Théâtre Optique

Object

Charles-Émile Reynaud rarely sat still. In 1892, two years after developing the praxinoscope theatre, he debuted his grandest invention – the Théâtre Optique – in Paris. This device projected moving pictures that had been hand-painted onto flexible, coloured, regularly perforated strips of gelatine crystalloid, and it even featured synced sound via silver inlays, an electromagnet and an electric noise generator.

For its time, Reynaud’s device was the pinnacle of moving image projection and greatly influenced the Lumière brothers, who joined over 500,000 visitors to Reynaud’s performances. These 15-minute shows were predecessors to cartoons and let large gatherings watch projections together. They were some of the world’s first mass-viewing experiences.

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On display until:

ACMI: Gallery 1

16 February 2031

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

Curatorial section

The Story of the Moving Image → Moving Pictures → 02. Play and Illusion → MI-02-C02

Collected

11847 times

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/100579--theatre-optique/ |title=Théâtre Optique |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=16 January 2022 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}