September 1, 1902
A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) is considered to be the first science fiction motion picture. It also is incredibly iconic and influential, with references in popular culture even to this day.
The plot centers around a group of astronomers who make their voyage to the moon in a capsule fired by a cannon, encountering a group of inhabitants of the moon, and abducting one to bring back to Earth.
Director Georges Méliès intended to release the film in America as well as his native France. However, the Edison Manufacturing Company was able to obtain a copy of the film and reproduce it, thereby shutting Méliès out of his American profits. Companies in Europe were following suit as well, and Méliès was left broke.