Promio, Lumière operator

Panorama du Grand Canal vu d’un Bateau
K: Alexandre Promio. P: Auguste & Louis Lumière. Fr 1896

Vues d’Alger
K: Alexandre Promio. P: Auguste & Louis Lumière. Fr 1896

Le Saint-Sépulcre (and more; >>> 15 min. 22 sec.)
K: Alexandre Promio. P: Auguste & Louis Lumière. Fr 1897

Promio, from a Lyon family of Italian descent, was assistant to a Lyon optician named Boulade when he (supposedly) witnessed the first presentation of the Cinématographe at Lyon on June 1895. The new phenomenon greatly excited him and on 1 March 1896 he left his job and was taken on by the Lumière firm, by then seeking to expand its business worldwide. With M. Perrigot he became responsible for the training of the Cinématographe operators who were to exhibit the machine the world over. Promio was not to spend overmuch time in Lyon, however, as he himself was to become one of the most widely-travelled of the Lumière team over the next two years. First journeying to Spain in April 1896, he introduced moving pictures to that country on 13 May at a private screening organised for the French ambassador and other dignitaries at the Hotel Rusia, 36 Carrera de San Jeronimo, Madrid, followed by a public screening at the same location on 15 May. He further exhibited in Spain, photographing local scenes and thus swelling the Lumière catalogue as he was to do throughout his journeys. Following a private screening for the Queen of Spain on 12 June in Madrid, Promio is next recorded in Russia on 7 July when he gave a film demonstration for Tsar Nikolas II and the Tsarina in St Petersburg. At this same period he also seems to have visited England, Italy, Germany and Hungary. He was a member of the Lumière team that set out to conquer the United States, arriving early September 1896 and filming several scenes along the East Coast, in answer for a demand for American Lumière scenes. He left on 25 September (the negatives were developed in France), then moved on to Italy when he probably took the famous travelling shot from a Venice gondola, since claimed as the first time that anyone had moved the camera.”
Luke McKernan
Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema

>>> 1897: Cars and Camels

>>> Gabriel Veyre, Lumière operator