Le chronophotographe de W. D. Slade (janvier 1897)

William David Slade, marchand de chaussures à Cheltenham, qui s'intéresse depuis plusieurs années aux projections lumineuses, fait l'acquisition d'un chronophotographe Demenÿ, à la fin de l'année 1896, avec lequel il va organiser des séances de photographies animées. À Bristol, c'est dans le Y.M.C.A. Hall que les séances de projections animées ont lieu en janvier 1897 :

Great interest is manifested in the animated photographs exhibited at the Y.M.C.A. Hall this week. Mr. W. D. Slade, the proprietor, has kindly invited the deaf and dumb children, Clifton Wood Industrial School, Bristol Workhouse children, and the boys from the Kingswood Reformatory to his afternoon exhibition on Saturday, when some new films and other views are to be shown.

Western Daily Press, Friday 22 January 1897, 5.

Rien de plus sur ces séances destinées à un public jeune et, pour certains élèves, en difficulté.

Les Animated Photos de David Devant (décembre 1897-janvier 1898)

Depuis le mois d'août 1896, David Devant, le célèbre magicien, a organisé une entreprise afin de distribuer et présenter des films en Grande-Bretagne. Il peut compter, à partir du milieu de l'année 1897 sur plusieurs collaborateurs dont son propre frère, Ernest Wighton. À Bristol, même si le nom de Devant apparaît, c'est plutôt l'une de ses trois équipes qui tournent en Grande-Bretagne, qui est responsable du fonctionnement des soirées des 27, 29, 31 décembre 1897 et 1er janvier 1898, données aux Victoria Rooms :

MOVING PICTURES.—The .animated photographs, produced at the Egyptian Hall, by the well-known entertainers, Markelyne and Cooke, will pay a visit to the Victoria Rooms next week, and the exhibition will be given nightly during the week, and afternoon performances on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. These pictures are reputed to be the finest in the country, being life-size, and many of them in colours. A beautiful spectacular illusion, the Rainbow Sylph, in which Miss Mabel Grey and a profusion of limelight combine, it is mentioned, to dazzle and captivate the audience, will form part of the programme, which will be interoperated with modern magic illusions, by Mr Walter R. Booth.

Western Daily Press, Bristol, Thursday 23 December 1897, 5.

Grâce à un compte rendu publié à l'issue de la première représentation, nous connaissons un peu mieux le déroulement de la soirée :

Those who were present last night at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton, were delighted with one of the most pleasing entertainments that has been presented in the city. The chief feature was an exhibition of Mr David Devant’s Animated Photos from Malkelyne and Cooke’s Egyptian Hall, London. Forty clever productions were shown, and some of them aroused the audience to enthusiasm. Among the most popular were a capital snowballing scene, a spirited charge of cavalry, the American express, a comic costume race, a lesson in boxing, and a funny fight in tube. The grotesque and weird were manifested in the Haunted Castle, quite a drama in two minutes. It would be only to mention the entire collection if we referred to graphic representations which are the result of the utmost skill. At one period of the entertainment Mr. Walter R. Booth appeared end astonished and amused by reason of his lightning cartoons and mirth-provoking imitations of persons at a village reading. Subsequently he exemplified his ability as a conjuror, and introduced a ventriloquial sketch, which provoked great laughter. No portion of the entertainment proved more effective than a beautiful spectacular illusion, “The Rainbow Sylph,” Miss Mabel Grey delighting the spectators with results obtained by skirt dancing, in which the lime-light played a prominent part. The varied programme provided was brought to a termination with a series of animated photos illustrating the Queen’s Jubilee Procession, that won repeated bursts of applause. The charming entertainment will be repeated each day during the week, there being two performances on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Western Daily Press, Bristol, Tuesday 28 December 1897, 3.

Parmi les 40 vues présentées - c'est d'ailleurs le chiffre habituel pour les équipes de David Devant, nous retrouvons des vues Paul, Lumière et Méliès.  L'équipe présente à Bristol a déjà circulé en Grande-Bretagne : Mabel Grey, l'artiste et Walter R. Booth, le prestidigitateur magicien.