Another sign that summer is fast approaching: this week marks the start of this year's season of silent film with live music at the venerable Leavitt Theater in the seaside resort town of Ogunquit, Maine.
This year, silent films will be shown on Wednesday nights at the Leavitt, a vintage venue that's been in the movie business since 1923.
First up: comedy! On Wednesday, June 15, it's Harold Lloyd in 'For Heaven's Sake' (1926). Showtime is 7 p.m.
More info, including a complete roster of other titles we're screening at the Leavitt, is in the press release below.
For now, I'm catching my breath after completing a mini-marathon of silent film music: five programs over five days.
But now, after two days off, it'll be on to Ogunquit for one of Harold Lloyd's perennially popular full-length feature comedies! More info in the blog post below...
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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2022 / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more info, contact: Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic comedy 'For Heaven's Sake' with live music on Wednesday, June 15 in Ogunquit
Harold Lloyd film, one of 1926's top box office attractions, to kick off this year's Leavitt Theatre silent film series
OGUNQUIT, Maine—Classics from the silent film era return to the big screen this season at the Leavitt Theatre, 259 Main St. in Ogunquit.
First up is Harold Lloyd in 'For Heaven's Sake' (1926), an uproarious romantic comedy which screens on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m.
Admission is $12 per person. Live music for each silent film program will be provided by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based performer and composer who specializes in scoring and presenting silent films.
In 'For Heaven's Sake,' Lloyd plays a wealthy young man smitten with the daughter of an impoverished clergyman who ministers to the urban poor.
On the day Lloyd and the girl plan to marry, Lloyd's wealthy country club friends kidnap him to prevent what they see as an embarrassing mistake.
Can the urban mission's petty criminals and chronic alcoholics rescue Harold and get him to the church on time?
Critic Leonard Maltin described 'For Heaven's Sake' as "...a screamingly funny silent comedy."
In accompanying films live, Rapsis uses a digital synthesizer to recreate the texture of the full orchestra. He improvises the music in real time, as the movie is shown.
"It's a real treat to return to the Leavitt for another season of great early cinema," Rapsis said.
"If you've never seen one of these movies in a theater, check it out. These films were the pop culture of their day, and retain their ability to hold an audience and deliver a great time at the movies."
The Leavitt's silent film series runs through October, concluding with a Halloween screening of 'Der Golem' (1920) on Saturday, Oct. 29.
A total of nine programs will be offered, including a 100th anniversary screening of 'Robin Hood' (1922) starring Douglas Fairbanks, and 'The Temptress (1926), a Greta Garbo drama with two very different endings.
The Leavitt, a summer-only moviehouse, opened in 1923 at the height of the silent film era, and has been showing movies to summertime visitors for nearly a century.
The silent film series honors the theater's long service as a moviehouse that has entertained generations of Seacoast residents and visitors, in good times and in bad.
Following 'For Heaven's Sake' on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m., other programs in this year's Leavitt silent film series include:
• Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m.: 'Robin Hood' 100th anniversary! Celebrate the 100th anniversary of this blockbuster adaptation of the tales of Robin Hood and his merry men. Massive sets, great action, and Doug Fairbanks in the lead made this the top grossing film of 1922!
• Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m.: Buster Keaton in 'Battling Butler' (1926). Keaton plays Alfred Butler, a pampered rich idler with the same name as a feared boxing champion. When a girl he's pursuing thinks he's the fighter, Keaton has no choice but to start training. Uproarious 1926 comedy!
• Wednesday, July 27 at 7 p.m.: Greta Garbo in 'The Temptress' (1926). MGM drama with Garbo destroying the lives of men everywhere. Unusual in that the film was made with two very different endings per order of studio boss Louis B. Mayer; both will be screened.
• Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m.: Clara Bow stars in 'Mantrap' (1926). Battle-of-the-sexes comedy; city boy Richard Dix tries to win his girlfriend by taking up the rugged cowboy life, only to find it not so rugged. Rarely screened comedic gem from the height of the silent era.
• Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.: 'Blood and Sand' (1922). Rudolph Valentino in his first starring role, as a sexy bullfighter in this romantic thriller. Will Rudy choose the pure love of Carmen, or the sinister charms of the exotic Doña Sol? And will he survive the choice?
• Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.: Rare race drama: 'The Flying Ace' (1926). All-Black motion picture added to the National Film Registry last year. Rare example of 'race' cinema, produced for audiences in black-only theaters commonly found in segregated parts of the nation.
• Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.: F.W. Murnau's 'The Last Laugh' (1924). Towering performance by Emil Jannings as aging doorman at posh city hotel whose unexpected change of jobs robs him of self-respect and identity. Directed by Murnau as a purely visual tale, no dialogue intertitles.
• Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.: 'Der Golem' (1920). Prepare for Halloween with one very weird flick! In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates a giant creature from clay, called the Golem. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.
Harold Lloyd's 'For Heaven's Sake' (1926) will lead off this season's silent film series on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. at the Leavitt Fine Arts Theatre, 259 Main St. Route 1, Ogunquit, Maine. Tickets $12 per person, general seating.
For more info, call (207) 646-3123 or visit www.leavittheatre.com.