July 14, 1908: Edison Company actor D.W. Griffith makes his directing debut with The Adventures of Dollie, the first of over 500 works to come.
July 17, 1913: An old vaudeville gag is reborn on screen as Mabel Normand becomes the first to throw a pie into “Fatty” Arbuckle’s kisser, in A Noise from the Deep.
July 15, 1932: The Disney Studio releases the first cartoon using the three-color Technicolor process, a Silly Symphony called Flowers and Trees.
July 14, 1933: E.C. Segar’s comic strip creation Popeye the Sailor is set afloat in his first film appearance, in Max Fleischer’s cartoon short.
July 17, 1935: Variety, in a story about Midwestern audiences’ preference for sophisticated films, declares in a headline “Sticks Nix Hick Pix.”
July 14, 1937: After her memorable debut appearance in Warners’ They Won’t Forget, 17-year-old Lana Turner will earn the nickname “the sweater girl.”
July 17, 1955: Walt Disney’s long-dreamt-of theme park, Disneyland, “the happiest place on Earth,” opens in Anaheim, California.
July 19, 1961: TWA becomes the first airline to offer in-flight movies on a regular basis. First up, Lana Turner as an unfaithful wife in By Love Possessed.
July 18, 1963: “Total Filmmaker” Jerry Lewis releases what many will consider his masterpiece, The Nutty Professor, a comedic take on the Jekyll-and-Hyde story.
July 15, 1988: Bruce Willis shoots his way into the pantheon of Hollywood action heroes with the debut of Die Hard.
July 15, 1998: Cameron Diaz sports a unique hair-do in the year’s most unlikely hit, the “gross-out” comedy There’s Something About Mary.
July 16, 1999: Amid cries of “Is it real?,” the $60,000 pseudo-documentary The Blair Witch Project opens to packed houses and will become the top independent film of all time.