The history of Zhejiang movie in its real sense dated back to the movie shows by the foreigners in Zhejiang. At the end of Qing dynasty, some foreigners played films in Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou and started their movie shops to play western movies to the local people. Later, the Shanghai and Hangzhou merchants opened some teahouses and theaters to play movies.
In the early movie history of China, the Zhejiang natives occupied about one third of the celebrities in the movie industry, such as the well-known investors Zhang Shichuan, Zhang Yuanji and Shao Zuiwen, and the playwright Xia Yan.
In 1913, the Ningbo native Zhang Shichuan and the Cantonese Zheng Zhengqiu directed and screened the movie the Sorehead Couple, which was regarded as the start of the Chinese feature films. In 1922, Zhang Shichuan established the Movie Star Pictures and screened the first long feature film The Orphan Saves His Grandparents. In 1931, the company screened the first wax disc dubbed sound film Red Peony The Girl Singer that became the foundation work of the Chinese film art. Cooperated with the enlightened artists, Zhang Shichuan screened two excellent films of the anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism themes. During those 15 years, the company had screened over 200 films and trained a large quantity of the film professionals.
In 1917, the Haiyan native ZhangYuanji opened the functional film department in his Commercial Press. In the following 10 years, the department had screened 28 feature films. In 1925, the Ningbo native Shao Zuiwen opened the Tianyi Pictures Company together with his brothers Shao Tunren, Shao Renmei and Shao Yifu. The company had produced over 60 films during the following 12 years. In 1937 when the Anti-Japanese War broke out, the company moved to Hong Kong and renamed as the Nan Yang Film Industry Company and later the Shao's Company in 1950. All of these movie industrialists contributed positive efforts to the development of the early national film course.