American Magic-Lantern Theater

American Magic-Lantern Theater

"An incredible experience . . . If they come to your town, don't miss them. They're a living national treasure." —National Public Radio

Inspired by the Hammer exhibition The Darker Side of Light, the American Magic-Lantern Theater performs a Victorian era Magic-Lantern show, replete with flying ghosts, macabre goblins, and a petrifying rendition of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. Using original glass slides and a spectacular antique Magic-Lantern, the AMLT re-creates this popular 1890’s combination of projected color images, dramatic storytelling, live music, hilarious comedy, and frightening special effects.

Alongside The American Magic Lantern Theatre's performance the museum will present a special one-evening exhibition of rare magic lanterns, slides and related paraphernalia from the collection of UCLA Design | Media Arts Professor Erkki Huhtamo. Professor Huhtamo's personal collection is one of the most extensive in the United States, and contains many rare items related to the history of visual media and optical projections. The exhibition will feature representative examples of magic lantern projectors both from Europe and the United States, a selection of slides, including a unique set of early nineteenth-century mechanical Phantasmagoria ghost projection slides, accessories such as illuminants, engravings depicting lantern shows and lanternists, broadsides, tickets, and more! Most of the items are shown publicly for the first time.

In conjunction with The Darker Side of Light.


Location: Billy Wilder Theater
Ticketing: Tickets are required and available at the Box Office one hour before the program. General admission tickets are available one per person on a first come, first served basis following member ticketing. Early arrival is recommended.
Member Benefit: Members receive priority ticketing (until 15 minutes before the program) by skipping the general admission line and can choose their seats, subject to availability.
Parking: Under the museum, $6 flat rate after 6 p.m. Cash only. 

Food and drink may not be carried into the Billy Wilder Theater. Read our food, bag check, and photo policies.

Public programs are made possible, in part, by a major gift from Ann and Jerry Moss.

Additional support is provided by Bronya and Andrew Galef, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, an anonymous donor, and the Hammer Programs Committee.