• Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon (La Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon

The first film screenings – cinema emerges as both technological attraction and a form of capturing documental reality. Lumière brothers organize the first public film screening on December 28 in Paris. 

1896 May 28
  • On May 31, 1896, the daily “Baltijas Vēstnesis” (Baltic Herald) advertises cinematographic show in Riga: “Live Photographs 

First cinema screenings in Riga. 

1901 June – September

First film footage shot in Riga – during the Industrial and Handicrafts Exhibition dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the city. 

1902 September 1

Frenchman Georges Méliès’ best-known fantasy film A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune). 

1903 December 1

The thriller is born! The film The Great Train Robbery is made in the USA (driected by Edwin S. Porter). 


Tsar Nicholas II’s visit to Riga is filmed. This material has been preserved to this day. 

1915 1916 February 8 September 5
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) 

A contemporary film-language triumph: D.W. Griffith’s films, The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance

20th c. 1920s
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 

Horror on screen – the era of German Expressionism. Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari), F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens).  

1920 November 9

The premiere of independent Latvia’s first feature film Off to War (“Es karā aiziedams”).  

1921 January 21
  • Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid 

Charlie Chaplin embodying The Tramp  appears in a feature for the first time, in the film The Kid

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