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Lumiere film Empire Theater Leicester Square

 
 

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Empire Theatre Leicester Square

The man in the bowler hat on the left has just emerged from a crowd exiting the Empire Theater in 1896 when, unexpectedly, his companion appears. They greet with affection and they walk off together. The frame belongs to a Lumière film running forty-seven seconds that likely soon played inside the theater. The Empire Theater in London—2,000 seats—filled nightly for eighteen consecutive months with people who had never before seen a movie.

Imagine these men as the realist and expressionist filmmaker and you perceive with your own eyes the similar but different faces of realist and expressionist filmmaking.