October 1896: The first film is screened in Prague

The first ever film screening in Prague took place at the hotel U černého koně 125 years ago, on 18 October 1896. The projection was carried out by the optician and mechanic Adolf Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer screened only short films at that time. The first permanent Czech cinema was established 11 years later, when Dismas Šlambor, alias Viktor Ponrepo, opened one in the house U Modré štiky in Prague’s Karlova St. in September 1907. The Ponrepo cinema had 200 seats and resembled a family business. Moving pictures quickly gained popularity in the city. In 1911, there were nine cinemas in the center of Prague and another 13 in the suburbs. Three years later, there were already 39 cinemas in the city, with around 12,000 visitors on weekdays and up to 80,000 visitors on Sundays.