HISTORY OF BLACK LIGHT



The "black light" that humans can perceive is actually purple light at the near edge of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. Most of the light that black light bulbs emit is in the ultraviolet range, which humans cannot perceive, but plants can use for photosynthesis. Black light bulbs were developed in 1935 by William H. Byler, using a glass invented by Robert Williams Wood in 1903.

In the 1940s, black light was used in motion picture theaters to provide lighting without distracting the audience from viewing the screen. Black light was a novelty that attracted audiences, and soon it was an architectural feature of upscale movie houses. In more modest theaters, fluorescent murals with seasonal themes were painted on the walls, glowing when illuminated with black light.

 

The modern black light theater was born in the 50's, mainly by the French avant-garde artist George Lafaille, who is often called "the father of the black light theater".

During the 60's and 70's in Prague in Czechoslovakia a new magical language of a theater was developed - a new type of theater with capabilities and colors that had never been seen before.

 

In the new type of theater the total darkness was needed, and a massive use of black material and black paint as well as ultra violet illumination which provided a stage for all the other colors.

 

The ultra violet illumination, also called "the black illumination", and the darkened theater halls loaded with black material, provided this special theater with its name: "The black light theater".