Sunday, June 18, 2023

A special treat for Father's Day: Chaplin's 'The Kid' on Sunday, June 18 in Wilton, N.H.

An original release poster for 'The Kid' (1921); the '6 reels' refer to the original format of 35mm film, which at the time came in reels generally lasting 10 to 12 minutes each.

It's Father's Day! And if you're still searching for a fun way to celebrate that the whole family can enjoy, look no further than the Town Hall Theatre in Wilton, N.H.

At 2 p.m., the theater will screen 'The Kid' (1921), Charlie Chaplin's classic comedy/drama about fatherhood. It's silent, but the show includes live music by me. 

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10 per person to help cover expenses. 

Sound interesting? Lots more information in the press release below. See you there!

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Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan star in 'The Kid' (1921).

Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Chaplin's 'The Kid' (1921) to screen on Father's Day at Town Hall Theatre

Landmark silent film comedy/drama about raising an orphan to be presented with live music on Sunday, June 18

WILTON, N.H.—Silent film with live music returns to the Town Hall Theatre in Wilton, N.H. with a screening of Charlie Chaplin's classic comedy/drama 'The Kid' (1921) on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m.

The special Father's Day program will be presented with live music by Jeff Rapsis, one of the nation's leading silent film accompanists.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10.

Chaplin was already the world's most popular comedian and filmmaker when he produced 'The Kid,' his first feature-length project.

The movie, with its daring mix of intense drama and slapstick comedy, proved an instant sensation and marked one of the high points of Chaplin's long career.

'The Kid' follows the story of a tramp (Chaplin) who attempts to raise an orphaned boy on his own. It includes several classic scenes, and is highlighted by a sequence in which Chaplin battles authorities attempting to return the child to an orphanage.

Co-starring with Chaplin in 'The Kid' was five-year-old Jackie Coogan, who turned in what many critics rank as the best child performance of the entire silent film era. Chaplin himself worked closely with the young Coogan for more than a year to develop the youngster's acting abilities.

Coogan went on to a long career that much later included the role of "Uncle Fester" in the popular 1960s Addams Family television show.

The Chaplin program continues the series of silent films presented with live music at the Town Hall Theatre. The series provides local audiences the opportunity to experience silent film as it was intended to be shown: on the big screen, in restored prints, with live music, and with an audience.

"If you can put pieces of the experience back together again, it's surprising how these films snap back to life," Rapsis said. "By showing the films under the right conditions, you can really get a sense of why people first fell in love with the movies."

In creating music for silent films, Rapsis performs on a digital synthesizer that reproduces the texture of the full orchestra and creates a traditional "movie score" sound.

Upcoming programs of silent film with live music at the Town Hall Theatre include:

• Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m., 'The Circle' (1925) starring Joan Crawford. Set among the aristocrats of Edwardian Britain, a comedy about an unhappy woman who considers leaving her dull husband for another man.

• Sunday, July 30 at 2 p.m., 'The Apple Tree Girl' (1917). Rarely screened early feature film produced in 1917 by Thomas Edison; story of a poor girl who goes to live with a wealthy aunt and her snooty cousin.

• Sunday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., 'Beau Brummel' (1924). Opulent drama about the rise and fall of the famous London gentleman, a commoner who nevertheless circulates in royal circles due to his sartorial prominence.

• Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m., 'The Divine Lady' (1929). Frank Lloyd won the 'Best Director' Oscar for this melodrama about the scandalous love affair between British naval hero Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton.

Charlie Chaplin's 'The Kid' (1921) will be shown on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H.

Admission is free; a donation of $10 per person is suggested to help defray expenses. For more information, call (603) 654-3456. For more about the music, visit


“Chaplin's first real feature mixes slapstick and sentiment in a winning combination, as the Tramp raises a streetwise orphan. Wonderful film launched Coogan as a major child star, and it's easy to see why.”

– Leonard Maltin's Movie Guides

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