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The First Private Screening of a Motion Picture (March 22, 1895)

The first private screening of a motion picture "took place in Paris, at the "Society for the Development of the National Industry," in front of an audience of 200 people on March 22, 1895. Among the audience was Léon Gaumont, then director of the Comptoir de la photographie. To Louis Lumière, the main focus of this conference were the recent developments in the photograph industry, mainly research on polychromy (color photography). It was much to Lumière's surprise that the moving black-and-white images retained more attention than the colored still photographs" (Wikipedia article on Auguste and Louis Lumière, accessed 04-22-2009).