Legends, laughter, and love star in STG's 2022/23 Silent Movie Mondays


Legends, laughter, and love take center stage in STG's 2022/23 Silent Movie Mondays series. Audiences will be treated to films from the 1920s and earlier, including Go West on Nov. 21, It on Feb. 13, Exit Smiling on May 8, and Comedy Shorts on July 31. The season features performances by some of the era's most iconic stars including Buster Keaton, Clara Bow, Beatrice Lillie, Jack Pickford, Mabel Normand, Baby Peggy, and Charlie Chaplin. The films spring to life with musical accompaniment by some of the most accomplished organists working today on the Mighty Wurlitzer—an organ original to the 94-year-old Paramount Theatre.

"Today's performances onstage at the Paramount are built on the bones of the not-so-silent era of the past, which featured vaudeville opening acts, the Mighty Wurlitzer in all its glory, plus exploding sound effects," said Vicky Lee, STG's Silent Film Program curator. "Our organists Tedde Gibson, Donna Parker, Christian Elliott, Tyler Pattison (with an added treat of Foley Sound by Paul Hansen for the shorts), make these movies come alive through their music." 

At Seattle Theatre Group—the arts nonprofit which operates the Paramount (as well as the Neptune and Moore theatres)—stories unfold through live entertainment—and through the magic of film, too. In 1928, the Paramount opened its doors with the feature film Feel My Pulse. Now, almost 100 years later, the cinematic tradition lives on with Silent Movie Mondays.

ASL interpretation is provided for speaker introductions and discussions for all film events.

2022/23 Silent Movie Monday Season at the Paramount Theatre: 

Go West (1925) | 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022

Buster Keaton stars in the comedy Go West (1925) preceded by the short One Week (1920), both written, directed and produced by Keaton. With little luck at keeping a job in the city, a New Yorker tried work in the country and finds his way leading a herd of cattle to the West Coast, co-starring Brown Eyes the cow. Placed on the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2008 and featuring extraordinary sight gags, One Week involves a newlywed couple who receive a built-it-yourself house as a wedding gift.

Pre-film introduction and CineClub post-film discussion with Buster Keaton biographer and Slate film critic, Dana Stevens. The Elliott Bay Book Company will offer an on-site book signing of Steven's book, Camera Man, a biography on Keaton. Music by Tedde Gibson on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Total running time: 88 minutes. Cohen Media. 

It (1927) | 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023

Clara Bow stars in the romantic comedy It (1927) directed by Clarence G. Badger and Josef von Sternberg. The film, based on the story by Elinor Glyn, was a box office hit and served as Bow's star vehicle, turning her into one of the most popular actresses of the era. In 2001 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Pre-film introduction and CineClub post-film discussion with Jeff Crouse. Music by Donna Parker on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Running time: 72 minutes. 

Exit Smiling (1926) | 7 p.m. on May 8, 2023

Beatrice Lillie with Jack Pickford star in the comedy Exit Smiling (1926) directed by Sam Taylor. The film is set in the backstage world of a cut-rate theatrical circuit with the character Violet desperately wanting to be an actress. This is the popular stage star Lillie's first and only silent film.

Pre-film introduction and CineClub post-film discussion with Anne Francis, Broadway Across America.

Music by Christian Elliott on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Running time: 80 minutes. Warner Brothers.

Comedy Shorts (19131922) | 7 p.m. on July 31, 2023

Mabel Normand and her pets star in A Little Hero (1913) produced by Keystone and directed by Mack Sennett. Mabel's canary bird, pet dog and cat get into all kinds of mischief. Under 5 minutes.

Child star Baby Peggy and her dog Brownie perform in Circus Clowns (1922) directed by Fred Hibbard. A kidnapped tot ends up entertaining a crowd as an animal trainer and bareback rider at the circus. 16 minutes.

Buster Keaton stars in The Scarecrow (1920) who co-writes and co-directs with Edward F. Cline. Buster plays a farmhand in hilarious antics with automation and rural life including a madcap chase from Luke the dog. 19 min unites.

Charlie Chaplin stars in, writes, directs, and produces A Dog's Life (1918) for First National Films. Chaplin co-stars as The Tramp with "Scraps" the dog as he pursues a better life with dance hall performer Edna Purviance. 33 minutes.

Pre-film introduction and CineClub post-film discussion with Silent Movie Mondays curator, Vicky Lee. Music by Tyler Pattison on the Mighty Wurlitzer and Foley Sound by Paul Hansen.

Tickets range from $9 to $12, or $35 for a four-film bundle. For more information, visit https://www.stgpresents.org/smm

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