New York’s People’s Institute Excites
As lantern shows, and especially illustrated lectures, became more popular, the kinds of venues in which they could be seen expanded enormously. In addition to the venues discussed in the Ten-Minute Tour, the big city “People’s Institutes” were filled with lantern shows.
The People’s Institute in New York City was a pioneering program of free lectures and culture “for the people,” including many immigrants. In 1903 it had an attendance of 1,200,000 at its programs. Not all of those programs were illustrated lectures, of course, but many were. Here a lecturer at the Museum of Natural History uses two screens to compare and contrast his material.
Other venues included the Epworth League, a Methodist young adult conference program often held in tents; the YMCA; railroads which promoted their lines with lantern shows; and camera clubs.
Vaudeville—Song, Dance, Slides