This Day in Geek History: December 28
William Finley Semple is granted the first patent for chewing gum. (US No. 98,304)
The world’s first movie theater opens in the Salon Indien at the Grand Café in Paris, France. The theater makes use of a portable film camera and a functional projector, the Cinematographe, based on Edison’s experimental Kinetograph. Thirty-three people attend the first public showing, at the admission price of one franc each. The first film, La Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine Lumière, was created especially for the occasion. It shows workers leaving the Lumières’ factory in Lyon by foot, by bicycle, and by car. The theater is owned and operated by Louis and Auguste Lumières, who will refuse all offers to purchase copies of their equipment. View the film online at the Institut Lumière.
Toho Company Ltd. releases The Hidden Fortress, directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune and Misa Uehara to theaters in Japan. As with most of Kurosawa’s work, this film will be immensely influential on future film makers, including George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino. In it, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general. IMDB listing Running Time: 2 hrs 19 mins
According to Twin Galaxies, Roger Mangum scores a record-setting 2,326,350 points playing the Sega arcade game Zaxxon at the Outer Limits arcade in Durham, North Carolina. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
According to Twin Galaxies, Scott Hunter scores a record-setting 1,365,450 points playing the Taito arcade game Mr. Do! at the Game Power arcade in Arlington, Texas. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
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