Praxinoscope theatre, French, 1879.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was a development of Emile Reynaud's (1844-1918) Praxinoscope and incorporated a panel cut in the shape of a proscenium arch. Only one figure reflected in the mirror drum could be seen through the aperture, which was covered with a piece of glas reflecting one of a range of printed scenes placed inside the lid. Thus the 'moving' figure appeared superimposed on an appropriate scene. Reynaud went on to patent his 'Theatre Optique' in 1888. This was a large-scale adaptation of his Praxinoscope. A band of sequential pictures painted on a flexible strip was reeled through projection apparatus and projected on a large screen.