Arrival of Cinema

In 1895, Auguste Lumiere and his brother Louis made cinematic history by giving the first public showing of a moving picture. Their one-minute, one-shot film Arrivee d'un train -- la Ciotat depicted the arrival of a steam train in a French station. Incredibly, the audience, unfamiliar with the new medium and shocked to see what appeared to be a train moving rapidly toward them, promptly panicked and stormed out of the theatre!

[American audiences were equally naive. In Pittsburgh, a man in the audience became so agitated while watching a woman being pushed around onscreen that he jumped up, pulled out a gun, and fired several shots at them. A panic ensued and someone called the police, to whom the man explained that it was "a shame to let those men ill-treat a woman" that way.]

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