The footage, originally intended to be screened during a staging of the 19th Century comedy Too Much Johnson, will finally be premiered in October.
The films were intended as prologues to each act of William Gillette‘s three-part farce but were never finished.
It had been thought the only known print was destroyed in a fire in 1970.
Welles’ Mercury Theatre company eventually staged Too Much Johnson without the shorts at the Stony Creek Theatre in Connecticut in August 1938. It was not a success.
Later that year Welles broadcast his radio adaptation of HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds, famously believed by some listeners to be an actual report of a Martian invasion.