Muscatine Art Center Brings Nationally Renowned Victorian Christmas Magic Lantern Show to Town

Muscatine Art Center
Muscatine Art Center
The Muscatine Art Center is a permanent, municipal, non-profit institution. The Muscatine Art Center collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits objects of historical and aesthetic importance for the benefit of present and future generations. In addition, through the use of the permanent collection and special exhibitions, educational programs are provided for all ages that encourage and promote the advancement, understanding, enjoyment and diffusion of knowledge of the visual arts.

Muscatine Living

Travel back in time with the boisterous fun of America’s only Victorian magic lantern show. Come see an authentic 1890’s visual extravaganza projected on a full-sized screen, the kind of show that led to the movies! The show will feature Christmas stories like Scrooge, The Little Match Girl, and The Night Before Christmas, along with animated comedy and songs, all dramatized on screen by a live showman and singer with a piano accompaniment. The audience participates in the fun, creating sound effects, and joining in chants and sing-along carols. For twenty-five years, the American Magic Lantern Theater has delighted audiences from New York City to Singapore.

Hailed by National Public Radio as a, “living national treasure,” the American Magic Lantern Theater has entertained audiences of all ages. The Muscatine Art Center will bring the Connecticut-based company to the community as part of the humanities programs for the exhibition, “Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives.” Riis, a Danish immigrant, captivated audiences with stories, illustrated by photographs, of the slums in New York City and gave his first lantern slide lecture (a precursor to today’s digital presentations) featuring his photographs in 1888. Riis toured the United States delivering lectures to advocate for social change.

On November 22nd at 7:30 pm, the American Magic Lantern Theater Company will use magic lantern technology to present a free holiday show for the public at the Muscatine Performing Arts Center (Central Middle School Auditorium). The magic lantern show brims with holiday cheer appropriate for children ages six and up. Grants from the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and the Howe Foundation have made this show free to all. The Muscatine Art Center encourages everyone to attend!

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