Magic Lantern performances, although foreign to modern day audiences, were the most popular form of entertainment in America in the late 1800s, before there were movies. Using a gorgeous wood and brass antique lantern, the performers or “Showmen” would take their audiences on a journey unlike anything they had experienced before. Weaving tales of drama, mystery and comedy, these Showmen projected remarkably detailed hand-painted images on screens measuring as tall as two stories.
In the grandest of these traditions, you can now experience this unique entertainment in the only permanent magic lantern theater in the world. The Plain & Fancy Farm Theater, RT 340, east of Lancaster between Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse, is fortunate to actually own two magnificent rare lanterns dating back to the 1800s, known as triunials, for the three separate and distinct lenses from which special visual effects can be created.
The Magic Lantern season begins July 1 with the Patriotic Show, “This Is My Country,” which follows generations of one family from our Nation’s early beginnings through the 19th century.
The Holiday show “A Christmas Journey” begins November 25, and is a nostalgic, fun-filled show with the music and stories we all love, plus a few surprises.
The Magic Lantern Shows at Plain & Fancy are produced in cooperation with the American Magic Lantern Theater… “A Living National Treasure.” NPR.
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Read the article in Susquehanna Life.
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