1896 in film
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The following is an overview of the events of 1896 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.
|Years in film|
- January - In the United States, the Vitascope film projector is designed by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Armat begins working with Thomas Edison to manufacture it.
- January 14 - Birt Acres demonstrates his film projector, the Kineopticon, the first in Britain, to the Royal Photographic Society at the Queen's Hall in London. This is the first film show to an audience in the U.K.
- February 20 - In London:
- April - Edison and Armat's Vitascope is used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City.
- May 14 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is crowned in Moscow, the first coronation ever recorded in film.
- July 26 - "Vitascope Hall" opens on Canal Street, New Orleans, the first business devoted exclusively to showing motion pictures at a fixed location 
- September 28 - The Pathé Frères film company is founded.
- October 19 - "Edisonia Hall" in Buffalo, New York, the first building constructed specifically for showing motion pictures. 
- In France, magician and filmmaker Georges Méliès begins experimenting with the new motion picture technology, developing early special effect techniques, including stop motion.
- William Selig founds the Selig Polyscope Company in Chicago.
- Demeny-Gaumont work on a 60 mm format, first known as Biographe (unperforated), then Chronophotographe (perforated).
- Casimir Sivan and E. Dalphin create a 38 mm format.
Notable films released in 1896
- The Cabbage Fairy
- Le chapeau de Tabarin
- Le clubmen
- Les concierges
- Les démolisseurs
- Chez le barbier
- The Boxing Kangaroo
- Boxing Match; or, Glove Contest
- Dancing Girls
- Landing at Low Tide
- Rough Sea at Dover directed with Robert W. Paul
- Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour
- Carga de rurales, a Mexican short black-and-white silent documentary film.
- Un duelo a pistola en el bosque de Chapultepec (Duel au pistolet).
- Arrival of a Train at Vincennes Station, currently presumed to be a lost film
- A Lightning Sketch, a series of four French short silent films (lost)
- A Nightmare, it was advertised as a scène fantastique.
- A Serpentine Dance, it was released by Méliès's company Star Film and is numbered 44 in its catalogues (lost)
- A Terrible Night, it is listed with the descriptive subtitle scène comique.
- Conjurer Making Ten Hats in Sixty Seconds (lost)
- Conjuring, the film was rediscovered in 2014
- Miss de Vère (English Jig)
- The Haunted Castle
- The Rag-Picker
- The Rescue on the River
- The Vanishing Lady
- Playing Cards
- Post No Bills
- Watering the Flowers, most likely a lost film
- Arab Cortege, Geneva
- Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat
- Bataille de boules de neige
- Carmaux, Drawing Out The Coke
- Childish Quarrel
- Children Digging For Clams
- Démolition d'un mur
- Dragoons Crossing The Saone
- Loading A Boiler
- New York: Broadway At Union Square
- New York: Brooklyn Bridge
- Pompiers a Lyon
- Promenade Of Ostriches, Paris Botanical Gardens
- Serpentine Dance
Robert W. Paul
- Barnet Horse Fair
- Blackfriars Bridge
- Comic Costume Race
- Rough Sea at Dover directed with Birt Acres
- The Twins' Tea Party
- Two A.M.; or, the Husband's Return produced by Robert W. Paul
- Feeding The Doves
- The Kiss, starring May Irwin and John Rice. First kiss on film. May be considered the first romantic film.
William K.L. Dickson
- Le Coucher de la Mariée, a French erotic short film considered to be one of the first erotic films (or "stag party films") made. The film was produced by Eugène Pirou and directed by Albert Kirchner under the pseudonym "Léar".
- Macintyre's X-Ray Film, a documentary radiography film directed by Scottish medical doctor John Macintyre.
- McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio, is a silent film reenactment of William McKinley receiving the Republican nomination for President of the United States in September 1896 produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
- A Morning Alarm, produced by Edison Studios.
- Salida de la misa de doce de la Iglesia del Pilar de Zaragoza a short silent film by Eduardo Jimeno, a pioneer of the Spanish cinema probably the first one filmed in Spain by a Spaniard.
- A Sea Cave Near Lisbon, a British short silent actuality film, directed by Henry Short.
- Up the River, directed by Unknown.
- January 20
- April 8 - Einar Juhl, Danish actor (died 1982)
- April 26 - Ruut Tarmo, Estonian actor (died 1967)
- May 16 - Gilda Langer, German actress (died 1920)
- June 28 - Constance Binney, American actress, singer, dancer (died 1989)
- July 16 - Evelyn Preer, American actress, singer (died 1932)
- July 25 - Jack Perrin, American actor (died 1967)
- August 14 - Theodor Luts, Estonian film director, cinematographer (died 1980)
- August 18 - Jack Pickford, Canadian-born American actor (died 1933)
- August 30 - Raymond Massey, Canadian-born American actor (died 1983)
- October 1 - Abraham Sofaer, American actor (died 1988)
- October 6 - David Howard, American film director (died 1941)
- October 23 - Lilyan Tashman, American actress (died 1934)
- October 30 - Rex Cherryman, American actor (died 1928)
- December 10 - Torsten Bergström, Swedish actor and director (died 1948)
- Alice Guy as a director in Les démolisseurs
- May Irwin as an actress in The Kiss (1 April)
- John C. Rice as an actor in The Kiss (1 April)
- Cissy Fitzgerald as an actress in 50 feet of actuality film of Fitzgerald by Edison; presumably elements from the 1894 play The Gaiety Girl
- Robert B. Mantell as an actor in Select Scenes from 'Monbars'
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