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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Magic Lantern Lost History (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

viktorbc
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Virgil's Folly was the last great Magic Lantern Show. Shown in Germany in 1905. The theater burned down that same night in Berlin and over 600 people lost their lives. This research is something I have been working on for a long time. More info is coming soon.


The Magic Lantern phenomena is little studied. Most scholars focusing on cinema and more conventional theater. The artist in this case combined elements of the Magic Lantern projector, the peppers ghost effect and other special effects of the time period.
VINCE WILSON

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BizarreRich
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What a great tale, with so much potential. Can't wait to hear more about this Viktorbc.
viktorbc
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Lots more coming!
VINCE WILSON

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abrell
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In Berlin, Germany luckily there was no fire catastrophy in a theatre costing more than 600 lives. Maybe some information has been mixed? I here add a list of fire catastrophies in theatres with the amount of casualties (as far as I know them):

1670 dead (supposed exaggerated) Guangzhou 1805
605 dead Chicago Iroquis Theatre 30th Dec 1903
400 dead Cinema Rex Abadan 19th Aug 1978
384 dead Ringtheater Vienna 18th Dec 1881
325 dead Friendship Theatre Karamay 8th Dec 1994
283 dead Cornway’s Theater, Brooklyn New York 5th Dec 1876
230 dead Amalienborg Opera Copenhagen 19th Apr 1689
200 dead Opera de Nice 23th Mar 1881
180 dead Theatre Royal Exeter 1887
131 dead opera Comique Paris 25th may 1887
78 dead Laurier Palace Theatre Montreal 9th Jan 1927
72 dead Richmond Theatre Virginia 26th Dec 1812
71 dead Glen Cinema Paisley 31 Dec 1929
65 dead Karlsruhe Hoftheater 28th Dec 1847
59 dead Uphaar Cinema Delhi 13th Jun 1997
46 dead Beni Suef Cultural Palace 5th Sep 2005
43 dead Teatro degli Aquidotte Livorno 7th June 1857
20 dead Covent Garden Theatre London 20th Sep 1808
18 dead Schouwburg Amsterdam 11th May 1772
11 dead Petrovsky Theatre Moscow 26th Mar 1853
? dead Salle du Palais-Royal Paris 8th Jun 1781
9 dead Kil's Colosseum Munich 18th Feb 1881
8 dead Stadttheater Cologne 16th Feb 1869
7 dead Schauspielhaus Koenigsberg 1st Jul 1808
6 dead Theatre Royal Edinburgh 13th Jan 1865
4 dead Théâtre Royal Italien Paris 15th Jan 1838
3 dead Stadttheater Barmen 25th Nov 1875
3 dead Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels 21th Jan 1855
3 dead Théâtre de la Gaité Paris 21th Feb 1835
3 dead Theatre Stockholm 21th Feb 1835
2 dead Theatre Kasan 16th Dec 1874
2 dead Odéon-Théâtre Paris 18th Mar 1799
2 dead Théâtre de Belleville Paris 11th Dec 1867
2 dead Kaertnertortheater Wien 3th Nov 1761
2 dead Teatro Comunale Sinigaglia 8th Aug 1838
1 dead Grand Théâtre Lyon 3th Nov 1875
1 dead Salle Le Peletier Paris 29th Oct 1873
1 dead Stadttheater Cologne 22th Jul 1859
1 dead Vaudeville Théâtre Cologne 15th Mar 1849
1 dead Theatre Avignon 25th Jan 1846
1 dead Théâtre Le Havre 29th Apr 1843
1 dead Théâtre Mons 28th Feb 1839
1 dead Theatre Brandenburg 24th Mar 1824
1 dead Königliches Nationaltheater Berlin 29th Jul 1817

Luckily fire regulations and improvements in construction effectively prevent such accidents today. After the 1881 fire in Viennas Ringtheater the fire regulations convcerning theatres in Austria, Germany and Switzerland were improved immediately.
viktorbc
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Image


I apologize in advance for the poor translation:
"At the end of the nineteenth century, the Magic Lantern was quickly fading away into novelty status. Motion pictures were rising in popularity and there was no going back to still images projected onto curtains anymore.

"Perhaps, like the Hindenburg disaster more than three decades later, tragedy in Berlin contributed to the fall of the Magic Lantern's popularity. Seemingly forgotten, in part due to political uphevel at the time, a theater fire in 1905 Berlin resulted from a Magic Lantern show. Legend has it that the producer of the show had made a deal with the Devil to claim the lives of 666 souls. More than 660 men, women and children died on October 13, 1905. The Nibelungen Opera House was destroyed as result of faulty pyrotechnics. At least, that is the official account.

"Records [detailed] of the event seem be lost as a consequence of the 1944 bombings of Berlin at the end of the second World War."

This is a photocopy sent to me from a colleague in Milan from a news story printed in May 1955.
VINCE WILSON

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gothicmagic
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We also are not writing History books,
we are entertainers and as that there may in all of our tales be an item called suspension of disbelief, I don't remember them running out at the beginning of les Miserables reminding people they were not actually being transported to the French revolution, if they dance to the dirge being played so be it
Vlad ^0^
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Slim King
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I like it.... Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
abrell
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Dear Mr Wilson,
thank you very much. It is an interesting story and it DEFINITELY is FICTION. Any major accident in theatres in Europe is known very well. Such news spread all over and cannot be lost. For using it today it maybe makes sense to transfer it to the middle or end of the 19th century. Due to candles, gaslighting and missing regulations fires in theatres were quite common.

The fictious name of the theatre is great too. A theatre building named "Oper der Nibelungen" is completely unknown in German history. But it makes sense for the storyline. The medieval tale Nibelungenlied tells the story of the Nibelungs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibelung They all die at a massacre at the court of Etzel (= Attila the Hun). They fight to the end and because they do not want to surrender the banquet hall is burned by the Huns. They die in the burning hall - which is exactly the fictious story made up for the magic lantern. And early photographs of Wagner operas would fit the story well.

Dear Vlad,
you are absolutely right. We magicians stage fiction. This Laterna Magica story is fiction and we can appreciate it as that. It gives us the opportunity to play with it, alter it, invent "historical" props ... with this story I would definitely stress the pact with the Devil
and the 666 victims...
viktorbc
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In 1905 a gifted artist created... something. Before the rise of film, before Hollywood, a German producer stunned the world and was deliberately forgotten.

Was he really the reason of disaster and tragedy? Did Aleister Crowley influence him to make a pact with the actual Devil? Did his creation end the promising career of Jack Parsons? All may be revealed sooner than the world is ready for it...
VINCE WILSON

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viktorbc
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Even more coming soon!
VINCE WILSON

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jglumley
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Interesting story!
The "18"
viktorbc
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Quote:
On Aug 13, 2018, jglumley wrote:
Interesting story!


Just wait! There's more!

The final chapter will appear in Gettysburg for Bizarre Hauntings!

http://www.bizarrehauntings.com
VINCE WILSON

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viktorbc
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VINCE WILSON

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viktorbc
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Cursed Objects was a pilot for a show that never went to series. The first episode would rerun on UHF channels throughout the early 1980s. There was another show of a similar paranormal theme of the same title that ran for a few episodes around the same time.

This episode featured a haunted rocking chair, a possessed doll and a cursed magic lantern.
VINCE WILSON

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viktorbc
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Looks like I have uncovered more than I bargained for! The reveal will be made at ECSS 2019!
VINCE WILSON

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