Welcome to the Magic Lantern Society

Formed in 1977 the Magic Lantern Society today enjoys a world-wide membership whose interests cover all forms of visual media and optical diversions right up into the 21st century and these interests are reflected in the Society's activities.

Our members are collectors, enthusiasts, students of film, visual media and popular culture, magicians, artists, performers, scientists and archival organisations from over 30 different countries.

More about us Join now

A party at Mr Lorraine's, Langside Hall


The only way to really appreciate the magic is to join the show at our quarterly meetings and world class international conventions.

All events

Publication cover


Purchase copies of our latest publications, browse our digitised journal issues and explore our full back catalogue.

Browse/Buy now

Optical media

Lantern History

An introduction to the world of the lantern from its origins to today with illustrations of lanterns, slides and accessories.

Delve right in

Book cover

Active Lanternists

Interested in putting on a lantern show but lack the equipment or expertise?

Browse our list of member lanternists to find a lanternist in your area

Find a lanternist

Did you know...?

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the Mervyn Heard and Dick Balzer awards.

Mervyn Heard Award

The inaugural Mervyn Heard Award for research goes to Yana Agafonova for her proposal on public readings with magic lanterns in late Imperial Russia.

Dick Balzer Award

The first ever Dick Balzer Award for artwork or performance goes to Oona Libens for her performance Soma (2019).

Full details published in The Magic Lantern, no. 21 December 2019.