Don’t Forget the Pictures: Glass Slides from the Collection
Projected images from glass slides were an integral feature of the early cinema experience. These colorful 3¼-by-4-inch slides were used to illustrate popular songs during audience sing-alongs, advertise local businesses, instruct audiences about appropriate behavior, and promote upcoming films. Often referred to as “lantern” slides because of their origin in pre-cinema magic lantern shows, glass slides served a practical purpose in the first movie theaters, allowing the projectionist to keep the audience entertained as they changed reels.
Don’t Forget the Pictures presents projections and installations of more than one hundred glass slides from 1914–1948, drawn from the more than 1,500 examples in the Museum’s collection. While glass slides were no longer in wide use by 1950, today’s theaters continue to present local advertisements, behavioral tips, and coming attractions through other forms of media.
Organized by Barbara Miller, Senior Curator of Collections and Exhibitions