- January - In Britain, Birt Acres and Robert W. Paul developed their own film projector, the Theatrograph (later known as the Animatograph).
- January - In the United States, a projector called the Vitascope was designed by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Armat began working with Thomas Edison to manufacture the Vitascope, which projected motion pictures.
- Pathé Frères film company founded
- April - Thomas Edison and Thomas Armat's Vitascope is used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City
- May 14 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia crowned in Moscow, in the first coronation ever recorded in film.
- French magician and filmmaker Georges Méliès begins experimenting with the new motion picture technology, developing early special effects techniques, including stop-motion photography.
- William Selig founded the Selig Polyscope Company in Chicago.
- Demeny-Gaumont works on a 60 mm format, first known as Biographe (unperforated), then Chronophotographe (perforated).
- Casimir Sivan and E. Dalphin create a 38 mm format.
Films released in 1896Edit
- Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat
- Arrivée d'un train gare de Vincennes
- Awakening of Rip
- Baignade en mer
- La Fée aux Choux
- The Horse Trough
- The Kiss
- Le Manoir du diable
- Rip Van Winkle (series)
- The Vanishing Lady
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