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FIRSTS - 1
First screening of films
Films were first shown in India on a commercial basis on July 7 1896 at Watson's Hotel,
First colour film
Can-Can Dance was the first film to be shown in colours (hand-painted) at the Tivoli
Theatre, Bombay, in 1897.
First film shot in India
Coconut Fair was the first film shot in India in 1897 by an unknown foreign photographer.
First film shot by an Indian
Harishchandra S. Bhatavadekar shot two short films
The Wrestlers and Man & Monkey both released in November 1899.
First films exhibited
The first six short films to be screened on the opening day were:
Entry of Cine matographe, Arrival of a Train, Sea Bath, A Demolition, Workers Leaving the
Factory and Ladies & Soldiers on Wheels.
First public theatre screening
The Lumiere Show ran at the Novelty, theatre from July 14, 1896 along with the screening
at Watson's Hotel. The first run of the first programme was for 35 days.
First film music conductor
F. Seymour Dove first conducted music for silent films in August 1896.
First cinema advertisement
The first film advertisement appeared in The Times of India, Bombay, on July 7, 1896.
India's first film concern
Royal Bioscope Company was started in 1898 by Hira Lal Sen.
First talkie footage
The earliest experiment to link sound with the moving images was exhibited in
India in 1899 through Bettcini's Microphonograph brought by Prof. Von Geyer. The programme
had moving pictures, voices and speeches.
First film review
The first press coverage of films, by way of comments on programmes started with the local
and provincial column in The Times of India in 1899.
First news documentary footage
H.S. Bhatavadekar filmed a reception given to Dr. R.P. Paranjpye in Bombay when he
returned from the U.K. as a Wrangler of Cambridge University in 1901.
First advertising shorts
Hira Lal Sen shot the first ad sequences for C.K. Sen's Jabakusum, a hair tonic and Bato
Kesto's Edward's Tonic in 1903.
First filming of live stage-plays
Hira Lal Sen picturised and exhibited a few select scenes from seven popular Bengali
stage-plays in Calcutta in 1901. They were also screened as a double programme when the
plays were being staged. It was a matchless combination of stage and screen not attempted
anywhere else in the world.
Hira Lal Sen was the first filmmaker to use close-ups in two of his films,
Alibaba and Maner Matan.
First political footage
The first political documentary footage was the Great Bengal Partition Movement, Meeting
& Procession shot by Jyotish Sarkar in Calcutta in 1905.
Early cinema houses
The first film show was shown at Watson's Hotel, Bombay. Before the cinema houses came up.
public were used to watching films under marquees in the open air, in tent-houses and in
various improvised places. The Electric Theatre was set up in 1900 for bioscope and
Lumiere shorts by Major Warwick in the building which later housed the Mount Road Post
Office. Jamshedji F. Madan established the first bioscope hall in Calcutta in 1907.