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Two Clowns 


'I yelled like a drunken cowboy – “we’ve got it – we’ve got it!” ' - Charles Urban remembering his first viewing of Kinemacolor

For the first time the world could be seen on the cinema screen in colour. Kinemacolor offered its amazed audiences realism and a colour that was claimed to be true to nature.



It was launched in 1908 and known as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. People flocked to see the new films ‘in all the colour and movement of life’

It was devised by George Albert Smith of Hove and Southwick and promoted by the entrepreneur and film producer Charles Urban. Kinemacolor films were promoted by The Natural Color Kinematograph Company. The films were shown exclusively in Kinemacolor cinemas across the country including the Academy Cinema, Brighton.

The process used a simplified version of the Frederick Marshall Lee and Edward Turner system. Kinemacolor reduced the number of filters within the colour filter wheel of the camera and the projector to two – red and green. Enough blue was recorded through the green filter to give an illusion of blue in the finished film.

Kinemacolor was the first commercially successful colour motion picture process. However, after a hard-fought court battle with William Friese-Greene, Hove resident and the inventor of Biocolour, Charles Urban lost the patent rights to the Kinemacolor system in 1915.       





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