December 28, 1895: The Lumière Brothers stage the first paid-admission public exhibition of motion pictures, at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris.
January 1, 1900: French film pioneer Charles Pathé releases the historical re-enactment Episodes of the Transvaal War in Paris.
December 31, 1903: Capital Execution is the first feature from what will be a thriving Danish film industry, until its decline during World War I.
December 29, 1913: Chapter One of the first true serial, a continuous storyline told in sequential chapters, The Adventures of Kathlyn, is released.
January 2, 1932: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with Fredric March in the dual title roles, opens; March will go on to win a Best Actor Oscar, the first by a horror film star.
December 31, 1941: Following the lukewarm reception to her comedy Two-Faced Woman, Greta Garbo announces her retirement from acting.
December 31, 1947: Movie cowboy Roy Rogers marries his frequent co-star, Dale Evans. The couple would stay together over 40 years, until Rogers’ death in 1998.
January 1, 1951: 300 Chicago households take part in the first TV pay-per-view movie system. For $1, they can watch 1948’s April Showers, with Jack Carson.
December 30, 1953: Marlon Brando creates a new screen archetype-the leather-clad, motorcycle-riding delinquent-when he stars as The Wild One.
January 1, 1954: In his essay “A Certain Tendency in French Cinema” in Cahiers du Cinema, 21-year-old critic François Truffaut plants the seed for his “auteur theory.”
December 31, 1955: “Hello, my honey!” Singing/dancing amphibian Michigan J. Frog makes his debut in the Warner Bros. cartoon One Froggy Evening, by director Chuck Jones.
January 1, 1960: Actress Margaret Sullavan, 50, co-star of The Shop Around the Corner, is found dead of a barbiturate overdose in a New Haven, Connecticut hotel room.
January 2, 1963: Actor/director Dick Powell, whose roles ranged from musicals (42nd Street) to noir thrillers (Murder, My Sweet), dies at age 58.
January 2, 1974: Tex Ritter, beloved singing cowpoke star of dozens of “B” oaters from the ’30s and ’40s, dies of a heart attack in Nashville at age 68.
January 1, 1980: A long-established glass ceiling gives way when Sherry Lansing is made president of 20th Century-Fox, the first woman to head a major studio.
December 31, 1980: Raoul Walsh, whose directorial credits included High Sierra and White Heat, dies at 93.
December 28, 1984: Director Sam Peckinpah, master of action cinema violence (The Wild Bunch), dies of heart failure at 59.
December 28, 1999: Actor Clayton Moore, the definitive Lone Ranger to generations of westerns fans, rides into the sunset at 85.