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The first important movie was The Great Train Robbery, above, directed by Edwin S. Porter in 1903. It described a train robbery and the pursuit and capture of the bandits. Porter was the first director to use modern film techniques to tell a story.


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The first movie theatres were called nickelodeons. Most nickelodeons were stores converted into theatres by adding chairs. They charged ficve cents. They showed silent movies, while a pianist played music that suited the action on the screen.


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The Birth of a Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith in 1915, was the first American motion-picture epic. The film dealt with the American Civil War and the period that followed. The movie featuresd spectacular battle scenes.


 

Those New Moving Pictures
 


The DC current was also put to use to create the arc lamp for the first motion picture show in Indianola, for which Daddy was the projectionist; this happened in about 1908. He was also the sound man, playing records to accompany the film. This practice turned out to be the forerunner of the early movie background music. The picture show where Daddy worked also sometimes would feature live piano music from a fellow paid to embellish the film. The subsequent “talkie” pictures were eventually responsible for displacing much of the live talent, including the vaudeville shows that Daddy loved so much. Such is a price paid for progress.

 

 

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