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Warsaw Photoplasticon

The photoplasticon was a popular device at the turn of the 19th and 20th century that allowed viewers to see changing three-dimensional photographs. The Warsaw Photoplasticon is unique. It is the only one in Poland and one of the few active devices of this type in the world. It opened at the beginning of the 20th century and operated for a whole century with only short intervals. During the occupation in World War II, it was also a secret meeting place for the Polish underground. After the end of the war, when more than 80% of the city’s capital lay in ruins, it fuelled the hope of reconstruction by presenting colourful pictures of pre-war Warsaw.

After the war, in the 1940s and 1950s, it enjoyed great popularity thanks to the presentation of photos from the West, showing cities travelling to which was impossible. The shows were accompanied by jazz music played from privately imported record, which made Photoplasticon a favourite meeting place for groups frowned upon by the socialist authorities.

Now, when you look at photos of pre-war Warsaw, you can listen to former hits played on a turntable.

Wykonany z drewna okrągły fotoplastikon, dookoła niego ustawione stołki, na ścianach wiszą plakaty dekoracyjne.
Fotoplastikon Warszawski, fot. Filip Kwiatkowski