Constitution and Rules

The Society’s Constitution was adopted in 1977 and has been updated and amended from time to time over the years. This current version was approved at the 45th Annual General Meeting held on 23 January 2021.

  1. Name of the Society

    The Society shall be called The Magic Lantern Society.

  2. Objects of the Society

    The aim of the Society is to provide for those interested in the history and development of the Magic Lantern media, from apparatus, slides and accessories to other visual effects, optical toys, early film and related ephemera, a forum in which to meet and a framework for research, conservation and documentation.

    1. To revive and sustain the art and science of magic lantern projection and to encourage the arrangement and presentation of magic lantern shows and other optical entertainments.
    2. To exchange knowledge, co-ordinate research and disseminate information both within the Society and to the wider public and to develop an educational support role within the community at large.
    3. To encourage and perpetuate the preservation of apparatus, materials and recordings of meetings and to examine, develop and implement appropriate conservation techniques.
    4. To encourage the cataloguing, exhibition and archiving of existing and future material relating to these objects.
    5. To facilitate and produce publications, in any appropriate form, which support these objects.
    6. To foster and enjoy the spirit of friendship, cooperation and enthusiasm between members.
  3. Subscriptions

    The Committee shall have the power to set subscription rates annually on the advice of the Treasurer. A Schedule of Subscription Rates for the ensuing year will be sent to the members with the notice of the Annual General Meeting and will also be published on the Society’s website.

    1. The Schedule of Subscription Rates will set out the amounts payable in the following categories:
      • Individual Membership
      • Family Membership including additional members over eighteen years of age from one family.
      • Junior members (aged 11-17) who wish to be members of the Society in their own right.
      • Students registered in full- or part-time education at a university, college or school.
      • Institutions.
    2. Payment of the subscription entitles the member to all the current benefits of membership of the Society for a period of one calendar year.
    3. An invitation to renew their subscription shall be sent to each member 30 days before its expiry date. A reminder notice will be sent to any member whose renewal has not been received 30 days after the expiry date, and if the subscription has not been renewed within 60 days after the expiry date they will cease to be a member of the Society.
    4. Members permanently resident outside the United Kingdom shall pay normal subscription rates, but the Society reserves the right to impose a surcharge, if necessary, to cover the additional costs involved with correspondence.
  4. Officers of the Society

    1. The Management of the Society shall be vested in a Committee which shall include the Chair, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt.
    2. The Committee shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting when all members of the Committee shall retire, but may offer themselves for re-election.
    3. The Chair cannot serve for more than five consecutive years but will be eligible for re-election following a two year gap. In exceptional circumstances the Committee may decide to extend the Chair’s term of office for a maximum of one additional year.
    4. The optimum size of the Committee shall be determined by the Committee from time to time in consideration of the changing requirements of the Society.
    5. The Committee shall meet as often as may be required. Three members shall form a quorum. Committee members who have difficulty in attending particular meetings by reason of distance or other commitments will be deemed to have attended such meetings if they submit their reports to the Secretary or their assistant for distribution at least seven days prior to the meeting date and where possible make themselves available for consultation by telephone or otherwise during the meeting.
    6. The Committee shall encourage all members of the Society to contribute their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the Society and may appoint Specialist Officers, not necessarily Committee Members, to carry out appropriate functions.
  5. Membership

    1. Membership is open to any person over the age of 18. Family membership is open to all members of one family irrespective of age. Junior membership is available to any person between the ages of 11 and 17 who wishes to be a member in their own right. The Committee has the right to bestow Honorary Membership on any person who the Committee believes warrants such a privilege.
    2. No member shall be entitled to any of the benefits or privileges of The Society until they have paid the appropriate subscription. As every member will, on such payment, become entitled to the benefits and privileges of the Society, the payment shall be deemed to be a declaration of their assent to the Rules of the Society which are published on the Society’s website.
    3. Every member shall advise the Hon. Secretary of their permanent address and shall notify any change of such address as it occurs.
    4. Members are welcome to bring guests to meetings but guests will be expected to become members if they regularly attend Society events. Guests are not allowed to attend formal General Meetings nor may they take part in Society auctions and sales.
  6. General meetings

    1. The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in the month of January.
    2. The Committee may at any time and shall whenever requested in writing by ten or more members call an Extraordinary General Meeting.
    3. A minimum of seven clear days’ notice of every General Meeting specifying the place, day and hour of the Meeting shall be given to members.
    4. Fifteen members personally present shall be a quorum for a General Meeting.
    5. A member may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf provided that such proxy is also a member of the Society. Forms of proxy must be lodged with the Hon. Secretary before the commencement of the meeting.
    6. In the case of an equality of votes at any Meeting the Chair shall have a casting vote in addition to their vote as a member.
    7. Any member desiring to submit a motion to a General Meeting shall give 30 days notice thereof in writing to the Hon. Secretary. Such motion shall be dealt with at the first General Meeting held after the expiration of one month from receipt of such notice
  7. Society financial affairs

    1. The Committee shall have control of the finances of the Society and shall have power to make, alter and annul financial regulations as they may think fit for carrying out the objects of The Society and generally to manage the financial affairs of the Society.
    2. The accounts of the Society shall be kept by the Hon. Treasurer and audited annually.
  8. Amendments to Society Rules

    1. No addition or alteration to these Rules shall be made except by a General Meeting. Notice of any proposed amendment or addition shall be given to the Hon. Secretary in writing and after the expiration of one month from receipt of the proposal by the Hon. Secretary will be dealt with at the next General Meeting. Any amendment will require a vote in favour of two thirds of the members voting including those voting by proxy.
    2. The decision of the Committee shall be final in the event of any question or matter not provided for in these Rules.
  9. Dissolution of the Society

    The Society may be dissolved only at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose by a vote in favour of two thirds of the members voting supporting a resolution to that effect. In the case of dissolution, appropriate assets, documents and recordings by whatever method will be deemed to be a part of the Archives of the Society and every effort will be made by the Committee to find a suitable long term home for such Archives. The proceeds on disposal of any other property and assets of the Society, after discharge of all liabilities and expenses, shall be distributed equally between the Members.