June 21, 2012 at 2:57am
In a time before movies, DVDs, and Netflix, there were magic lantern shows. Far from instant streaming, magic lanterns combined projected images with live narration, audience participation, and music for a rollicking good time. This weekend, you can get in on the Victorian-era entertainment at the Washington State History Museum's Magic Lantern Show, Saturday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m.
The Magic Lantern Show is presented by American Magic-Lantern Show, the only touring company in the U.S. that does these kinds of shows. The presentation will be narrated by Terry Borton, who is impressively a fourth-generation lanternist. The lantern itself is much like a slide projector, but the one at WSHM on Saturday evening is from the 1890s.
The program includes a mixture of song and narration, with several hand-painted slides for each song. The audience is often welcome to join in, whether this means helping with sound effects or a sing-a-long.
Tickets are available at the museum the night of the show for $12.
If lantern shows particularly tickle your fancy, the show will happen in conjunction with the 15th International Magic Lantern Convention, held at the Tacoma Dome Best Western. The convention costs $20 per day for presentations and entertainment. For more information, click here.
Off duty rules.
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