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Repeat Performance

June 15, 1986|Gerald Peary

Belgraders haven't forgotten that movies were shown here before they were seen in Moscow--or even in America.

Last weekend, Belgrade's Cinematheque and Film Institute celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first screening by repeating the original program shown in June, 1896, by representatives of the Lumiere Brothers of Paris.

Back then, the "actualities" were projected for 24 straight days at the Golden Cross restaurant, a Bohemian gathering place. They were quite a hit--even the Serbian king, Alexander Obrenovic, attended with his queen mother, Natalija.

In addition to Lumiere's short films (a baby eating breakfast, a train arriving at the station, workers leaving a factory, etc.), the Balkan Theater showed early Belgrade-set classics, including Yugoslavia's oldest preserved film, the 1904 "Crowning of King Peter I," and scenes from a semi-erotic silent comedy, "The Adventures of Dr. Gagid," concerning the amorous dreams of an amiable Belgrade drunkard.

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