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History  of  Cinema  Timeline
Important Dates In The History of Cinema (and Other Media)

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1881-18901891-1900
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Cinema Year By Year  "Cinema: Year By Year"
1894-2006 Edition by David Thomson & others
DK Publng 6-pound 11½x9¼ hardcover [8/2006] out of print/used
1894-2005 Edition by David Thomson & others
DK Publng 7-pound 11½x9½ hardcover [8/2005] out of print/used
1894-2004 edition by Robyn Karney & others
DK Publng 7-pound 11¾x9¾ hardcover [8/2004] out of print/used



  • 1630 Feb 22nd: Popcorn was introduced to the English colonists by Quadequina, brother of Massasoit.
  • 1695: Dutch scientist Christian Huygens invented the 'magic lantern'.
  • 1702 Dec 14th: The real-life events occurred in Japan that have become the 47 Rônin / Chüshingura legend, enshrined over the last 100 years in over 80 films.
  • 1789: The first phantasmagoria show - a multimedia horror stage show with magic lantern special effects - was created by Paul Philidor (aka Paul de Philipsthal) of Germany.

  • 1875 Jan 22nd: Birthday of cinema pioneer D.W. Griffith in La Grange, Kentucky; he died in Hollywood, California in 1948 at age 73.
  • 1877 June 4th: Patent application for the variable resistence carbon microphone filed by Emile Berliner.
  • 1877 Nov 21st: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison announced that he had invented the phonograph.
  • 1878 Feb 19th: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison received a patent for his phonograph.
  • 1881 Aug 12th: Birthday of producer-director Cecil B. DeMille in Ashfield, Massachusetts; he died in Hollywood, California in 1959 at age 77.
  • 1885 March 26th: Eastman Dry Plate & Film Company of Rochester, NY manufactured the first commercial motion picture film.
  • 1888 Sept 4th: George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera, and registered the Kodak trademark.
  • 1889 April 16th: Birthday of silent film star Charles Chaplin; he died in Switzerland in 1977.
  • 1889: First experiments with true motion pictures on film by inventor William K. Dickson at Edison's lab in New Jersey. {Watch "Monkeyshines" clips [1:10] at YouTube.}
  • 1889 Oct 6th: First demonstration of 'talking pictures', by inventor William K. Dickson at Edison's lab in New Jersey (38 years to the day before the premiere of "The Jazz Singer").
  • 1890 June 16th: Birthday of movie comedian Stan Laurel (nee Arthur Stanley Jefferson) in Ulverston, England; he died in 1965.
  • 1890 Sept 16th: Disappearance of Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince in Dijon, France before he could demonstrate his 60mm/12fps motion picture camera system to the public.

  • 1891 Aug 24th: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison filed patents for the Kinetograph 35mm camera & the Kinetoscope viewer.
  • 1892 Jan 18th: Birthday of movie comedian Oliver Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia; he died in 1957.
  • 1893 Feb 1st: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.
  • 1893 May 9th: First public demonstration of Edison's Kinetoscope in Brooklyn, NY.
  • 1894 Feb 1st: Birthday of film director John Ford; he died in 1973.
  • 1895 March 22nd: First public showing of a movie by the Lumière Brothers in Paris, France.
  • 1895 May 20th: First commercial movie screening in world history, on the Latham Brothers's Eidoloscope projector system.
  • 1895 Oct 4th: Birthday of film comic Buster Keaton in Piqua, Kamsas; he died in 1966.
  • 1895 Dec 28th: First public exhibition of movies to a paying audience, a selection of ten Lumière Brothers single-reel films at a café in Paris, France.
  • 1896 April 20th: The first time people paid to see a movie in the United States, at Koster & Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1896 April 23rd: First public demonstration of Edison's Vitascope movie projection system at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1896 July 26th: Opening of the first motion picture theatre in the United States, Vitascope Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana (the site is now a Burger King).
  • 1897 May 18th: Birthday of producer-director Frank Capra; he died in 1991.
  • 1898 Aug 29th: Birthday of filmmaker Preston Sturges; he died in 1959.

  • 1901 Dec 5th: Birthday of Walter Elias Disney, in Chicago, Illinois; he died in 1966.
  • 1902 April 2nd: First motion picture theater established, by Thomas L. Tally as part of a carnival in Los Angeles, CA.
  • 1902 Sept 1: Premiere of cinema pioneer Georges Méliès's short film "Le Voyage dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon)" in Paris, France.
  • 1903: Adolph Zukor bought his first movie theater, in New York City.
  • 1903 Dec 1st: Release of Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery", the first movie with a dramatic plot, at New York City's Luban's Museum vaudeville theater.
  • 1905: The Balaban family bought their first movie theater, in Chicago.
  • 1905: William Fox bought his first movie theater, in New York City.
  • 1905 Dec 16th: Publication of the first issue of the entertainment weekly Variety.
  • 1906 Aug 19th: Birthday of the inventor of television Philo T. Farnsworth near Beaver, Utah; he died in 1971.
  • 1907: Louis B. Mayer bought his first movie theater, in Haverville, Massachussets.
  • 1907 Oct 17th: Guglielmo Marconi began limited commercial wireless telegraph service between Nova Scotia and Ireland.
  • 1910: Adolph Zukor merges with Lowe.
  • 1910 March 23rd: Birthday of cinematic master Akira Kurosawa in Japan; he died in 1998.
  • 1910 Aug 26: First demonstration of Thomas Edison's improved Kinetophone device for showing a movie with synchronous sound.

  • 1911: "Ben-Hur" copyright infringement court case decided by U.S. Supreme Court, ensuring that motion picture production companies must first secure the film rights of any previously published work still under copyright before commissioning a screenplay based on that work.
  • 1911 March 24th: Birthday of animator Joseph Barbera.
  • 1911 June 19th: Pennsylvania established the first state-level motion picture censorship board.
  • 1912 July 26th: Edison Studios in New Jersey released the silent serial "What Happened To Mary", considered to be the first movie serial.
  • 1912 Aug 12th: Birthday of writer-director Samuel Fuller; he died in 1997.
  • 1912 Aug 12th: Comedy actor & producer Mack Sennett [1880-1960] founded the Keystone Pictures Studio in Edendale (East Hollywood), California.
  • 1914 Feb 9th: Premiere of the Keystone Cops silent short "Making A Living", the screen debut of future star Charlie Chaplin [1889-1977].
  • 1914 Feb 13th: Founding of The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers {A.S.C.A.P.}.
  • 1914 Feb 15th: Premiere of "The Squaw Man", the first film of Cecil B. DeMille [1881-1959].
  • 1914 May 8th: W.W. Hodkinson [1881-1981] merged 11 film rental bureaus and founded Paramount Pictures, the first national U.S. film distributor.
  • 1915 Feb 8th: Premiere of D.W. Griffith's epic "The Birth of A Nation" at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1915 May 6th: Birthday of actor / filmmaker Orson Welles; he died in 1985.
  • 1916 Sept 5th: Release of D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance".
  • 1917: Patent for the rotoscope animation process awarded to Max Fleischer.
  • 1918 May 26th: Founding of Actors' Equity Association.

  • 1922 June 14: Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. President heard on radio as station WEAR in Baltimore, Maryland broadast his speech dedicating the Francis Scott Key memorial at Fort McHenry.
  • 1922 Aug 28: Broadcast of the first-ever radio commercial on WEAF in New York City; the 10-minute ad was for the Queensboro Realty Company, which had paid a fee of $100.
  • 1922 Oct 18th: Opening of Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre, with the world premiere of "Robin Hood", starring Douglas Fairbanks.
  • 1922 Nov 14: Launch of the British Broadcasting Company's domestic radio service.
  • 1923 January: Opening of the world's first air-conditioned movie theater, Grauman's Metropolitan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, CA. The equipment was installed by Willis Carrier.
  • 1923 July 13th: Official dedication of the 'HOLLYWOODLAND' sign with 50-foot-tall letters to advertise the Hollywoodland real estate development in Beachwood Canyon.
  • 1925 Feb 21st: Birthday of film director Sam Peckinpah; he died in 1984.
  • 1925 Dec 30th: New York opening of the silent feature "Ben-Hur" starring Ramon Novarro & Francis X. Bushman.
  • 1926 Aug 6th: Premiere in New York City of "Don Juan" starring John Barrymore from Warner Bros., the first film using the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system (featuring music & sound effects, but no dialogue).
  • 1926 Aug 23rd: The death of silent film idol Rudolph Valentino in New York City at age 31 caused a worldwide frenzy among his fans.
  • 1926 Dec 5th: U.S. premiere of Sergei M. Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" [1925] in New York City.
  • 1927 May 4th: Founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
  • 1927 May 18th: Opening of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's silent epic "The King of Kings".
  • 1927 Sept 7th: Invention of all-electronic television by Philo T. Farnsworth.
  • 1927 Oct 6th: Talking pictures arrived with the opening of "The Jazz Singer", starring Al Jolson; the movie featured both silent and synchronous-sound scenes.
  • 1928 March 12th: Release of "The Treasurer's Report", a hilarious short starring Robert Benchley, which is actually the first ALL-sound movie in general release.
  • 1928 July 6th: New York City preview screening of the first all-talking feature film, "The Lights of New York".
  • 1928 Nov 18th: The first successful synchronous sound animated cartoon premiered in New York City - Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie", starring Mickey Mouse.
  • 1929 May 16th: First Academy Awards banquet.
  • 1929 May 28th: Premiere of the first all-color talking picture, "On With The Show!" in New York City.
  • 1930 Dec 1st: Sound-added re-release of the silent feature "Ben-Hur" starring Ramon Novarro & Francis X. Bushman.

  • 1932 June 2nd: Release of "What Price Hollywood?" directed by George Cukor; the film is considered a predecessor to the "A Star Is Born" movies of 1937 & 1954 & 1976.
  • 1932 July 30th: Release of the first 3-strip Technicolor short animated film, Walt Disney's "Flowers & Trees".
  • 1932 Aug 22: The British Broadcasting Corp. conducted its first experimental television broadcast, using a 30-line mechanical system.
  • 1933 March 2nd: The motion picture "King Kong" had its world premiere in New York City, becoming the highest grossing film of 1933.
  • 1933 May 27th: Release of the Academy Award-winning short feature "The Three Little Pigs" by Walt Disney.
  • 1933 June 6th: Opening of the first drive-in movie theater, in Camden, NJ; the film shown was "Wives Beware" starring Adolphe Monjou.
  • 1935: Founding of the Film Library at Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which is now the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center.
  • 1935 Feb 23rd: Release of "The Band Concert", the first Mickey Mouse film in Technicolor.
  • 1935 June 13th: Release of "Becky Sharp", the first feature-length Technicolor™ three-color film.
  • 1936 June 30th: Publication of the Civil War novel "Gone With The Wind" by author Margaret Mitchell [1900-49].
  • 1937 April 17th: Debut of character Daffy Duck in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "Porky's Duck Hunt" directed by Tex Avery.
  • 1937 April 20th: Release of the film "A Star Is Born" directed by William Wellman, which was remade in 1954 & 1976.
  • 1937 Aug 16th: Founding of the American Federation of Radio Artists, which in 1952 added Television to become A.F.T.R.A., which merged again in March 2012 to form
    SAG-AFTRA, based in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1937 Dec 21st: Release of the first Technicolor™ animated feature film, Walt Disney's "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1938 April 30th: Official debut of Warner Bros. cartoon character Bugs Bunny.
  • 1939: The Academy officially named their award the Oscar.
  • 1939 Dec 15th: Premiere of "Gone With The Wind" in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1940 Feb 29th: "Gone With The Wind" won 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1939.
  • 1940 July 27th: Bugs Bunny's debut, in the Warner Bros. cartoon "A Wild Hare".
  • 1940 Nov 25th: Debut of cartoon character Woody Woodpecker in the Walter Lantz animated short "Knock Knock".
  • 1940 Nov 12th: Release of Walt Disney's "Fantasia", animated interpretations of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

  • 1941 Feb 27th: First use by A.A.M.P.A.S. of Price-Waterhouse and the sealed-envelope system to prevent early release of names of Oscar winners.
  • 1941 May 1st: Premiere of Orson Welles's masterpiece "Citizen Kane" at the R.K.O. Palace Theatre in New York City.
  • 1941 Oct 23rd: World premiere of Walt Disney's animated feature film "Dumbo" in New York City.
  • 1942 Jan 16th: Actress Carole Lombard, wife of Clark Gable, died at age 33 in a plane crash near Las Vegas, Nevada while returning home from a war bond promotion tour.
  • 1942 Aug 8th: World premiere of Walt Disney's animated feature film "Bambi" in London, England.
  • 1942 Aug 13th: U.S. premiere of Walt Disney's animated feature film "Bambi" at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1942 Nov 26th: World premiere of "Casablanca", starring Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman, at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.
  • 1943 June 1st: The Germans shot down a civilian flight from Portugal to England, killing all 17 on board, including actor Leslie Howard.
  • 1943 June 16th: Comedian Charlie Chaplin (age 54) married his fourth wife Oona O'Neill (age 18), daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill in Carpenteria, California.
  • 1944 Oct 8th: Debut of "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" on C.B.S. Radio.
  • 1946: The all-time high in movie ticket sales was four billion in pre-TV 1946.
  • 1946 Sept 20th: The first Cannes Film Festival in France opened and ran for 16 days. `
  • 1947 Feb 21st: First public demonstration of Polaroid camera & film at Optical Society of America by Dr. Edwin Land.
  • 1947 Oct 27th: Debut of game show "You Bet Your Life" on A.B.C. Radio starring Groucho Marx, which later became an NBC-TV program.
  • 1947 Nov 6th: Debut of the weekly "Meet The Press" news interview program on the N.B.C. network; the program is now the longest running series in TV history.
  • 1947 Dec 27th: Original version of the puppet character Howdy Doody debuted on N.B.C.'s "Puppet Playhouse".
  • 1948 May 3rd: U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in U.S. vs. Paramount Pictures ordering America's motion picture studios to divest themselves of their ownership in movie theaters. This became known as the infamous 'consent decree'.
  • 1948 June 18th: Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing ['LP'] phonograph record in New York City.
  • 1950 Dec 4th: Debut of the first daytime television 'soap opera', "The First Hundred Years", sponsored by Tide Soap on the C.B.S. network.

  • 1951 Sept 4th: First live, coast-to-coast television broadcast as President Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco.
  • 1951 Oct 15th: Debut of the long-running CBS-TV Monday evening comedy program "I Love Lucy"; the first series ran for 180 half-hour episodes until 6 May 1957; the subsequent hour-long "Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show" ran for 13 episodes from 28 June 1957 to 1 April 1960.
  • 1952 Jan 14th: Debut of the "Today" show on the N.B.C. Network, with Dave Garroway as host.
  • 1952 March 4th: Actor Ronald Reagan married actress Nancy Davis at the Little Brown Church in the Valley in Studio City (North Hollywood), California.
  • 1952 Sept 17th: Merger of the American Federation of Radio Artists [est. 1937] and the Television Auhtority [est. 1950] to form A.F.T.R.A., which merged again in March 2012 to form SAG-AFTRA, based in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1952 Sept 6th: Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal, PQ.
  • 1952 Sept 30th: Premiere of "This Is Cinerama", at the Broadway Theater in New York City, introducing the three-camera, triple-projector wide-screen Cinerama™ process.
  • 1952 Nov 26th: Premiere at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California of the United Artists color 3-D smash hit Arch Oboler's "Bwana Devil".
  • 1953 March 19th: Academy Awards ceremony televised for the first time.
  • 1953 April 10th: Premiere in New York City of the Warner Bros. 3-D horror movie "House of Wax", starring Vincent Price.
  • 1953 Sept 16th: World premiere of "The Robe", the first movie filmed in the CinemaScope™ wide-screen process, at the Roxy Theater in New York City.
  • 1954: Nebraska frozen foods company C.A. Swanson & Sons launched the TV dinner by redesigning aluminum trays used by Pan American Airways; the first Swanson TV Dinner of turkey with corn bread dressing & gravy, sweet potatoes and buttered peas sold for 98 cents and took 25 minutes to cook; the size of the first production order of 5,000 dinners was thought to be risky – Swanson sold more than 25 million TV dinners the following year.
  • 1954 Sept 27th: Debut on NBC-TV network of the "Tonight!" show hosted by Steve Allen (show still on 61 years later).
  • 1954 Sept 29th: Release of the film "A Star Is Born" directed by George Cukor, starring Judy Garland; remake of the 1937 film, remade again in 1976.
  • 1954 Oct 27th: Debut of Walt Disney's first television program "Disneyland" on the ABC-TV network.
  • 1954 Nov 7th: The C.B.S. News program "Face The Nation" debuted with host Ted Koop; the first guest was Sen. Joseph McCarthy [GOP Wisconsin].
  • 1955 Jan: Andrzej Wajda's "Pokolenie (A Generation)" began the independent Polish Film School movement.
  • 1955 June 7th: Premiere of the CBS-TV quiz show "The $64,000 Question".
  • 1955 July 17th: Opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA broadcast on coast-to-coast TV, co-hosted by actor Ronald Reagan. Admission then was $1 for adults, kids were 50¢ (plus ride tickets); admission today is $53 for adults and $43 for children.
  • 1955 Sept 30th: Actor James Dean was killed in a two-car collision on a rural highway in California.
  • 1955 Oct 27th: Release of Nicholas Ray's "Rebel Without A Cause", starring James Dean.
  • 1956 March 21st: Release of "Rock Around The Clock", the first full-length rock & roll movie, featuring the hit song by Bill Haley & the Comets.   2 min 10 sec .wav file of the movie's theme song
  • 1956 April 14th: Ampex Corp. demonstrated its first commercial videotape recorder at the National Assn. of Radio & Television Broadcasters convention in Chicago.
  • 1956 June 29th: Actress Marilyn Monroe [1926-62] married playwright Arthur Miller in a civil ceremony in White Plains, New York; the marriage lasted 4½ years.
  • 1957 March 20th: Birthday of director/producer Spike Lee
  • 1957 July 29th: Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC's "Tonight Show".
  • 1957 Sept 7th: N.B.C.'s original animated peacock logo was first aired, at the beginning of "Your Hit Parade", denoting that the program was 'in living color'.
  • 1957 Oct 4th: Debut of the family comedy TV series "Leave It To Beaver" on C.B.S.; the show moved to A.B.C. the following year and ran for 234 episodes, ending in June 1963.
  • 1958 March 22nd: Movie producer Mike Todd and three others were killed when his private plane crashed near Grants, New Mexico. His wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor, first learned of Todd's death from a television news bulletin, and fainted from the shock. That incident began the news media practice of not releasing names until notification of family.
  • 1959: With only three national TV networks in the U.S., there were 48 primetime Western TV series on the air.
  • 1959 Jan: Claude Chabrol's "Le Beau Serge" began the French New Wave movement.
  • 1959 Oct 2nd: Debut of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" TV series on the C.B.S. Network; the original series ran thru 1964 and was revived 1985-89 and again 2002-2003.
  • 1959 Nov 2nd: During Congressional testimony, former contestant Charles Van Doren admitted that he'd been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on NBC-TV's "Twenty One" game show.
  • 1959 Nov 18th: New York opening of the blockbuster epic "Ben-Hur" directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston.
  • 1960 Sept 24th: Final telecast of N.B.C. network's daily children's program "The Howdy Doody Show" after a run of nearly 13 years.

  • 1961 July 19th: Inauguration of regularly-scheduled in-flight movies by T.W.A, showing "By Love Possessed" to first-class passengers.
  • 1962 Feb 28th: Twenty-six German filmmakers signed the The Oberhausen Manifesto, a precursor of the New German Cinema movement.
  • 1962 July 23rd: The first public television transmissions over the new Telstar 1 satellite took place with live shots beamed from U.S.A. to Europe and vice versa.
  • 1962 Aug 5th: Actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead of a (possibly unintentional) drug overdose at her home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles, California.
  • 1962 Aug 10th: Comic superhero Spider-Man debuted in issue #15 of "Amazing Fantasy Comics" published by Marvel Comics in London, U.K.
  • 1962 Dec 10th: Royal gala premiere of David Lean's epic film "Lawrence of Arabia" starring Peter O'Toole.
  • 1963 Dec 7th: First use of instant video replay in a live sports telecast, during the C.B.S. network broadcast of the Army-Navy football game.
  • 1964 March 20: U.S. debut of "The Pink Panther" comedy film, starring David Niven and Peter Sellers; the hit film has been followed by ten sequels and 160+ animated cartoons.
  • 1964 April 13: Sidney Poitier became the first Afro-American to win an Oscar award for a leading role from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (he won for his performance in "Lilies of The Field").
  • 1966 May: Volker Schlöndorff's "Young Törless" began the New German Cinema movement.
  • 1966 Dec 15th: Walt Disney died in Los Angeles, California at age 65.
  • 1967 Sept 9: Debut of the comedy program "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" on NBC; the pilot and 140 episodes were broadcast, ending in March 1973.
  • 1968 April 2nd: Release of "2001: A Space Odyssey", directed by Stanley Kubrick.
  • 1968 April 29th: Opening of the counterculture musical "Hair" on Broadway, after limited engagements off-Broadway.
  • 1968 Oct 7th: The Motion Picture Assn. of America adopted the film-rating system.
  • 1969 July: Test screenings for "Sesame Street" with humans and the Muppet characters Bert & Ernie.
  • 1969 Nov 10: Debut of children's program "Sesame Street" on National Educational Television.

  • 1970 Sept 19th: Debut of situation comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" on the C.B.S. Television Network, which lasted for 168 episodes (until March 1977).
  • 1971 Jan 12th: Debut of groundbreaking situation comedy "All In The Family" on the C.B.S. Television Network, which lasted for 210 episodes (until April 1979) and was followed by the "Archie Bunker's Place" sequel series, which lasted for 97 episodes from 1979 to 1983.
  • 1971 Oct 1st: Opening of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
  • 1972 March 15th: Paramount premiered Francis Coppola's "The Godfather" at Loew's State Theater in New York City.
  • 1972 Sept 14th: Debut of C.B.S. network's family drama series "The Waltons", which ran for 9 seasons and 213 episodes (plus specials).
  • 1972 Sept 17th: Debut of C.B.S. network's Korean War comedy series "M*A*S*H", which ran for 11 seasons and 251 episodes (plus specials).
  • 1972 Nov 8th: Debut of the premium cable TV network H.B.O. (Home Box Office); the first movie shown was "Sometimes A Great Notion".
  • 1975: Launch of videocassette technology, on the commercial and at-home V.C.R. (video cassette recorder & player) devices; production was shut down in July 2016.
  • 1976 Sept 9th: J.V.C. (Japanese Victor Company) unveiled its new VHS video-cassette recorder during a presentation in Tokyo.
  • 1976 Dec 17th: Release of the film "A Star Is Born" starring Barbra Streisand; second remake after the 1937 & 1954 films.
  • 1977 May 25: Release of the first 'Star Wars' movie, later retitled "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope".
  • 1978: Founding of the Sundance Film Festival, now held in January in Park City, Utah.
  • 1979 April 19th: Nathan (Nat) Taylor and Garth Drabinsky opened the first multiscreen movie theater, the 18-screen Cineplex complex in the basement of the Eaton Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 1979 Aug 15th: Premiere of Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now".
  • 1980 May 17: Release of the second 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back".
  • 1980 June 1st: Debut of C.N.N., the Cable News Network.

  • 1981 June 12th: Premiere of Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of The Lost Ark" starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.
  • 1981 Nov 29: Actress Natalie Wood drowned in a boating accident off Santa Catalina Island, California at age 43.
  • 1982 July 23rd: Actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed on the ground in a helicopter accident during on-location filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie".
  • 1982 Aug 17th: Production of the first commercial compact disks, an album by the group ABBA, at the Philips factory near Hanover, West Germany.
  • 1982 Oct 1st: Sony Japan launched sales of the first compact disk player, the CDP-101.
  • 1982 Nov 30th: Premiere in New Delhi, India of the movie "Gandhi" starring Ben Kingsley; the film later won seven Oscar Awards.
  • 1983 May 25: Release of the third 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi".
  • 1985 Dec 31st: Singer Ricky Nelson (age 45) and six others died when a fire broke out aboard a DC-3 airplane over northeast Texas while enroute to a concert performance in Dallas.
  • 1986 April 26th: Television journalist Maria Shriver (niece of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy) married actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at a church in Hyannis, Massachussets; Arnold served as Governor of California from November 2003 to December 2010; the couple has been estranged since 2011.
  • 1986 Sept 8th: Debut of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" which ran for 25 years.
  • 1987 Aug 4th: The Federal Communications Commission abolished the Fairness Doctrine that required media to provide balanced {equal time) coverage of controversial issues over public airwaves.
  • 1988 March 7th: Beginning of the W.G.A. writers strike, which lasted 5 months.
  • 1988 Aug 7th: End of the W.G.A. writers strike.
  • 1989 Sept 27th: Columbia Pictures Entertainment agreed to Sony's offer of a $3.4 billion cash buyout.
  • 1990 Sept 26th: The Motion Picture Assn. of America announced replacement of its X Rating with the new NC-17 rating.
  • 1990 Oct 17th: Launch of the Internet Movie Database website.
  • 1990 Nov 6-7th: An arson fire on the backlot of Universal Studios destroyed the standing outdoor sets of New York Street and Brownstone Street and part of the Courthouse Square set, and 21 antique automobiles being used in filming the Thirties-era gangster comedy "Oscar", starring Sylvester Stallone, at a cost of $50 million.    {b&w aerial photo {in new window}
  • 1990 Dec 21st: Buchwald v. Paramount decision in California, after which all script submissions are strictly limited to those vetted by Hollywood insiders.

  • 1992: Launch of the 'Nollywood' independent Nigerian film industry, with Kenneth Nnebue's "Living In Bondage".
  • 1994 June 17th: Launch of the Hughes Electronics / DirecTV satellite programming service, with 320,000 subscribers.
  • 1997 Dec 19th: USA release of James Cameron's "Titanic", which eventually gained all-time first place in worldwide box-office gross revenue (nearly twice the #2 film, the first Harry Potter movie).
  • 1999 May 19: Release of the fourth 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace".

  • 2001 Aug 15th: Re-release of 1979's "Apocalypse Now" with never-before-seen 49 minutes added, as "Apocalypse Now Redux".
  • 2002 March 25th: Walt Disney Co. laid off over 200 artists & animators and closed down their hand-animation department to focus on computer-animation films, ending the studio's tradition of hand-drawn animation.
  • 2002 May 16: Release of the fifth 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones".
  • 2005 May 16: Release of the sixth 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith".
  • 2007 Nov 5th: Beginning of the W.G.A. writers strike, over residuals for new media.
  • 2008 Feb 12th: Writers Guild of America strike ended (lasting just over three months).
  • 2008 March 29th: The board of directors of A.F.T.R.A. voted to end their rocky 27-year merger with the Screen Actors Guild.
  • 2008 June 1st: A fire on the backlot of Universal Studios destroyed the Court-house Square outdoor set, the King Kong ride, the airplane interior stage, and a film vault. {color aerial photo {in new window}
  • 2009 June 12th: Changeover to digital TV signals across entire U.S.A.; postponed from February 17th {the www.DTVanswers.com website no longer exists}.
  • 2009 June 18th: Official reopening of Universal Studio's backlot Courthouse Square set (a year after it burned down).
  • 2009 June 24th: A.M.P.A.S. announced that the nominees for the Best Picture Oscar will be doubled to ten for the 2010 awards.
  • 2010 Sept 23rd: Retail chain Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (stores remain open), mostly due to shift by customers to delivery by Netflix (mail & download) and by Redbox & other kiosks.
  • 2010 Nov 19th: Amazon announced new Amazon Studios website, with monthly and annual contests; upload of script or 'test movie' is free, but each requires signing non-exclusive 18-month option contract.
  • 2010 Dec 2nd: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stuart Bernstein in Manhattan approved M.G.M.’s 'pre-packaged' plan of reorganization under Chapter 11; M.G.M. may be out of bankruptcy by end of year.

  • 2011 April 15th: Limited opening of the movie "Atlas Shrugged, Part I" in U.S.A., based on the classic 1957 novel by Ayn Rand [1905-82]. (And, boy do we need an Objectivist Renaissance!}
  • 2011 May 25th: Final episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show", which began in September 1986 and ran for 25 years.
  • 2012 Jan 19th: Kodak announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • 2012 March 30th: Announcement of the second merger of the Screen Actors Guild [est. 1933] and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists [est. 1952] to form SAG-AFTRA, based in Los Angeles, California.
  • 2012 July-Aug: The 2012 Olympic Games in London were watched by a total of 219.4 million viewers during the 17 days of coverage, per final Nielsen numbers, making it the most-watched event in U.S. television history, topping the previous high of 215 million viewers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  • 2012 Oct 12th: Limited opening of the movie "Atlas Shrugged, Part II" in U.S.A., based on the classic 1957 novel by Ayn Rand [1905-82].
  • 2012 Oct 30th: The Walt Disney Company announced an agreement to purchase Lucasfilm, Ltd. from George Lucas for $4.05 billion.
  • 2014 Sept 12th: Limited opening of the movie "Atlas Shrugged, Part III" in U.S.A., based on the classic 1957 novel by Ayn Rand [1905-82].

  • 2015 Dec 18: Release of the seventh 'Star Wars' movie, "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens".
  • 2016 July: Production of commercial and at-home V.C.R. (video cassette recorder & player) devices ended (videocassette technology was launched in 1975).
  • 2017 April 19: Fox News Network’s biggest star Bill O’Reilly ('The No-Spine Zone') was fired over the multiple recent allegations of sexual harassment against him.


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