The Coming of the Cinema

One hundred years ago much of the world had its first opportunity to see moving pictures. The cinema was an immediate success, and during its rapid development over the next few years was constantly the object of public debate. The coming of any new technology generates comment and often apprehension, but there were certain aspects of the cinema which made it of especial interest. Firstly, moving pictures were a highly realistic mirror of the world, which people found intriguing and disturbing. Secondly, cinema had the potential to be an art form as well as a technological development, the first new art form that had arisen in historical memory. Finally, it was cheap and popular, appealing to the masses, and, therefore, a likely target for regulation.

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