The Santa Monica Playhouse is going “silent” for a day Sunday, June 21st to present a special Father’s Day silent cinema program, beginning with a cartoon and two-reeler short film and a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like contest, prior to featuring the classic Chaplin and Jackie Coogan silent film “The Kid” (1921).
Shows are scheduled at 1 and 4 p.m. at the playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica.
The event includes live music accompaniment by Rick Friend and an introduction by Charlie Lustman.
“The Kid” was Chaplin’s first full-length movie and is notable as being the first feature length comedy film to combine comedy and drama. The opening title reads: “A comedy with a smile — and perhaps a tear”.
“We are running 16 millimeter prints from the famous Hampton silent film collection courtesy of The Silent Movie Theatre, Hollywood,” says Master of Ceremonies Charlie Lustman.
“The idea for this screening event is to bring back an old form of exhibition when drug stores or retail shops would put on a picture show, after hours, in the back storage room. It’s old school but very charming and entertaining.”
Lustman, a composer, performer and presenter of silent cinema, was the proprietor of The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2006. During his tenure as proprietor, Lustman programmed thousands of silent movies and presented them each night, with live musical accompaniment, for over 100,000 fans.
Friend has been accompanying silent films for over 30 years. A native of Toronto, he has performed regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and moved to New York City in the 1980s to work with the Paul Killiam Silent film society. Eventually, Friend moved to Los Angeles, where he became the house accompanist for the Silent Movie Theatre, the only cinema dedicated to silent film in the country.
All seats to the Father’s Day shows are $10. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required. For reservations, the Playhouse Box Office at (310) 394-9779 ext. 1.