During the winter of 1961-62, five WPI students got together and formed an organization they called Lens and Lights. The first president, Jim Day, named the club after his Wethersfield, CT high school AV club.
The founding fathers of the club included:
By 1964, the club had accumulated 25 or so members. They appropriated a space in the basement of Sanford Riley Hall, a building which continues to serve as a student residence today. Later, we moved our equipment to another storage area on the other side of the same hall, which served as our primary office for many years until it was transformed into a digital music lab in 2009.
When they first started, club members got money for equipment through WPI, but not by budgeting. They projected the now infamous WPI recruitment film, Bridge to the Future, and charged the Institute for each showing of the 20 minute reel of 16mm film.
Over the years, the Club accumulated more equipment and began providing audio and lighting services. Later, they appropriated the projection booth in Alden Memorial Hall and began keeping up the old Simplex projectors in it, left over from Navy recruitment films shown during WWII. Since 35mm was cheaper than 16mm back then, club members taught themselves and each other how to run the projectors and began showing movies on them.
In 2012, LnL celebrated 50 years of providing the WPI Community with motion picture projection services. To read more about LnL’s projection equipment, see our projection pages.