Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Magic Lantern

Nestled in between the small towns of Bird-In-Hand and Intercourse here in Lancaster County, is the pristine 10-acre Plain & Fancy Farm that offers guests a first hand look at the history of Lancaster County. Visitors can enjoy shopping, buggy rides, food and much more. But what might be it's most unique attraction are the Magic Lantern Shows.
Pictured is the triunial lantern used for Magic Lantern shows.

These types of shows were a form of entertainment over 100 years ago before movies and other forms of entertainment existed. The shows were made up by stories, songs and poetry. The visuals were cast through hand-painted glass and projected with a large lantern onto the screen with music, "special effects" and a live showman.
"The shows are entertaining, with wonderful works of art most Americans have never seen, and audience interaction, as was done in the old days," says Brad Igou of The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy. "Expect to laugh with some of the stories, to be moved by others, and some surprises."
"The Spirit of 1776"
According to Igou, what makes this show so unique is that very few large Magic Lantern "projectors" remain or are operating. The painted slides are also rare. "Our shows are a collaboration with the American Magic Lantern Theater," he explains. "Which has given us access to a rare 'triunial' lantern and the images from over 100 years ago. This makes the Plain & Fancy Theater the only permanent Magic Lantern Theater in the world in the last 130 years!"
"A Christmas Journey," a Victorian Christmas show.
The Magic Lantern will feature "Jacob's Choice," a story about an Old Order Amish Family, through November. “A Christmas Journey," a Victorian Christmas show, will be shown November 27 and 28; December 5, 12, and 19; and daily December 21-24, 26, and 28-31.  (No evening shows Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.) Tickets for shows are available online, in person at the box office, or by phone at 717-768-8400 ext. 211. Adult admission is $16.95 and children ages 4 to 12 is $11.95.
Plain & Fancy, opening in 1959, was the first family-style restaurant in Lancaster County, opening in 1959. Today, both the traditional Amish farm feast as well as a la carte dining are offered. Amish Country Farmlands and exclusive Amish tours are also available. The Heritage Site Amish Country Homestead and One-Room School are open for tours. Buggy rides are also available, as well as shopping in the Country Store. As always, find a great spot to stay overnight at www.authenticbandb.com.