Continuous Performance: Going to the Cinema a Hundred Years Ago is an exhibition marking the centenary of cinema-going in Britain. Well, we can argue the point whether 1909-2009 is any real sort of centenary, since pedants like me would point to the first British cinemas having appeared in London in 1906 (specifically, the Daily Bioscope opposite Liverpool Street Station gets my vote as cinema no. 1), but 1909 was undoubtedly the year when the phenomenon undoubtedly took off in a huge way and started to make such a great impact upon society.
The exhibition is taking place at the Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, as part of the Canterbury Festival. The exhibition celebrates the first film shows and their audiences through cameras, projectors, books, photographs, fan magazines, and other ephemera from the early years of the cinema. The exhibition has been put together by Dr Nicholas Hiley, head of the university’s world-renowned British Cartoon Archive and a great collector of early cinema apparatus and memorabilia. The Bioscope plans to visit the exhibition soon and to review it in detail, but as that may take a week or two as yet, do note that it is open Friday 2 Oct – Friday 6 Nov, Mon-Fri 8.45am – 10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm – 7pm. Admission is free, and you get to visit the fair city of Canterbury into the bargain.