(Czech, From Latin: laterna magica, "magic lantern", q.v.)
Theatre in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Opened in 1958.
The performances of Laterna Magika are a mixture of shadow play, ballet, acting and pantomime, and are based in a dramatic technique developed by the scenographer Josef Svoboda (born 1920) and the director Alfred Radok (1914-1976), and presented in connection with the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (a success, later repeated at the Expo 67 in Montreal).
Often imitated, the technique is powerful when used correctly. On a number of movable screens, compositions of film, slide projection and video recordings are projected. The cast then acts in and fuses with the projections, in grand illusory presentations.
In the 1970s, the Laterna Magika theatre was absorbed into the Czech National Theatre (then the Czechoslovak National Theatre) in Prague.
Another claim to fame for the Laterna Magika theatre was that it served as a regular, quasi-clandestine hangout for Vaclav Havel, and was one of the focal points of the Velvet Revolution.