Alberts Frères

history

The brothers Albert and Willy Mullens began working in the late 19th century as travelling cinema operators, initially under the name Koninklijk Cagliostro-Theater, but in 1901 they changed their name to Alberts Frères.

In their first few years, they did not distinguish themselves from their professional colleagues, but that changed around 1903, when they began providing an attractive and luxurious tent with good musical accompaniment, technically perfect projection, and consistently the latest and best movies. They were often the first to screen the latest Pathé Frères films, even before they were officially offered in the catalogues.

Thanks to their performances – in a cinema tent during the summer, and in association buildings and theatres during the winter – they were rightly hailed as 'les rois de bopscope'. Willy Mullens also achieved renown as an explicateur.

Alberts Frères gained great popularity with the 'talking cinema' (films with gramophone sound) and with their self-produced short films and documentaries. They shot most of these films between 1904 and 1907 in their own studio in Breda.

But their greatest fame and success came from the short films they shot on location, including Ah! Ah! Die Oscar, De mésaventure van een Fransch heertje zonder pantalon op het strand te Zandvoort, and De jacht op Frans Rosier.

Beginning in 1909, the Mullens brothers began focusing more and more on screening films in permanent locations. They screened films in e.g. Haarlem and The Hague, but in 1911 they parted ways.

Albert Mullens became the general manager of Amsterdam's Grand Théâtre, and still worked occasionally in film.

Willy Mullens remained active as a producer and exhibitor, in his own Residentie-Bioscoop in The Hague. He continued producing and exhibiting under the name Alberts Frères until 1918, and then founded a new company for the production of his films, called ’s-Gravenhaagsche Filmfabriek, which was renamed Haghe Film after several months. Willy Mullens' continued using the name Alberts Frères until the mid-1920s for the screenings in his own cinema and in the Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen in The Hague.

information

Date of erection: 
1899
Date of liquidation: 
1917

photos

filmography

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more information

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