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Almost hidden at the top of Stanhope Road in Deal, the site of a disused care home at Number 41 is now home to the 3 storey high Kent Museum Of The Moving Image dedicated to the history of the cinema.
The Kent MOMI (Kent Museum Of The Moving Image) in Deal Town Centre is the concept of retired husband and wife team, David Francis and Joss Marsh and holds their vast collection of publicity materials, merchandise and equipment relating to the early film industry and pre-cinema.
What is at the Kent Museum Of The Moving Image?
The downstairs of the museum focuses on pre-cinema material. David Francis, ex-curator of the National Film Archive started collecting artefacts relating to pre-cinema when the archive rejected them from their main collection due to the widely held belief that cinema and film started in 1895.
This is a belief that David has always opposed. He says that he always saw an important relationship between the early Moving Picture devices such as Magic Lanterns and Optical Toys to the birth of cinema.
This Deal museum aims to show that you'll only truly understand the timeline of Cinema when you consider it in the longer history of entertainment.
Founder Joss Marsh is the ex-Associate Professor of Victorian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and comes from a family full of film-makers! Her father Terrance Marsh won Academy Awards for his Production Design on Dr Zhivago (Lean, 1965) and Oliver! (Reed, 1968) and subsequently worked on The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont 1994) and The Green Mile (Darabont 1999).
35,000 Years To Catch A Shadow
Joss' favourite exhibition at the Kent Museum Of The Moving Image is one called 35,000 Years To Catch A Shadow. It focuses on the relationship between light, shadow and the birth of cinema.
Many believe that humans started creating art by noticing the patterns made from our own shadows in firelight inspiring cave paintings and early drawings.
Latterly, Shadow Theatre emerged in Asia, Turkey and Greece using hand puppets which you can see in the Kent Museum Of The Moving Image. The exhibition also showcases Silhouettes and how shadows were used for entertainment in the 19th Century, featuring Magic Lanterns and Shadowography books.
The exhibition then extends to the birth of Photography; how it was used to challenge time, ensure identity and record mortality.
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