Centro de la Fotografía y la Imagen Histórica de Guadalajara

The Spectacle Begins!

The information contained in the few lines of these newspaper clips (La Crónica, 10 and 17 November of 1897 and 20 April of 1898 and Flores y Abejas 14 November 1897 and 9 October 1898) is for the moment practically all the information available about the first cinema shows in our province. However, this is enough to date these sessions and to give the honour to the businessman Antonio de la Rosa y Villatoro (who introduced the cinema in other peninsular enclaves) of being the promoter of animated pictures in Guadalajara, where, in the time of the first session, lived around 11,000 habitants and whose mayor was the conservative Manuel María Valles. Regarding the mind-reader, member (as the conjurer) of the same travelling company, this kind of professionals proliferated immensely in the last decades of 19th century and the first of 20th century, when people showed a great interest in hypnotism and spiritualism (for instance, in October 1897, Professor Herman left the Casino and La Peña public open-mouthed with his hypnotism and fortune-telling experiments).