Friday, 3 December 2010

The Magic Lantern

Tucked away on Brunswick Street in Melbourne is a portal to a world of zoetropes, phenakistiscopes all sorts of other pre-technology cinematic devices. The Magic Lantern is simultaneously a urbane toy-shop, an alternative entertainment centre and an informative inner city museum. Inside you will find the magical and the macabre - all items defy easy categorisation.

Disturbing ventrillocuist dummies leer at you as you generate your hand held animations and films. Puppets dangle and dance in the wind alongside reproduction texts, and cabinets filled with the weird and the wonderful. The Bruegelesque dolls and models in the shop window entice you inside. Once you are through the door there is no escape.

Lucy and Gonzalo started the business only 5 weeks ago and since that time they have been generating a following. Both owners are artists with some fascinating work displayed in the back areas of the shop. Their vision is to commission Melbourne artists to create their own animation strips and slides which will be combined with the projectors and scopes you can purchase in the shop. Well worth a visit if you are travelling to Melbourne: 155 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

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