The history of film distribution in Nigeria
A man taking a shot for a movie.   Source: Steven Van via Unsplash

In the beginning, celluloid film cinema was the only formal medium for Nigerian filmmakers to make revenue. 

Cinema in Nigeria started during colonial times in the 1900s. Though mostly for foreigners rather than indigenous Nigerians. 

In 1903, Herbert Macaulay, a Nigerian nationalist and Lagos socialite, invited Mr Balboa of the Balboa film company of Spain to showcase his silent feature films at Glover Memorial Hall in Lagos Island. This is recorded as the first time a movie was screened to audiences in Nigeria. Silent film already gained full maturity in Europe in the 1900s, so European film exhibitors toured the world with their films; it was both a marketing effort and cultural export. 

But only certain foreign movies were screened in the cinemas, and cinema-goers consisted of foreigners and elites. This was because the British didn’t want their colonies to be exposed to information that could make them more sensitive

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Fisayo Okare

Fisayo Okare

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