Today, movies are a part of all of our lives, but they haven't always been. In fact, the history of the world's biggest entertainment industry is really quite short. The first moving pictures were shown on 'The Lumière Cinematograph' on December 28, 1895 in a Paris café. That day the Lumière brothers showed The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, on their special machine. Afterwards, one brother said to reporters that he thought that movies would never become popular.
He was completely wrong! In less than a year, cinemas had started to open in Europe and the USA. People loved the movies. By 1905 movie making wasn't just an idea, it was a successful new industry, and soon after, it had a capital -- Hollywood, USA.
Hollywood was established in 1912 when a group of New York film makers decided to open a studio in California. They chose California because the weather was good (it didn't rain much there), and there were many beautiful places nearby to film their movies.
Hollywood quickly attracted many actors and technicians from all over the country. At first, movies were "silent" because there was no recorded sound. Instead, the actors' dialog was shown on cards every 20 seconds. One director at the time said, "There will never be speaking pictures." He, like the Lumière brother, was wrong.
In 1927 a revolution began. It was in this year that the actor Al Jolson spoke and sang in a movie for the first time. The reaction of the movie audience was very enthusiastic; they wanted more "talkies"! Soon, movie audiences had increased from 57 million people a week to 110 million a week. Only 31 years after the Lumières' first film showing, movies were a huge source of entertainment for people around the world.
In 1932 there was another big change in movies: Technicolor. Color made movies more popular than ever. The next 20 years are often called Hollywood's 'golden age'.
In the '30s and '40s, millions of people went to the cinema every week, so it was a golden time for Hollywood. However, in the late '40s, movies had a new and dangerous competition: TV.
America's TV revolution began after World War II. John Logie Baird invented the television, and at first Hollywood didn't worry about it because it was small and only showed pictures in black and white. However, by the early '50s movie audiences had been cut by half because people were watching TV. The movie industry had a serious problem.
Hollywood studios competed with TV by trying to make movies bigger, better and more realistic. Some of their ideas succeeded -- others failed. Interestingly, what really saved the movie industry wasn't a technical development at all; it was something completely different -- teenagers. In the mid-'50s, teenagers started going to see movies. Before this time, most movie audience members were over 30. Suddenly that changed. That change has continued ever since. These days 75% of all movie tickets are sold to people between the ages of 15 and 25.
Today, TV and cinema live side-by-side. The movie industry didn't die after the invention of the TV, but movie audiences are still low compared to 60 years ago. Because of this, movie making is very different than it was in the golden age. Movies today actually have three lives: first in the theater, second on DVD and finally on TV. However, one thing hasn't changed, whether in the theater or at home, people still love watching movies.
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