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Tag: movie

Point and Shoot

by on Jun.02, 2013, under Animals, Consumer, Education, Environment, History, Media, Nature, Technology

If you live in the U.S. and wondered who made the first movie camera, you were probably told that it was Thomas Edison. Edison-cine It's typical of the U.S., as it used to be in Western Europe, to ignore scientific and technological discoveries until we reveal them for ourselves. Not to belittle his accomplishments, but much of Edison's success was in making practical the inventions of others, and his business acumen. kinetoscope-1 Edison took the Zoopraxiscope invented by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge and turned it into the first true motion picture peepshow.

Old Fashioned Peep Show

In 1882, a few years before Edison created the modern pornographic movie industry, French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey wanted to capture the motion of birds and small animals to study their movement, a discipline known as chronophotography.

Etienne Jules Marey Seated In Laboratory

He invented the Fusil Photographique, or "photographic rifle", which allowed Marey to track his subjects while shooting his images, effectively developing the technique of "panning" the camera.


The magazine holds a light sensitive gelatin emulsion plate that's big enough for 25 frames. The exposure is through one of the 12 shutters in front of the plate and the camera could take 12 exposures a second.


Focusing was accomplished by changing the length of the barrel.


It predates the reflex camera. It's a point-and-shoot.

marey3The ultimate result is a collection of images that are viewed in rapid sequence.


We suggest a few basic rules:

  • Know when it's loaded.
  • Don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
  • Don't have a finger in front of the barrel.

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Double Feature

by on Sep.08, 2010, under Art, Culture, Family, History, Recreation

Before technology brought us Home Theater, and in an era when air conditioning was a luxury, there were grand movie houses with giant screens, and balconies where teens could clumsily learn the joys of sex, or at least cop a feel. They were bright colorful places completely unlike the multiplexes of the present. It was the place to go on a hot summer night, when residential air conditioning was rare.

A lot of them were even more spectacular inside, often decorated in exotic themes.

It was a destination.  Even small towns usually had one, and they were packed weeknights and weekends. A modern multiplex theater may have as many as 30 screens.  They're usually in small cramped rooms with "stadium seating" and it's not unusual for the sound from the movie in the room next door to leak over.

They're a pale reminder of the great movie theaters, but you can still enjoy a movie, get great popcorn, and teens still go there to make out.  Since there aren't any balconies, even the acrophobic can enjoy the activity.

Kid trying the "hole in the popcorn container" trick on his two friends

Teens on a date at the movies

Since the old movie houses just had one screen, there was only one movie playing at a time. And it was usually gone in a week, when the new movie arrived.  So for a special treat, some theaters would occasionally have a double feature.

It was a challenge to find two movies that would appeal to the same audience, yet hold their interest through the duration.

The grand old movie houses have fallen into disrepair, or have been repurposed.

Granada Theater, Chicago, IL

More pictures of the Granada Theater: http://www.compassrose.org/balaban-and-katz/granada-theatre/Granada.html

Illini Theater, Champaign, IL.

But fond memories of those weekends still live on.

You just don't see a pair like that anymore.

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