Its very easy for most of us to forget just how revolutionary the advent of motion picture entertainment was at the dawn of the 20th century.

Long before techniques like 3-D, or THX stereo - or even color or sound at all - audiences were ducking bullets fired at the camera in George S. Porter's 1903 film The Great Train Robbery, and accusing special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien of using real dinosaurs to make The Lost World in 1925.

The opulence and grandeur of old-fashioned "movie palaces" made the experience of seeing any film into a major event, but the truth was people back then would gladly watch a movie projected on the side of a barn if they could -- because nobody was waiting for the DVD.

Here's film reviewer Chris Dashiell with a fond look back...


By the way, did you know that it was socially acceptable to talk in a theater during a silent movie? It's true...but texting was still seriously frowned upon.

Who is Chris Dashiell?

Film reviewer Chris Dashiell

Chris Dashiell has been writing about movies for seventeen years, serving as the editor of the online film lovers' guide Cinescene for ten of them. He currently reviews films for Flicks, a weekly program on Tucson's community radio station KXCI, and he confesses to shamelessly idolizing Carl Dreyer, Jean Renoir, and Luchino Visconti.