Silent films brought back to life at Warnors Theatre

September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Film buffs will take in a unique experience at Warnors Theatre in Downtown Fresno as an organist sets the mood for every scene from a Charlie Chaplin silent classic.

The soundtrack will amaze you. Movie-goers will take a step back in time, back to the 1920's, when pipe organ music accompanied films and spurred the growth of an industry.

Warnors Theatre was built in 1928 to host vaudeville acts. Now it returns to Hollywood's humble beginnings.

David Moreno's organ playing deep in the pit will provide the only soundtrack as Warnors brings back silent movies.

Moreno said, "The fun part is showing people how it really was in the twenties. Giving them the theatre experience which you can't do at home."

The comic genius of Charlie Chaplin is featured in the first of a series of seven silent films. Chaplin chews on a shoe and provides several laugh out loud moments.

David said, "Tonight's film with Charlie Chaplin, "Gold Rush," this is the movie that he was quoted saying this is the movie he wants to be remembered for."

Warnors board president Dan Fitzpatrick wanted to educate kids about the history of silent films. Several schools received free tickets.

Fitzpatrick explained, "We're actually having a film historian talk about the film and its period but talk about some the techniques used in early film making."

The Robert Morton pipe organ has been here since the theatre opened. The shutters help provide movie magic.

Young people will be stunned to see and hear how much live music can add to a film like the original "Phantom of the Opera."

Moreno said, "All of the music they're gonna hear is from 1925 and earlier that go appropriately with the mood of the screen."

"The Phantom of the Opera" is up next - October 17th. Tickets are just $3. $8 for families.


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