Welcome to the “Silent Cinema in Quebec” website. Through the various resources offered by the site you will become familiar with both the beginnings of film production in Quebec and film screenings and movie theatres. You will also learn about the impact animated views had between 1896 and 1930 on a Quebec society in the midst of transformation.
The numerous texts and activities found on the “Silent Cinema in Quebec” site were prepared by a group of historians and specialists on cinema in Quebec. The resources on the site are also supported by a wide range of digitized documents from the collections of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Cinémathèque québécoise. A large number of articles from the press of the time, in addition to movie theatre advertisements, posters, postcards, photographs and portraits of stars document the emergence of cinema in Quebec. Additionally, educational activities developed in collaboration with teaching professionals provide secondary students with an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the social, political and cultural history of Quebec and the rest of Canada.
There are also “interactive tours” that will enable you to experience what it was like to go to the movies during the silent era. Films accompanied by lectures in the style of the time are projected at the end of the tours. As well, more than twenty films made in Quebec during the silent era are fully available on the site. The films were set to music by Gabriel Thibaudeau in order to recreate an experience as close to that of the first animated view spectators. Among the films online you will find examples of the main genres popular during the silent era: fiction films, documentaries, actualities, local views and tourist, industrial and propaganda films.
The “Silent Cinema in Quebec” website is the result of a partnership between GRAFICS (Groupe de recherche sur l’avènement et la formation des institutions cinématographique et scénique) at the Université de Montréal, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Cinémathèque québécoise. The project received invaluable support of the Bureau Recherche-Développement-Valorisation at the Université de Montréal. The “Silent Cinema in Quebec” website was made possible by a Partnerships Fund from the Canadian Culture Online program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Enjoy your visit!