De petroleumbrand te Vlissingen : een overzicht van de ruïne
News item for the Pathé newsreel.
In 1917, a devastating fire led to several oil tanks exploding in Vlissingen. The disaster was filmed by Pathé-Courant for the Netherland’s first newsreel. It was shot by H.J.W. van Luijnen, who since 1913 had been the regular cameraman for the Dutch branch of Pathé Frères. In a shot of less than one minute, we see a medium shot of a burning oil tank. A barely recognizable man walks by the tank with a shovel. The entire image has been tinted red.
In 1908, the French company Pathé Frères was the first to release a complete newsreel, and their Pathé Journal was soon copied: Gaumont, Eclipse, and Eclair all soon started producing their own newsreels, which would be screened in cinemas. When Pathé opened a movie theatre in Amsterdam in 1911, the Dutch public was also introduced to newsreels, which then consisted largely of foreign news, occasionally supplemented by a Dutch news item. Before that, news items had occasionally been seen in screenings organized by the companies Nöggerath and Alberts Frères.