First Movies at Hotels
Often hotels used to be the best places to present movies. They offered the infrasturcture needed.
At the Hotel Scribe, in Paris, on 25 December 1895, at the Indian Salon, then part of the Grand Café which was rented out to the Jockey Club, Auguste and his brother Louis Jean Lumière showed the first motion picture using the system of film projection. As a matter of fact it was not really the very first performance of this new technique. One year earlier the Austrian inventor Theodor Reich showed the same sensation to a flabbergasted audience in London. But he lost confidence in his experiment when a celluloid film caught fire. Today we owe it solely to the Lumière brothers that this invention has developed so rapidly. Immediately after their first performance they started to capture scenes all over the world, though creating a priceless movie archive of that time.
There is a charming link in this matter to many hotels around the world, such as the Astor House in Shanghai, of course the 'mother of all movies" - the Paris Hotel Scribe, and the Hotel Metropole in Hanoi as well as the Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest.
All these hotels can today claim that they are “historically listed” as the premiere venues for “moving pictures”. The Scribe even housed the world premiere, the Royal in Budapest was second in 1896, while the Metropole was Indo-China’s first venue to show movies in 1916.
At the Astor House the first Western movies were introduced to China.