Modern cinema is generally regarded as descending from the work of the French Lumière brothers in 1895, and their show first came to London in 1896. However, the first moving pictures developed on celluloid film were made in Hyde Park, London in 1889 by William Friese Greene, a British inventor, who patented the process in 1890. The film is the first known instance of a projected moving image.
The first people to build and run a working 35 mm camera in Britain were Robert W. Paul and Birt Acres. They made the first British film Incident at Clovelly Cottage in February 1895, shortly before falling out over the camera's patent. Soon several British film companies had opened to meet the demand for new films, such as Mitchell and Kenyon in Blackburn. From 1898 American producer Charles Urban expanded the London-based Warwick Trading Company to produce British films, mostly documentary and news. He later formed his own Charles Urban Trading Company, which also produced early colour films. There are many comparisons with the Danish History of film. The early films were often melodramatic in tone, and there was a distinct preference for storylines which were already known to the audience - in particular adaptations of Shakespeare plays and Dickens' novels.
In 1920 the short-lived company Minerva Films was founded in London by the actor Leslie Howard (also producer and director) and his friend and story editor Adrian Brunel. Some of their early films include four written by A.A.Milne including The Bump, starring Aubrey Smith ; Twice Two; Five Pound Reward; and Bookworms . Some of these films survive in the archives of the British Film Institute.