Bury St Edmunds Pageant

  • Theme - Events
  • Year - 1907
  • Location - Bury St Edmunds
  • Filmmaker - Ronald James Bates


This 1907 film was re-edited with additional titles in 1951. The film was shot in the grounds of the Abbey in Bury St. Edmunds and features people in costume acting out sequences from the history of Bury St. Edmunds and the surrounding region.

The clip here is from Episode VII of the film and features the visit of Queen Elizabeth I, when she made a progress to the region in 1578. The large cast parade past the camera as a finale.

On the evening of September 7th 1907, the entire film - which ran for nearly 30 minutes - was shown to audiences in Newmarket Town Hall, set up as a temporary bioscope ‘cinema’. The Hall was overcrowded with people keen to witness this new ‘invention’ and the projector knocked over, starting a fire which was to claim 3 lives and injure many more.
As a result of this fire and other similar tragedies, the Cinematograph Act of 1909 was passed, which laid down safety standards.


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