Earliest science films as pop entertainment

In 1903, London's Alhambra Theatre introduced a new kind of opening act on its evening program of ballet, opera, and magic: Cheese Mites, a scientific film of the organisms as viewed through a microscope. New Scientist has a wonderful feature on the earliest science films, including video of some of these blockbusters. From New Scientist:
 Data Images Ns Cms Mg19826581.900 Mg19826581.900-1 250 "The popularity of early films had as much to do with their novelty as with their subjects," says (Tim Boon, curator of Films of Fact, a new exhibition at London's Science Museum.) "People shuddered at monsters and took mock fright at locomotives apparently hurtling towards them. When the cheese mites appeared on screen the audience was expected to recoil in terror." They did. After fear, there was awe. When The Frog, His Webbed Foot, And the Circulation of his Blood appeared on screen everyone marvelled at the blood "rushing through its artery like water in a millstream". Even the sight of protoplasm streaming around the cells of a piece of pondweed seemed magical. Then for an edge-of-the-seat thrill there was The Fresh Water Hydra, whose much magnified tentacles writhed towards the audience like snakes.
Link (Thanks, Will Knight!)