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Pied Piper Malone Premieres (again) in Georgetown, SC after 83 years.

February 20, 2006 - Georgetown, SC
Three screenings of "Pied Piper Malone" are scheduled for March 25th and 26th. A matinee for members of the Georgetown Historical Society and invited guests will be held at 4 pm on Saturday, March 25, followed by an evening performance at 7 pm which is open to the public. A second public screening will be at 3 pm on Sunday, March 26th. All showings will be at the Strand Theatre, 710 Front Street, Georgetown, SC. Admission is $5 for members of the Georgetown Historical Society and $10 for the general public.

The film was shot in Georgetown in 1923 and was shown at the Princess Theatre the following spring. The film was presumed lost but, with assistance from Jared Case, of the George Eastman House Museum, we located a print in Moscow's Gosfilmofond Archives last year.

Attending the matinee of Saturday will be Mildred Higgins and Mamie Dalzell who appeared as extras in the film. They will be escorted by Richard Clerc, whose mother, now deceased, also appeared in the film. Logan Young, a talented grandson of Mrs. Higgins, and a music major at the University of South Carolina, will provide an original musical score to accompany the movie. The titles in the print from Moscow were in Russian. The print to be screened has the English titles. These titles were translated by Boris Buhun-Chudynev of Charleston, and restored by Marty Tennant of Georgetown. For information about tickets, contact Debby Summey at the Georgetown County Museum at (843) 545-7020. For information on the museum, CLICK HERE.

Pied Piper Malone Developments

February 5, 2006 - Georgetown, SC
Preparations are underway for the screening of "Pied Piper Malone." The film was shot in Georgetown in 1923 and showed at the Princess Theatre the following spring. The film was presumed lost but a copy was located in Moscow's Gosfilmofond Archives last year. The screening will take place in late March at the Strand Theatre which is located on the site of the old Princess Theatre on Front Street. Attending will be at least two local women who appeared as extras in the film which starred Thomas Meighan and Lois Wilson. The titles in the film had been translated into Russian. The print to be screened has the English titles restored. For information on the screening dates, times, and admission, contact Debby Summey at the Georgetown County Museum. For information on the musuem, CLICK HERE.

The Gloria Revisited - Paragon Ragtime Orchestra Thrills Audience

January 28, 2006 - Charleston, SC
The Sottile Theatre, formerly the Gloria Theatre, in Charleston, was filled with patrons as the Charleston Concert Association presented "The Gloria Revisited - The Silent Film Comedy of Keaton, Lloyd, and Chaplin." Music was provided by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra directed by Rick Benjamin. What made this event spectacular was the realistic movie-going experience as the audience was unceremoniously thrust back to the age of silent film presentation.

The program opened with a thrilling Prelude to Motion Picture Comedy written by George L. Cobb in 1918. When the music ended, Rick Benjamin explained that all the music we would hear accompanying the films were being performed from the original musical scores for the films. It is amazing that the films survive, but more amazing that these original musical scores also survive.

"Cops" (1922) starring Buster Keaton opened the evening of comedy shorts. The original 1922 orchestral score, compiled by James C. Bradford, was brilliantly punctuated by the drummer who watched attentively so he could create the bangs, whaps, whistles, and other sounds at the appropriate time.

Following "Cops" we were treated to an orchestral interlude of Ballin' the Jack written in 1913 by the famous Charleston born black songwriter Chris Smith. Anyone who wasn't moved by this performance wasn't paying attention. We were in the former Gloria Theater, built as a silent film house in 1927. It's great blue dome sprinkled with tiny lights hung above us all as we were moved by the sights and sounds loved by audiences in the same location nearly eighty years ago.

My favorite film of the evening was "Never Weaken," a 1921 comedy starring the incomparable Harold Lloyd. Again, we were seeing the film and hearing the original score, performed live as it would have been experienced in 1921. At the conclusion of the film, I was satisfied that this had been a most memorable evening. But, there was much more to come. After a brief intermission, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra returned with selections of American Theatre Orchestra Favorites, including Swanee Rose (1921) by George Gershwin, The J.J.J. Rag (1905) by Joe Jordan, and The Memphis Blues (1912) by W.C. Handy.

The final movie of the evening was "The Adventurer" starring Charlie Chaplin. Charlie escapes from prison and emerges, head-first, in the sand at the beach. After escaping from many guards, he saves a drowning woman and her mother. For this, he is invited to their home and treated like a hero. His photograph appears in the local paper and, of course, this tips off the prison guards who come looking for him. Thoughout the movie, the orchestra delights us with the original 1917 musical score.

As would have been true eighty years ago, the audience was treated to "Exit Music" performed by the orchestra. We sat through every delicious note of The Official B.P.O. Elks Club March (1920) by Harry L. Alford. As we left the Gloria Theater, I expected to see the streets of Charleston teaming with vintage cars and ladies in large brimmed hats. Thank you Charleston Concert Association and Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra for an evening we will never forget.

Sylvia Theater in York, SC

January 26, 2006 - York, SC
Carolina Newspapers, The Clover Herald & The Yorkville Enquirer, published a story about the Sylvia Theater in York, South Carolina. We were delighted to contribute to the article. Paul and Stephanie Finnican, owners of the theater, have been hard at work publicizing the Sylvia's historic prominence in downtown York. Today, the Sylvia Theater still shows movies during the weekends and is constantly looking for new live musical acts to grace its newly renovated stage.

Tom Reesor is searching for the 1922 silent film "The Power of Love"

Tom Reesor of Conway is searching for a print of the first 3-D film ever made. No, it's not "Bwana Devil" which came out at the peak of the popularity of 3-D films in the 1950's. The 3-D film "The Power of Love" was made by Perfect Studio in 1922 using the Fairhall-Elder stereoscopic process. Two strips of film were shot. They were shown using two projectors that were mechanically linked. Tom has discussed the possible restoration of this film with a company in California. It would be a difficult restoration because both the left and right reels have to be found and painstakingly restored. Any bad frames in one reel that is cut out, would have to have the matching frame on the second reel cut out as well to maintain synchronization. Please email us at scmovietheatres.com if you have any information about this first 3-D film. We will pass along any information to Tom.


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