722 E. Market St. Marietta, Pennsylvania 17547
During the 19th century, Magic Lanterns were the most popular form of entertainment in America. A Magic Lantern holds a hand painted glass lens that is projected onto a screen. Usually the paintings are of widely recognized stories. The "Showman", who operates the lantern would also tell the story and interact with the audience. The first lanterns were lit with candles. Then, limelight became popular. Limelight is created when limestone is heated in burning gas until it becomes incandescent. In the early 20th century, lanterns were switched to electricity. The showman traveled the country with their magic lanterns and as many as 30,000 showman performed 75,000 shows across the country in the year 1895.
At Plain and Fancy Theater, located on Route 340 at Plain and Fancy Farm in Bird in Hand, PA, a three tiered restored 1890 Magic Lantern can be found. For the first time in over 130 years, America has a permanent theater offering Magic Lantern Shows. Now through New Year's Eve, A Christmas Journey-A Victorian Christmas show will be playing. The show includes the tale of the Christmas Carol, carol singing and the telling of the Night Before Christmas. In 2016, there will be a Bible Stories show and Patriotic show. For more information and tickets, check with the Plain and Fancy Farm Amish Experience @ http://amishexperience.com/magic-lantern-shows/.