1905 Timelines: 1900 to 1909

Edison hires some of Biograph’s most creative talent. Production at Biograph is seriously disrupted.


Biograph loses the motion picture contract for the Keith Vaudeville Circuit to the Kinetograph Company. The Kinetograph film exchange is associated with Edison.


The Edison Company commits to making more story films that are original and not mere copies of other company’s films.


The Vitagraph Company of American begins renting its films to exchanges instead of selling them outright, and commits heavily to story films. They promptly establish themselves as a major American producer.


The Miles Brothers’ film rental company begins to advertise a regular semiweekly change of films for their customers.


Harry Davis, a wealthy vaudeville theatre owner, opens a storefront theater in Pittsburgh for the showing of motion pictures. He calls it the “Nickelodeon” because a person can see an entire program of films, which lasts ten to thirty minutes, for a nickel. Similar storefront theaters quickly began to spring up in every city and town creating a “nickel craze”, and within two years there will be almost 9,000 Nickelodeons in operation in the U.S. showing programs that last up to one hour.


The Warner Brothers open their first Nickelodeon, called the Cascade Theatre, in New Castle, Pennsylvania


Significant Films:

The Hepworth Manufacturing Company, Ltd., in England releases the film, “Rescued By Rover”. It is notable for its energetic and creative editing, and for ensuring that the action moved across the screen in a consistent direction.

The Edison Company’s film, “The Whole Dam family and the Dam Dog”, cleverly combines live-action comedy and graphics.

The Fengtai Photo Studio in Beijing, China, releases an opera film titled “Conquer Jun Mountain (Ding Jun Shan)”. This is the first film ever produced in China by Chinese filmmakers.


The Picture Show Man website was established in 2004 to be a comprehensive and free resource for anyone interested in vintage movies. Our focus is the history of motion pictures from the beginning of its development in 1890, to the end of 1960.

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