On this day … 19 December 1903

The Preston Guardian carried an article on the rising popularity of ‘moving pictures’ in Preston.

The North West Film Archive includes several early films featuring Preston. A compilation from around 1902 gives a flavour of what was being shown in the town at that date:

Newsreel compilation featuring several different items. A group of civic dignitaries proclaims the start of the 1902 Preston Guild, and there is footage from the Trade and Civic processions. Two hot-air balloons are seen in Moor Park with one ascending (flown by Percival Spencer), and the film ends with the Countess of Derby at the opening of the Preston Infirmary.

This film, and more than thirty more featuring Preston, including a film of a Preston football match from about 1900, can be found here: https://www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk/default_twocolumn.php?skip=0&Global=preston&dates=&category=&ContentCounty=&Abroad=&Professional=&ProfCategories=&AmCategories=&AllPodCategories=&AvailableOnline=Yes

Preston’s own film maker, Will Onda, started work in the town slightly later. Emma Heslewood’s ‘The World of Will Onda’ website provides splendid coverage of his life and work (the image above, with Will Onda in the centre, is taken from her site): https://emmaheslewood.wordpress.com/

And for an encyclopaedic guide to the history of Preston’s theatres, go to this excellent musical hall and theatre website: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/PrestonTheatres.htm

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