Skladanowskys Bioskop

The jewel of the technology collection is the Bioscope projector, a permanent loan from the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, which Max Skladanowsky used when he first showed his films on 1 November 1895 at the Wintergarten in Berlin - this was the first public film screening in Europe. The Bioscope is on display in the museum foyer.

The Bioscope, finale of the new variety show at Berlin Wintergarten that started on 1 November 1895, was announced grandly at that time: "The most interesting invention of modern times". Constructed by Max Skladanowsky, the Bioscope was a projector for the "representation of living photographs". The Bioscope shows are considered to be the first public film screenings in Germany.
The technical procedure was quite complex: Skladanowsky recorded up to 48 individual frames on a 1.5-m roll film without perforation. The distance from frame to frame varied due to the missing perforation. The frequency was 8 frames per second, which is inadequate for the projection of "moving images". For this reason, Skladanowsky cut up the developed negative roll and put the images 1, 3, 5, etc. in one row and the images 2, 4, 6, etc. in a second row. During this process, he also adjusted the distances between the images. Then, he copied the rows onto film. This positive roll was subsequently cut into strips that Skladanowsky fixed to bands using metal eyelets. These bands were perforated and the holes were also reinforced with metal eyelets. Afterwards, Skladanowsky stapled the two bands - the one with the even and the one with the uneven frame numbers - together, creating two rings.
These ring films could now be projected with the Bioscope. The intermittent shuttle mechanism was a worm wheel mechanism, for which Skladanowsky received a patent on 1 November 1895. While one image was projected from the first image strip, a shutter covered the second lens, and the second image strip was advanced by one frame. This made a change of frames possible that was fast enough to be perceived as movement when projected.
In terms of technology and image quality, Skladanowsky’s equipment and screenings were already behind the times. Skladanowsky needed two filmstrips, which, in comparison to the usual system with just one filmstrip (as successfully used by the Lumiéres), meant significantly more technical effort and disadvantages.
The Bioscope was the central exhibit of Land Brandenburg at the EXPO 2000.