Discover the journey from early moving images to pioneering film-making in two interactive galleries at Hove Museum.

Catch a Shadow tells the story of how film evolved from early photography and optical toys. It shows how the projection and performance of moving images through the magic lantern led to the invention of film.

Photo of Catching Shadow gallery at Hove Museum

The Pioneers gallery presents exhibits and stories about the Brighton School of film-makers such as Esme Collings, George Albert Smith, William Friese-Greene and James Williamson.

Film Gallery at Hove Museum

This gallery reveals the huge impact these pioneering local film-makers had on the international development of the moving image.

Some of the highlights on display in the galleries include:

  • A display of early optical toys including zoetropes and thaumotropes
  • A collection of magic lanterns, including biunial and toy lanterns
  • A light box of magic lantern slides
  • Early still cameras, cartes de visites, stereoscopes and mutoscopes
  • Local cinema ticket booths and seating
  • The Barnes Collection of cine cameras, printers and projectors including Darling Special Effects camera, 1900 and a Kinemacolor camera made by Moy and Bastie in 1910.
  • A series of screens showing films made by the Brighton School
  • A mini-cinema showing a magic lantern performance by Professor Heard, films by the Brighton School and a presentation of local amateur films from the Screen Archive South East collection.