The first successful permanent theatre showing only films was "The Nickelodeon", which was opened in Pittsburgh in 1905. By then there were enough films several minutes long available to fill a programme running for at least half an hour, and which could be changed weekly when the local audience became bored with it. Other exhibitors in the United States quickly followed suit, and within a couple of years there were thousands of these nickelodeons in operation. The American experience led to a worldwide boom in the production and exhibition of films from 1906 onwards.
By 1907 purpose-built cinemas for motion pictures were being opened across the United States, Britain and France. The films were often shown with the accompaniment of music provided by a pianist, though there could be more musicians. There were also a very few larger cinemas in some of the biggest cities. Initially, the majority of films in the programmes were Pathé films, but this changed fairly quickly as the American companies cranked up production. The programme was made up of just a few films, and the show lasted around 30 minutes. The reel of film, of maximum length 1,000 feet (300 m), which usually contained one individual film, became the standard unit of film production and exhibition in this period. The programme was changed twice or more a week, but went up to five changes of programme a week after a couple of years. In general, cinemas were set up in the established entertainment districts of the cities. In 1907, Pathé began renting their films to cinemas through film exchanges rather than selling the films outright.