How to start a Magic Lantern club

Above all, the interested parties should contact the The Magic Lantern Association (ASLM), who will assist them in the process of getting started, e.g. estimate the potential number of children and provide promotional and educational material.

The Magic Lantern Club in your town or city

The association corresponding to the club in your city is based on the model of the statutes of the ASLM. In the form of a yearly membership fee, this association joins to the ASLM and can, from then on, benefits from its programming services. To promote itself, The Magic Lantern club in your city contacts schools (private and public), youth centers, family associations etc. The leaflets, press kits, posters and trailers used to publicize the club must first be validated by the ASLM.

A team

In order to guarantee its organization, the new club must reunite a qualified team capable of handling the practical aspects and registration accounting, as well as the promotion. To ensure the security and well-being of the children, before, during and after the sessions, responsible adults (emergency parents) are to be hired.

The presenters

The first year, two presenters must be present to guarantee the proper execution of the sketch that precedes each film projection. It should be the same persons for the entire season. In addition, the Magic Lantern concept calls for a different artist for each session – as a complement to the duo formed by the two regular presenters. This artist may be a woman, man, a mime artist, a dancer, an animal trainer, singer, puppeteer, musician etc. The artist is often proposed by the ASLM depending on the type of sketch.

The technicians

Most sketches involve technical issues. Consequently, the cinema projectionist or director must be able to accomplish with precision the technical effects required by the sketch: lighting effects, special effects (smoke machine, bubble machine) audio effects with CDs, film excerpts etc.


For the first season it is highly recommended to organise a discovery session for parents, children, teachers, local elected officials, journalists etc. This session is primordial. If well executed, it will guarantee a full house for the entire season. A second discovery session is recommended if the first one hasn’t produced the expected results.

Before starting the first season the club must determine the optimum dates and schedules for all nine sessions of the year. This planning is then sent to the ASLM sufficiently in advance in order to establish the programming. Attention: This job is important since it is extremely complicated or practically impossible to change the date of a session once the season has begun.

The programming is proposed by the ASLM, including 9 films organized by emotions in chronological order: three films to make you laugh, three films to make you sad or a bit afraid (in alternating years) and three films to make you dream. All suggestions are welcome!

At the beginning of the season the club sends registration forms to its members and gives a membership card to each member. The membership cards are provided by the ASLM. The registrations enable the club to compile an address database to be used for the mailing of The Magic Lantern leaflets. Concerning the leaflets themselves, pages 1 and 8 are personalised to include the clubs sponsors and local partners. It is therefore required to send the necessary information for pages 1 and 8 to the ASLM at the start of each season so that the editor and printer can make any necessary changes.


Association The Magic Lantern
Terreaux 7
CH-2000 Neuchâtel
+41 (0)32 723 77 00