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Walter Robert Booth

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Walter Robert Booth

Programme from the Granville Theatre, Ramsgate (August 1898)
BornJuly 12, 1869

Walter Robert Booth (July 12, 1869 - 1938) was a conjurer who turned film maker.


Booth was the son of a china painter. He apprenticed as a painter to the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory (1882) and worked there until 1890.

A keen amateur magician he joined the company of John Nevil Maskelyne and David Devant at the Egyptian Hall in London. Booth began devising and stage-managing (the then term for directing) short trick films beginning with The Miser's Doom and Upside Down; or, the Human Flies (1899) in which, by turning the camera upside down, he made his actors perform on the ceiling.

Many of his early films were based on conjuring tricks (Hindoo Jugglers, Chinese Magic, both 1900), and with The Devil in the Studio (1901) he began to introduce effects involving cartoon type artwork.[1][2][3]


  1. Who's Who of Victorian Cinema: A Worldwide Survey