Brighton & Hove Film History Timeline


William Friese-Greene Brighton resident William Friese-Greene (1855–1921) builds a ‘chronophotographic camera’ with which he takes ‘animated photographs’. He then applies for an English patent (no 10131), granted on 21st of June.


kinetoscope An Edison Kinetoscope is installed at Brighton Aquarium.
The Kinetoscope was designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole window at the top of the device.


alfred darling The first film show in Brighton is given at the Pandora Gallery, opposite the West Pier, using a ‘cinematographe’.

Mr Alfred Darling, a clever engineer and inventor helps various early film makers with equipment.

Alfred Esme Collings makes a number of films in Brighton like Brighton front on a bank holiday’ in King’s Road and Train arriving at Dyke Station.


Four Mutoscope parlours open in Brighton. Mutoscopes are often known as ‘What the Butler saw’ machines and are one of the earliest motion picture devices.

Programme of films by George Albert Smith (1864-1959) and his French counterpart Georges Méliès runs at the Alahmbra on King’s Road, Brighton.
Mrs Aubrey Le Blond
Mrs Aubrey Le Blond (née Elizabeth Alice Frances Hawkins-Whitshed; 1860-1934), an intrepid mountaineer and traveller, who lives in Hove, makes at least 10 films of winter sports in Switzerland, including toboganning on the Cresta Run and figure skating.
She is probably the first identifiable woman film-maker.


G A SmithGeorge Albert Smith constructs a film studio at St Ann’s Well Gardens in Hove, this studio uses natural daylight.

G A Smith introduces close-ups in films, such as The Little Doctor.
His Spiders in a Web, showing a close-up of two spiders within a circular mask, is one of the earliest natural history films.


James Williamson James Williamson and Georges Méliès make several films of King Edward VII’s coronation processions in London. This is one of the first co-productions of the history of cinema, if not the first ever!


G A Smith kinemacolour G A Smith’s British patent for colour kinematography is granted. The colour film is made by projecting a black-and-white film behind alternating red and green filters.


Brighton seaside film A programme of 21 Kinemacolor short films is made at the Palace Theatre, London. This is the first presentation of colour films to a paying audience in the world.
The first motion picture exhibited in Kinemacolor was an eight-minute short filmed in Brighton titled A Visit to the Seaside.


Historical Duke of York cinema Six permanent cinemas open including one in an ornate purpose-built building – the Duke of Yorks, now the oldest continuously running cinema in the world.
In 1911 nine more cinemas open.


Brighton RockPremiere of The Boulting Brothers’ production of Brighton Rock, starring Richard Attenborough and shot during the previous year, is held at the Savoy Cinema (ABC), East Street.

The British Film Institute (BFI) defines l’école de Brighton, the ‘Brighton School’, describing the pioneer days of film-making.


The Itinerama, a mobile Cinerama theatre in a tent seating 1,261 people opens on Hove Lawns for two weeks.


Oh what a lovely warRichard Attenborough’s film version of Oh! What a Lovely War is shot on the West Pier, Madeira Drive and at Sheepcote Valley. Many of the extras were students from the University of Sussex and other local people.


QuadropheniaThe mods and rockers riots of 1964 are recreated in the film Quadrophenia, shot in the original locations around the centre of Brighton. The Sea-Life Centre Aquarium and The Grand Hotel feature in the film.


South East Film and Video Archive (now Screen Archive South East) is established as a collaborative venture by the University of Brighton, Hove Museum and Art Gallery, South East Arts, the British Film Institute and the county councils of Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex.


film camera Brewery company Stella Artois provides free film screenings on Brighton beach.

The Brighton Film School is established


1st Cine City, the Brighton Film Festival takes place as a collaborative venture between the University of Brighton, the Screen Archive and the Duke of Yorks.


divein movies Cine City presents Dive In Movies at the Prince Regent swimming pool as part of White Night.
They show a ‘mix tape’ of swimming pool scenes at The Prince Regent Swimming Pool.


a field in England Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England is the first film simultaneously released in theatres, DVD, online and free to view channels.

Film Hub SE is established led by a consortium of Brighton based organisations the University of Brighton, (Screen Archive SE) Cine City, Lighthouse, Picturehouse and Brighton & Hove city council.

Creative England established one of their two national talent hubs in the city


Film City is launched to support the film cluster in the city.