As an editor for an entertainment website, I’ve had the opportunity to experience so many amazing industry events and celebrity run-ins, in and around Los Angeles. Over the years I’ve listened to George Clooney talk candidly about ‘The Descendants’ at the Arclight Hollywood, I’ve seen pre-screenings of amazing Oscar contenders, I’ve even run into Chris Rock in a production office hallway (literally smacked right into him while turning the corner… awkward!), but none of these big celebrity moments can compare to the satisfaction of being invited to a theater revival event and being re-introduced to a part of movie history that I had long since written off.
I must admit, I’ve never really been a fan of silent films. When forced to watch them in film school, I could most certainly appreciate them for their beauty or for what they did for the film industry, but never really understood the draw. That being said, conveying a story without dialogue is no easy feat. Having written a dialogue-less short or two in my day, I can speak to the intensity of that craft. When it’s done right, it can be breathtaking. When it’s done wrong… well, that’s why not everyone’s cut out for film school.
Thankfully, a little venue in El Segundo recently helped me see that silent films can certainly pack a stellar punch. My co-editor and I were invited down to Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, CA for an afternoon of music and movies and I am so unbelievably glad I went. We watched an old silent comedy short and it was accompanied by a live organist. The organ was the source for the film’s music and sound effects, so we saw the film the way it was originally intended to be seen! It was stunning. It is hands down the best way to watch silent films. Unfortunately, there are so few places left that are able to show films in this light.
If you live nearby or are in town visiting, you have to stop by OTMH on the weekend, if only to view this amazing organ they call the Mighty Wurlitzer. Seriously, it’s a beast! The theater also specializes in jazz, ragtime and organ concerts for guests. Film admission is $10 and concert admission is around $20 (so affordable and it’s definitely fun for the whole family). As a writer, I am thrilled to take part in getting the word out about this great theater. I can only dream that I am lucky enough to one day have my work featured in a place as fantastic as this.
You can find more of my thoughts on this amazing venue on (shameless plug alert!) Cinema Coma.
So much gratitude goes out to Stage 32 for inviting us to the event and introducing us to such a great local theater.