The historic playhouse, which opened as a silent movie theater in 1924, celebrates its milestone 100th Anniversary in grand style. It returns to the golden age of cinema when silent pictures reigned supreme, with a two-day film festival, on February 3 and 4, 2024, noon – 8:00 pm.
By News Desk
The celebration, which launches with a free community event, includes five iconic silent films featuring live accompaniment by celebrated pianist Frederick Hodges and “The Bees Knees,” a Roaring 20s-inspired gala centennial celebration with a Harold Lloyd double bill, champagne dinner, and speakeasy, honoring Suzanne Lloyd, Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter and trustee of his extensive film library.
Evolving over the decades from its movie house origins, today Sierra Madre Playhouse is a historical landmark, featuring its original distinctive façade and instantly-recognizable neon marquee, that presents a wide array of bold and distinctive programming, including theater, music, film, comedy, and family-friendly offerings.
– Free Silent Comedy Shorts
The wide-ranging weekend-long anniversary celebration launches with an admission-free screening of silent comedy shorts by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The event for the community is given in gratitude for the tremendous support Sierra Madre Playhouse has received from Southern California audiences over the past century.
February 3 12:00 pm Free, reservations required
– Feature Film Line-up
The festival showcases five iconic silent movies, among them three Harold Lloyd comedies directed by Frank Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, Safety Last! (80 minutes), Hot Water (59 minutes), and Girl Shy (89 minutes), as well as Helen’s Babies (85 minutes), directed by William Seiter, and Buster Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. (45 minutes). Virtuosic pianist Frederick Hodges will provide live accompaniment, and noted film historian Lara Gabrielle, the festival’s curator, will introduce them.
February 3 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm February 4 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 8:00 pm Click here for tickets
– Gala Champagne Dinner
Adding flair and glamour to the festivities is “The Bees Knees,” a roaring 20s-themed gala centennial celebration honoring Suzanne Lloyd, a film preservationist who serves as trustee of her grandfather Harold Lloyd’s film library and extensive 3D library of more than 200,000 photographs. The event includes admission to a double bill of Safety Last! and Hot Water, both starring Harold Lloyd, plus a round-table discussion with Suzanne Lloyd.
Between films, guests will parade across the street to the restaurant Roe Fusion to enjoy a gala champagne dinner and speakeasy with themed cocktails and menu harkening back to the Roaring 20s. Guests are encouraged to dress in festive 1920s attire, such as flapper dresses, sequin headbands, pearl necklaces, feather boas, fedoras, and bowler hats.
February 3 4:00 pm Click here for tickets
Sierra Madre Playhouse Board Chair David Gordon, says, “We invite the entire community to the silent film festival to celebrate Sierra Madre Playhouse’s milestone 100th anniversary! With the wide range of events featured, there’s something for everyone. We are thrilled to honor the deep and lasting roots, colorful history and important cultural role of this magnificent venue that has evolved into the award-winning Sierra Madre Playhouse. It is one of Southern California’s enduring cultural treasures, and today its expansive array of live performances and film programs continue to delight audiences of all ages. The silent film festival is truly a fitting tribute to the ‘Grande Dame’ of Sierra Madre.”
Tickets to Sierra Madre Playhouse’s silent film festival are $19.24 per screening, in honor of 1924, the year the theatre opened, or $77 for all five feature films, and $100 for “The Bees Knees” gala celebration.
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