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An early film being shown. When people saw the train rushing towards them on the screen, many became quite alarmed. In 1895 two French brothers, Louis and Auguste Lumière, showed moving pictures to a paying audience. Their groundbreaking invention, the Cinématographe, could record pictures on to film, and then project them on to a screen for viewing. Audiences watched movies of people leaving their work at a factory, and a train pulling into a station. A multi-billion-dollar industry, as well as a dynamic new art form, has grown up from these small beginnings in only a little more than a century.

Filmmakers at work shooting a drama in the early days of cinema

The birth of movies

Early movies were only a few minutes long, and in black and white. These "silent movies" had no sound, but a pianist beside the screen played background music. Soon cinemas started up, such as the early Nickelodeons in the USA, where it cost five cents (a nickel) for a ticket.

Mickey Mouse was originally called Mortimer Mouse. He didn’t speak in his first eight movies.

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