Home | Site map | Contact us

Home » Historical Background » A Chronology of Firsts in Alexandria

Alexandria, Why?


Togo Mizrahi translated his film Dr Farahat into Greek, and it was shown in Greece under the title Dr. Epaminondas

Bahiga Hafez and Serag Mounir in Zeinab

Cleopatra, the first historical film by the Lama Brothers

III. A Chronology of Firsts in Alexandria

1896 The screening of the Lumière Brothers’ film in Toussoun Bourse (the first projection of motion picture in Egypt).

1897 Inauguration of the Lumière Cinematographe  (the first cinema hall in Egypt).

1897 Eugene Promio shoots the first film in the Place des Consuls (the first camera to shoot motion film in Egypt).

1906 The first projection accompanied by gramophone Gaumont in the Aziz and Dorés cinema hall.

1907 Aziz Bandarli and Umberto Dorés establish a studio in Alexandria (the first studio in Egypt).

1907 The Visit of the Khedive Abbas Helmi II to the Scientific
Institute of Sidi el Morsi Abu el Abbas Mosque, shot by Alexandrian photographers Aziz and Dorés, is the first short documentary film shot by “Egyptians”.

1908 The first foreign newsreel projected in Egypt is screened in Cinema Pathé in Alexandria (Le Journal Pathé).

1912 El Cinema el Misreyah in Alexandria shows subtitles in Arabic for the first time in Egypt, on a separate screen, the invention of Leopoldo Fiorello.

1917 The first production company SITCIA founded in Alexandria by Aziz and Cornel and Italian investors, and supported by the Banco di Roma (the first cinema production company in Egypt).

1918: Mohamed Karim is the first Egyptian actor to appear in a film. The Honour of the Bedouin (Charaf el Badawî), filmed in the Hadra studio in Alexandria. It was between 30-45 minutes long.

1919 Cinégraphe Journal, published in Alexandria in French, is the first specialized magazine on the cinema (the first specialized publication on the cinema in Egypt).

1919 The first Egyptian actor to take a leading role is the Alexandrian Fawzi el Gazayerly in Madame Loretta.

1926 The first Cine Club, Mina Film, is founded by the Lama Brothers before they establish Condor Film.

1927 The establishment of the Chamber of Cinema Industry in Alexandria (the first in Egypt).

1928 The first jeune premier in Egyptian cinema, Badr Lama in A Kiss in the Desert (Qoublah fî-l-sahrâ’), in the sultry tradition of Valentino.

1929 Daughter of the Nile is directed by the Alexandrian Aziza Amir, the first female director in Egypt.

1930 Zeinab, the first film adapted from an Arabic literary work, is shown, starring the Alexandrian Bahiga Hafez, the first woman of Egyptian aristocratic birth to act in the cinema. It is also the first film to introduce romantic and melodramatic themes that have continued to influence Egyptian cinema to this day. Most of the early works, including Laila (1942), have laid the foundation of many plots and storylines in today’s cinema that are mere variations on the same old themes.

1932: Mohamed Bayoumi founded the first Egyptian cinema institute, the Egyptian Cinematographic Institute in Alexandria.

1932 Mustafa, or the Little Magician directed by Mahmoud Khalil Rashed, is the first Egyptian film to use special effects.

1937 The first Greek speaking films were made in Alexandria. Togo Mizrahi translated his film Dr Farahat into Greek, and it was shown in Greece under the title Dr. Epaminondas.

1942: Laila, directed by Togo Mizrahi, is the first adaptation from the French, La Dame aux Camelias. It is produced by the Alexandrian Aziza Amir, the first female producer.

1943 Cleopatra, the first historical film, by the Lama Brothers.