3 hours ago
Friday, October 31, 2008
Day 29 - Rockin' it Old School
I can't say I did anything especially Halloween- spirited on the 28th- but I did get to do something pretty wonderful tonight.
I am fortunate to live in a town that has two - count 'em, two- theaters who like to bring out the older films for people to enjoy. Because of these theaters, I have been lucky enough to see all the original Universal monster movies (and many of their sequels) on the big screen. Not to mention King Kong, Night of the Living Dead, Freaks, and many others. I've also been almost more fortunate than I deserve and have been able to see House of Wax, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a few other sci-fi oldies in their original 3-D incarnations, complete with red and blue glasses.
And for a couple years, for about 8 months out of the year, every third Saturday of the month, I could go to the Oriental for Silent Saturdays. I'd pay 8 dollars for a show that lasted about three hours and included a cartoon, a short, a live act such as a juggler, a main feature, and door prizes. All set to the wonderful old organ that comes up from under the stage in the Oriental. I saw all kinds of wonderful films from comedies to horror to drama to a Christmas show or two. There were always a fairly decent amount of people there, from families with small children, to people who might have just been old enough to see the movie the first time around!
Then one day Silent Saturdays stopped. It was supposed to move to another facility but it never showed up again. It took me another two years to find out why- the event's largest source of funding dropped out. Which is why, when I win the lottery, bringing back Silent Saturdays will be my first act of philanthropy.
Anyway- since SS ended, there have been silent offerings here and there at the Oriental and at The Times. I was able to see Nosferatu at The Times a couple years ago with the Alloy Orchestra, and it was wonderful.
So when I saw the flyer for Phantom of the Opera at the Oriental, accompanied by the Alloy, I knew I had to be there. And they didn't let me down.
Phantom is so wonderful. Lon Chaney is amazing, and the story is timeless.
If you ever get a chance to see a silent film in a theater, DO IT. Even if you think you'll absolutely hate it, do it if it's only to support film heritage. And who knows, you might end up halfway through the movie realizing that you were so into the movie, you forgot it was silent.