On Opening Day- April 30, 1904, a crowd of 187,793 celebrated the grand festivities. To the left of the image is an small 2 minute silent moving picture of Opening Day. The 4 minute film was edited down to 2 minutes (because of limited web space (as well as the last 2 minutes, just showing same scene). Please remember that this was simple and crude film-making, simply panning from a tripod. Yet, it can still give us a tantalizing glimpse into what
the Fair was from a different standpoint than static photographs.
This motion picture was released on May 13, 1904 by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. The film company started in 1895 by inventor and nickelodeon film producer, W. K. L. Dickson, who worked at the Thomas Edison laboratory; he partnered with inventors Herman Casler and Henry Marvin and Elias Koopman (inventor of the pocket lighter).
The company filmed the Pope, and was made the first western in 1901. They also made one of the first full length feature films.
D. W. Griffith was brought into the Biograph Company in 1908, and their product matured. With Griffith's association with Biograph; the company's movies matured with new techniques (moving camera shots, close-ups, etc.), and the rising of such stars as: Lionel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, and Lillian Gish. The company's films became increasing grand and sophisticated, not to mention- popular and lucrative.
The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company was the first one to shoot in a small `village' called Hollywood, in 1910. Biograph helped build Hollywood into the huge motion picture production land it is today.
The company employed the first black-American producer/director, vaudevillian Bert Williams.
Biograph was the last movie company to convert from silent to sound, with its first movie in over 70 years in 1999!
The company now makes independent films, commercial production, television, music videos and other multimedia. Being a complete production company, they can provide post-production and even distribution. New films in development include `Bob's Night Out,' and `The Mary Pickford Story,'
American Mutoscope and
655 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, California 90017
Phone: (213) 403-1625
Fax: (213) 403-1626