Guggenheim

Paris, 1895. Early Public Film Screening
More than 200 people gathered at the Société d'encouragement pour l’industrie nationale in Paris, on March 22, to see Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon), among the first public film screenings in history. Organized by the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière, the inventors of a film projector, it proved an unforgettable, almost traumatic, experience for the people attending this early motion picture, who were astonished by what they viewed. The 46-second film signaled a benchmark in the history of the moving image. Film was taking its first steps.

This discovery captivated a visionary, Georges Méliès, an aspiring illusionist who offered to purchase the Lumière brothers' film projector after coming into some money in 1888. Since they refused, Méliès found and improved a similar device and built his own film studio. With his films, he became a key figure in the early days of the film industry.