Exhibition Charged


2/4/2022 - 2/20/2022 10:00-20:00 (until 18:00 on the final day; closed 7 Mon., 14 Mon.)

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum 3F Exhibition Gallery


A San Francisco Kinetoscope parlor, c. 1894–95.

“Kinetoscope” (replica), from the collection of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Invented in 1891 by American Thomas Edison and his assistant, William Dixon, this was one of the world’s first projection devices. Edison acquired a patent on the kinetoscope as part of a set that also included the kinetograph filming device, both of which were shown at the 1893 Chicago World Expo. The kinetoscope went on win popularity around the world, and it is said that most American towns soon had their own Kinetoscope Parlors. However, when the kinetoscope was replaced by the cinematograph, a screen projection machine developed by the Lumiere brothers, this inspired Edison to change directions and focus on the development of his own screen projector, the Vitascope. The fun of watching movies at theaters aside, the popularity of the kinetoscope, a box with a peep hole that one person at a time could look through to see the film inside – which inspired the nickname “peep show” – is somewhat compatible with the modern style of absorbing oneself in videos on YouTube and other movie platforms, using personal computers and smartphones.

This exhibition recreates the original experience of the kinetoscope, showing filmmaker Ishikawa Ryo‘s 35 mm film Seagull from 2018.

“Kinetoscope” (replica), restored by Spice Films (ISHIKAWA Ryo, MINAMI Shunsuke)