The Zoopraxiscope, invented by pioneering British photographer Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, was the first movie projector. The Zoopraxiscope created motion by rapidly projecting images from revolving glass discs. But it was the Lumière brothers, based on the work of French inventor Léon Bouly, who built the first truly successful movie projector: the cinematograph.
This device combined a film camera, projector, and printer. Sortie de l’usine Lumière de Lyon, the brothers’ debut picture, was shot in 1894 and publicly screened in 1895. The Lumière Brothers’ films were exhibited on a giant screen measuring 16 by 21 meters at the Paris Expo.
These analog movie projectors remained in use until the late 2000s when they were gradually phased out in favor of digital cinema projectors. Digital projectors have several advantages over classic film projectors, therefore the modernization of cinema was unavoidable.
Digital projectors are relatively tiny, have no film rolls that will tear or exhibit scratches, and content distribution is significantly simpler because they have no moving parts save fans. Initially, the films were distributed on physical media, but with the advent of digital all-electronic distribution, physical media shipments have become obsolete. Generations have been subjected to lengthy and boring slideshows, mind-numbing holiday images, and history and art classes in schools since the 1950s.
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