Remembering the Vitascope and Moving Pictures in Toronto: August 31: Snapshots in History
On August 31 and beyond, take a moment to look back at the early days of moving or motion pictures in Toronto.
On August 31, 1896, Thomas Alva Edison’s Vitascope was used for the first time in Toronto at Robinson’s Musee on Yonge Street to show moving pictures to a large audience. Page 3 of the September 1, 1896 issue of The Globe newspaper showed the following headline: “THEATRES OPENED: The Season Inaugurated Most Successfully; a Laughing Audience at the Toronto; A Most Auspicious Opening at the Musee – The Princess Will Unlock Its Doors with “Superbs””. The article under the header “ROBINSON’S MUSEE” continued as follows:
“Robinson’s Musee was opened for the first time under the new management yesterday, when an excellent list of attractions was provided. Mr. Robinson himself was in attendance and made a few remarks, both witty and practical, when the vitascope scenes were being changed…Edison’s great invention, the vitascope, was also exhibited for the first time in Toronto, several marvelously life-like views, with rapidly changing scenes, being shown…” To view this article in full, please access the Globe and Mail Historical Newspaper Archive database with a valid Toronto Public Library card.
Chris Bateman, writing on BlogTO.com on August 17, 2013, provided a look back at Robinson’s Musee in his article “That time when the movies came to Toronto”. Similarly, Doug Taylor, writing on his Historic Toronto blog on March 13, 2013, authored the article “Toronto’s first movie screening and first movie theatre”. The Toronto Then and Now blog also posted an article entitled “#5 – Toronto’s First Movie Theatres, Then and Now” on October 5, 2010 that included a section on “Robinson’s Musee Theatre and the First “Movie” in Toronto”.
Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:
Edison's greatest marvel--The Vitascope
Motion picture poster for "Edison's greatest marvel--The Vitascope" show movie audience watching large screen with woman dancing on screen and others in background watching.
Created / Published
New York : Metropolitan Print Company, c1896.
Library of Congress Control Number
No known restrictions on publication.
(Credit: Library of Congress)