Léon Gaumont, the father of cinema

In 2015, we celebrated the 120th anniversary of cinema, but let's look back at the story of the man without whom our movie theaters would not be what they are today. On May 10, 1864, Léon Gaumont, the man who changed the history of cinema, was born.

Brought up in Paris in a modest family, he was constantly looking to improve himself, to the point of taking evening classes when he had to work at age 16 to earn a living. A passionate and determined man, ambition was the driving force behind his decisions from a very young age.

At 31 years old, Léon Gaumont took over the Comptoir Générale de la Photographie. It was the year 1895 when the history of cinema was about to change.

Léon Gaumont
5 years later, Léon Gaumont manufactured projection equipment before starting to work on sound - the chronophone and color - the chronochrome. His fascination for Edison’s and the Lumière brother’s work led him to focus on technology. A man who adored images and sounds, he embodied a desire to push research and innovation further, his belief never wavered despite some setbacks. At the age of 17 in 1881, Léon Gaumont had already written “the image must be animated, with sound, color and relief”.
These inventions were inspired by his own pleasure, but also the pleasure of others.
A true pioneer in the movie industry, he knew how to create the cinematic world like no other!

To dive even deeper into the great history of cinema and understand just how important his inventions were, take a trip to the Gaumont Museum!
At the heart of this virtual museum, you’ll be able to travel through the history of cinema, discover famous film scores, look at very old tickets, or watch and rewatch film extracts to your heart’s content. Playful and instructive, you'll be able to immerse yourself completely into what Léon Gaumont has made possible.
Thank you, Léon Gaumont, for allowing us to laugh, cry and live through the movies.

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