Kinetoscope (Derby Castle-Palace & Opera House, juin-septembre 1895)

La presse de l'île de Man s'y prend tôt pour annoncer l'arrivée d'un kinetoscope. Il est en effet question d'un appareil dès le mois d'avril 1895. Il s'agit en l'occurrence de le coupler avec un phonographe :

The combination of the kinetoscope with the phonograph, upon the perfection of which Mr. Edison and his assistant Mr. Dickson, have been working for several years, is said to have been made pratical and will be offered to the public within a short time, in the shape of an instrument which will show action and give phonetic expression simultaneously.

Isle of Man Examiner, April 27, 1895, 6.

Ça n'est que quelques semaines plus tard que nous apprenons qu'un certain H. S. Williams, de Liverpool, demande l'autorisation de présenter un kinetoscope :

Read letter from Mr H. S. Williams, Liverpool, applying for permission to exhibit Edison's Kinetoscope and Phonograph on Douglas Head. Recommended. "That permission be granted upon the usual terms and conditions, the weekly rental to be ten shillings each."

Mona's Herald, Douglas, May 22, 1895, p. 5.

Compte tenu de la situation géographique de l'île de Man, cette arrivée est finalement assez précoce, et elle a lieu dans le Derby Castle. Quelques jours plus tard, le Isle of Man Times va consacrer un premier long article à l'invention d'Edison. On peut apprécier, en particulier, les nombreux détails concernant les vues présentées qui appartiennent, pour l'essentiel, aux premiers films tournés pour le kinetoscope :

One of the wonders of the age is on view at Derby Castle in the shape of the Kinetoscope, one of Edison's latest inventions. Really, the capabilities of the thing are appalling. By its means the following, all working as if in life before the spectator, are shown: Blacksmiths shop, contortionist, cock fight, Highland dance, saloon (where a loafer raises a disturbance and is unceremoniously put out), Armand d’Ary (French chanteuse and danseuse, the latest Paris and New York “rage”), wrestling match, prize fight, tumbler, Carmencita, Sandow, reproduction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West scenes, prize fights, &c. Perhaps the simplest method of explanation will be to describe an actual scene. Among many subjects thus far secured for the Kinetoscope is the interior of a barber’s shop. The beholder, who is looking down through the window of the Kinetoscope cabinet, sees the interior of a barber’s shop. A man is reclining upon a barber’s chair about to be shaved. The barber goes to his case, secures his cup, makes a lather with which he proceeds to lather the man’s face. Meanwhile, a coloured gentleman, who is probably acting in the capacity of porter, boot-black, and Jack-of-all-trades, is moving about the room. He picks up a newspaper and sits down to read it. Another customer comes in; pulls off hat and coat; the smoke is plainly seen rising from his pipe; picks up a paper to read and await his turn. The coloured gentleman, aforesaid, finds something very funny in the newspaper he is reading, and thereupon he crosses the room and points out the amusing article to the waiting customer. They both laugh and show every sign of amusement. Meanwhile the barber has been shaving his man, and both the “shaver” and the “shevee” have been going through many motions, the one plainly evincing his desire to hurry through the work of shaving and be ready for the “next.” Now, it should be understood that this is not an imaginary scene, emanating from the pencil or brush of some artist: but it is an accurate photograph of a scene which has actually taken place. Every movement, from the walking of the man across the floor to the sweep of the razor, is recorded, and is witnessed by the beholder through the window of the Kinetoscope.

Isle of Man Times, 4 June 1895, 2.

ile of man derby castle

Ile de Man, Douglas, Derby Castle (c. 1900)

La presse, régulièrement, va informer les lecteurs sur les programmes jusqu'au 9 juillet, date à partir de laquelle le kinetoscope quitte le Derby Castle pour s'installer au Palace and Opera House où il va continuer à présenter des vues Edison jusqu'à 21 septembre 1895 The Isle of Man Times, 21 septembre 1895, p. 2), date de la clôture définitive.  

Répertoire (autres films) : A Boxing Match, A Performance of Japanese dancers, Two Ladies fencing, A fire escape at work at a fire in New York. (Isle of Man Times, 23 Juillet 1895, p. 2.)