Charles-Émile Reynaud created the Praxinoscope, a successor of the zoetrope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888, and on 28 October 1892 he projected the first animated film in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This film is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used.

A great virtual recreation of the praxinoscope on YouTube.

The word praxinoscope translates roughly as "action viewer", from the Greek roots πραξι- (confer πρᾶξις "action") and scop- (confer σκοπός "watcher").

Ryanaud died in a hospice on the banks of the Seine where he had been cared for since 29 March 1917. His late years were tragic from 1910 when, crushed by the new Cinematograph, dejected and penniless, he threw the greater part of his irreplaceable work and unique equipment into the Seine as the public had deserted his "Théatre Optique" shows which had been a celebrated attraction at the Musée Grevin between 1892 and 1900.

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