to the platform ; porters jump upon the moving carriage steps, the crowd stands back ; then as the locomotive comes to a standstill a score of carriage doors are opened, the occupants stream out, luggage is piled hastily upon the platform. Yet auother scene reproduces upon this side of the world the moving panorama witnessed at Epsom when Persimmon won the Derby. The fiuish of the race is scan, then the cheering crowd as they, streamed across the' course, first in twos and three', then, in battalions, walking, running, dodging hither and thither among the press. A nineteenth century audience views these marvel 3 with calm eyes as quite a matter of course. A certain quivering or scintillation sometimes discernible upon the surf-ica of tho picture [ shows them that electricity is at work. That / ' is enough, because electricity will now account for anytlyug. The invention is, of course, the kiuetoscope, the reproductions of which are thrown upon , the screen as by a ■ magic lantern. A series of photographs taken with unimaginable rapidity are capable of thus reproducing actual motion to the ' eye. The explanation "upon paper looks simple enough, but we wonder, What next. Perhaps we shall one day combine with the einematographe an improvement upon the present phonograph. Then we shall be able to hear the cries of the lucky winners as Persimmon gallops home, the mnrmur of the sea as it ripples upon the beach, and tho roar of the London streets as vehicles and men scud across the canvas.

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Bibliographic details

The Cinematographe on the Stage., Mataura Ensign, Issue 226, 10 December 1896

Word Count

The Cinematographe on the Stage. Mataura Ensign, Issue 226, 10 December 1896