This week in history: 12th April – 18th April

 

A black and white image of Barbara Streisand

Image via IMDB

Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand tie for Best Actress Oscar. At the 41st annual academy awards in 1969 were televised live for the first time worldwide, Ingrid Bergman proclaimed “It’s a tie!” upon opening the envelope for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The award went to both Katharine Hepburn, for her turn as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, and Barbra Streisand, for her debut performance in Funny Girl.

New sound process for films was announced this week in 1926. Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the American Telephone and Telegraph company (AT&T), and the Warner Brothers film studio officially introduce Vitaphone, a new process that will enable the addition of sound to film. Vitaphone debuted in August 1926 with the costume drama Don Juan, starring John Barrymore and featuring an orchestral score by the New York Philharmonic.

On April 12th 1914 the first movie ‘Palace’, (cinema) opened in New York City. Before 1914 movie makers would often showcase their creations behind storefronts, known as ‘nickelodeons’. This palace, known as ‘The Strand’ seated an impressive 3,000 people and featured a second storey viewing area. Another ‘first’ seen at The Strand was a two-storey rotunda where movie-goers would socialise before and after the presentation and during the intermission.

 

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