I just came across a Billboard magazine ad for a laser light show projector made by Sonovision in 1969. Sonovision was a company started by legendary laser pioneer and later holographer Lloyd Cross in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As soon as visible CW lasers became available to college students in the mid-'60s, you know the protohippies amongst them were trippin' out watchin' dancing beams in smoky labs late at night. It took a few years for lasers to get small enough to be put inside a portable projector, but even then it was the years of colored oil on overhead projectors with moire patterns and slides. Anyone having a flashback?

Cross formed Sonovision in '68 and in August of '69 exhibited his projector at a local meeting of the Optical Society of America. He also "set it up as pre-movie entertainment at an Ann Arbor cinema." ("Holographic Visions, Sean Johnston). Was this really the first laser light show projector? The first laser light shows?