Ombro Cinema

Ombro Cimema - Puss and Boots
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A Visit to the NW Puppet Center

The "Ombro Cinema" was filmed on Nov. 21st, 2012 at the NW Puppet Center in Seattle Washington.  The Ombro Cinema is part of the center's museum of antique puppets and related artifacts.  Many thanks to Dmitri Carter of the NW Puppet Center for taking the time to share it with us and letting me film it.

The box is made from a cardboard type material and was manufactured in France around 1910. There are very few of these in existence that are still functional. There is a strip of transparent film that goes across the screen that has the vertical lines and trees painted on it.  Behind that is a panorama printed on paper that is scrolled across the screen.  The vertical lines on the film and on the paper create the illusion of movement of the characters (birds flapping their wings, etc).

The little crank handles are made of bent nails.

There are two story scrolls that came with this box.  One scroll is of the story  Puss and Boots. The words of the story are printed at the very bottom of the paper scroll so that it can be read by the person cranking the box. You can hear Dejah Leger interpreting the story (from French to English) as Dmitri moves the scrolls.

The other story scroll is called "Tour of the World" and includes little scenes from all over the world. You can hear the paper rattling when it is turned, I like that sound!

The NW Puppet Center provides puppet shows to the Pacific Northwest. It also houses a museum and extensive library of books and artifacts. It is a treasure for our community.  To find out more, visit their website.

Ombro Cinema - 1910 France
Another example of an Ombro Cinema (shadow theater) from 1910.