The French film company established an office
at 31-33 Charing Cross Road, Westminster, WC in 1902 for distribution of
their films to the UK as Pathe-Freres. They had additional offices at 103-109
Wardour Street, Westminster WC.
In 1907, they advertised as suppliers with
this list: Kinematograph Film Makers, Maker and Seller of Projectors, Manufacturer
of Arc Lamps, Film Boxes, Carbons, Coloured Films, Effects Machines, Lanterns,
Operating Boxes, Poster Frames, Projectors, Resistances, Rheostats, Spools,
Bioscope Stands, Switchboards.
They set up production in 1910 with Pathe's
Animated Gazette newsreel and established a studio at Great Portland Street
with films produced under the name of Britannia Films. They also released
films through Union
Film Publishing Company under the name of Big Ben Films.
1911, they were listed as distributors for Comika, American, AK, Britannia,
Big Ben, and Pathe. NOTICE: the poster on the left which is a Quad Crown
of the film Babes
in the Woods measuring 30x40 was issued by Pathe-Freres in 1911.
By 1912, they had added Nizza, Thalie, Modern
Pictures, Iberico, Artistic Series, Film D'Arte Italiana, Literaria, Tanagra,
Russian, Imperium, Oriental, Swedish Biograph, Phoenix, Meteo.
In 1913, offices were moved to 51 Rupert
Street, Westminster WC.
All production stopped during WWI except
the newsreel, which flourished.
In 1918, Pathe Pictorial was launched with
Eve's Film Review a few years later. Pathe's distribution was very strong
all during the 1920's.
In 1927, Pathe merged with First National
and Provincial Cinema Theatres under John Maxwell to form First National-Pathe.
They handled production, distribution and exhibition.
In 1931, Warner Brothers took over to change
the name to Warner Brothers-First National. Pathe was separated and absorbed
by Maxwell's ABPC group. In 1933, the name Pathe emerged again as Pathe
Pictures, distributing films made at the Welwyn Studios. The newsreel also
continued to flourish through the 1930s and into the 1940s as Pathetone
In 1946, the newsreel had a name change
to Pathe News and ABPC changed their name to Associated
British-Pathe. NOTICE: on the right is an advert placed in the 1949 Film
In 1958, Warner Bros absorbed Associated
British-Pathe to form Warner-Pathe as a distribution company. Warner-Pathe
handled the distribution in the UK for ABPC, Allied Artist, Pathe News,
Pathe Pictorial and Warner Bros.
The film library of Pathe and Associated
British was sold to EMI in 1969. Pathe Pictorial ceased production in 1969
and Pathe News in 1970. The newsreels were then absorbed by Thorn-EMI and
then later sold to Cannon and then Weintraub.
1995, a new company was formed buying the Pathe and Associated British film
library and was named British-Pathe.
NOTICE: the difference in the logo. The
rooster (which they call a Crowing Cockerel) is white.... NOT the traditional
Red Rooster that is known for Pathe. The wreath has 4 emblems of the four
countries of Great Britain - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
There are 2 additional oddities for the
logo. This logo is CLAIMED to be the one initially set up by Charles Pathe
when he established his office in London... Now notice the difference in
the one we have at the top of the page... Look down to the poster from 1911
that was issued by Pathe-Freres and you will see the logo at the top of
the page. THAT is the logo that was used initially.
The second oddity deals with the films released.
When sound was added, Pathe films immediately added the sound of their rooster
crowing (which is why they call it the CROWING Cockerel). The SOUND of the
Crowing Cockerel is copyrighted and can NOT be used by British Pathe film.
You'll see their rooster...... quiet.