STRANGE ADVENTURE OF NEW YORK DRUMMER (1899)
Article 4270 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Edwin S. Porter
What it is: Haunted Inn Melies imitation
A New York drummer finds himself in a strange room where people and furniture disappear and reappear.
The first strange thing I noticed is the lack of the word “a” in the title between “of” and “New”; it makes it sound like New York Drummer is the guy’s name, or that there’s only one drummer in New York. What’s less strange is that this is another variation on a standard Melies setpiece; it’s the haunted room where items and people appear and disappear magically. Still, despite being a retread, it does have a couple of novel moments, such as one where a visitor (the landlord or hotel manager, I guess) stuffs the guest in a trunk. This is a fairly standard entry in the early years of special effects cinema.