History of the British Film Industry

By alana13
  • First projected film showing for a paying audience

    The Lumiere brothers present the first projected film showing for a paying audience at a cafe in Paris.
  • Moving image camera

    Birt Acres shows that moving image camera and projector at the Royal Photographic Society, with films of the Boat Race and Epsom Derby.
  • Film showings

    R.W. Paul begins showings of films at the Alhambra, Leicester Square.
  • Companies begin to establish and world's first manual of cinematography published.

    British Mutuscope and Biograph Company established, Mitchell and Kenyn film company established in Lancashire.
    'The ABC of cinematography' published by Cecil Hepworth.
  • The Gaumont Company in Britain established.

  • First movie camera to use sub-standard gauge film launched.

    Birtac, launched by Birt Acres.
  • One of the earliest examples of social realism in British cinema

    One of the earliest examples of social realism in British cinema, 'A Reservist Before the War and After the War'.
  • Kinemacolour, Pathe opens London branch.

    G.A. Smith and Charles Urban create Kinemacolor and produce their first natural colour films.
  • Opening of Balham Empire

    Opening of Balham Empire, the first British theatre showing just films.
  • Daylight Projection introduced

    Daylight projection is introduced to Britain by Walter Tyler. Films can now be projected without darkening the auditorium.
  • Cinematograph Films Act hands responsibilty for liscensing cinemas to local authorities.

  • British Board of Film Censors established

    Two certificates are initially offered: U (suitable for all) and A (more suitable for adults),
  • London Film Company opens Twickenham studios.

  • Neptune Film Company builds studio at Elstree

  • First Official cameraman sent out to the Western Front

  • Paramount British opens studio at Islington.

    They employ a young writer called Alfred Hitchcock.
  • British National Film League formed.

    For protection and development of British film industry.
  • 16mm standard film agreed for ametuer film makers.

  • Studios closed for one month due to film industry crisis.

  • The Film Society established in London

    The first of its kind.
  • British National Pictures set up with studios in Elstree

  • Sunday Entertainments Act allows Sunday opening of cinemas and considers establishment of British Film Institute

  • Oscar Deutsch forms Cinema Service, to become Odeon Theatres in 1933, with 6 cinemas

  • BBFC introduces 'H' certificate - 'horror'.

  • British Film Institute launched.

  • Charles Laughton wins the Best Actor Oscar for The Private Life of Henry VIII

  • Pinewood Studios built in Buckinghamshire.

  • British Technicolor laboratory established.

  • Weekly film attendance in Britain reaches 30 million.

  • First Edinburgh Film Festival

  • Laurence Olivier's Hamlet becomes first British film to win coveted Best Picture Oscar.

  • BBFC releases first 'X' certificate film.

  • First James Bond film released: 'Dr. No'

  • BBFC unveils new system of film classification, introducing 'AA' category, restricted to over-14s, and raising age of admission for 'X' certificate from 16 to 18. The 'A' certificate no longer requires an accompanying adult

  • VAT introduction applies to cinema tickets.

  • Independent Film Makers' Association established.

  • The Dolby Stereo optical sound system makes its debut with Ken Russell's Lisztomania.

  • The 1959 Obscene Publications Act now includes film exhibition and distribution.

  • Protection of Children Act established.

    Designed to help prohibit child pornography.
  • Revised film classifications by the BBFC.

    BBFC introduces revised film classifications. X becomes 18, AA becomes 15, A becomes PG (standing for 'parental guidance'), and U remains as before.
  • Video Recordings Act passed.

    Video Recordings Act passed. The Act makes it an offence for a video recording to be sold or hired if it contained a work which had not been certificated by the British Board of Film Censors.
  • The British Board of Film Censors renamed the British Board of Film Classification

  • The British Screen Finance Corporation set up to work in conjunction with the government to provide funding for films.

  • British Board of Film Classification introduces '12' category for cinema films

  • Criminal Justice and Public Order Act passed

  • Lottery Film Fund established

  • Introduction of the DVD

  • The UK Film Council is launched.

  • The Odeon Leicester Square becomes the first major British cinema to project a film (Toy Story 2) entirely digitally.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone released.

    The first film in one of Britain's most successful franchises.
  • BBFC changes the theatrical 12 certificate to 12A

    Under 12s can now see films in the cinema as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
  • funding for 250 digital projectors in cinemas across the UK,

    UK Film Council announces funding for 250 digital projectors in cinemas across the UK, encouraging the distribution of films in digital formats.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 released

    The last film in the franchise becomes the thrid highest grossing film of all time.