Box of Light Weekend

Box of Light Weekend

25th October 2013 - 27th October 2013

Library of Birmingham, Birmingham


Before the days of film, the magic lantern was an important source of entertainment, using glass slides to create moving images and visual tricks. Birmingham played a key role in this pre-cinema world, producing thousands of lanterns for export, leading to the birth of the flipbook, and eventually the cinema.

The Library boasts a hefty archive of 60,000 lantern slides, and to coincide with the Magic Lantern Society’s annual conference in Birmingham, Flatpack Festival presents Box of Light, a Weekend full of events, workshops and activities celebrating early cinema.

 Flatpack festival’s creative director; Ian Francis, explains why they chose Box of Light for the Discovery Season:  “While digital technology has transformed our world, the simple magic of optical illusions can still surprise and delight, and it’s striking how many artists and filmmakers continue to be inspired by this period. Given the Library’s own extensive collection of lantern slides, it’s the perfect home for Box of Light.”
The weekend will feature:
(all events take place in the Library of Birmingham or Rep unless otherwise stated)
22 – 27 October in the Pavilion at the Library of Birmingham
Optical Toys Workshop Join us in making amazing moving images!

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October, Mezzanine Floor.  From 11am
25 October
7.30pm – 9.30pm, Studio Theatre
Tickets £8 Book tickets for Box of Light Variety Show online
Birmingham De Lux
26 October 11am and 1.30pm. Meet at Pavilion in Library foyer
Tickets: £5 Book tickets for Birmingham De Lux onlineShow and Tell with Roderick MacLachlan. Rod will be using modified OHPs and slide projectors to create uncanny and magical effects.
26 October 2pm – 4pm Level 3

The Ascent of Mont Blanc  Mike and Theresa Simkin will be showing a unique set of extremely large, hand-painted Victorian magic lantern slide.
3pm – 3.45pm Saturday 26 October


Mitchell and Kenyon in Birmingham.  Films of Birmingham in the early 1900s
27 October 12 – 4pm, Beat Box, Lower Ground Floor

The Icebook

26 October 12pm – 5pm, performances on the half hour / Level 3
Tickets: £5 Book tickets for The Icebook onlineMagic in Motion: The Library’s Story Steps become a little cinema for the weekend

26 and 27 October 12noon – 4pm
Do-it-yourself Magic Lantern Slides Free drop-in sessions in the Children’s Library
26 October 11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm
Magic Lanterns: the Birmingham Connection A short talk by Pete James
26 October 4pm – 4.45pm
27 October 11am – 4pm  Free workshop in the Children’s Library
Box of Light, in collaboration with Birmingham REP have commissioned two artists to make brand new work. Both are FREE and will run on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.
Professor Harry Hackett ‘s Box of Treats  Little Earthquake sends you off on a treasure hunt around the theatre foyer.
Friday 25 to Sunday 27 October, The REP foyer


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