Saturday July 16, 7pm:
Enjoy a Star-Studded Evening
Lilian & Dorothy Gish!
Our Double Play begins with the classic comedy short:
Laughing Gas is a 1914 film starring Charlie Chaplin. The film is also known as Busy Little Dentist, Down and Out, Laffing Gas, The Dentist, and Tuning His Ivories.
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Produced by: Mack Sennett
Starring: Charles Chaplin
Cinematography: Frank D. Williams
Released in: 1914
Next, history’s sweeping drama comes alive in this powerful epic film:
Directed by the Legendary
“Orphans of the Storm” (United Artists, 1921), directed by D.W. Griffith, is a grand scale silent melodrama with the central characters being two young sisters (Lillian and Dorothy Gish) caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.
Much of the film’s success is due to the remarkable acting of the Gish Sisters. Acclaimed for her comedic talents, Dorothy here gives an almost completely serious performance, portraying a blind girl cruelly separated from her beloved sister and forced to beg in the streets. Lillian, her classic face mirroring a myriad of emotions, plays the sibling persecuted by both lecherous aristocrats and rapacious revolutionaries. The scene in which Lillian, in an upper chamber, hears Dorothy singing in the alley below but is unable to reach her, is almost unbearable in its emotional intensity.
Live piano accompaniment by John Read!
Pre-movie narration by Liisa Niemi dressed as a flapper
Tickets Only $5!
Available in advance at
Sandwich Town Hall, 130 Main Street
Splash Stationers, 126 Rte. 6A, Sandwich
Tickets will be sold on the date of the performances/events beginning one hour before the start time. We offer no senior or student discounts with the one exception of a child centered performance. Our facility is fully accessible but we do not have hearing enhancement technology. There is no reserved seating.
For more information email: email@example.com or call: 508-776-3256
The Sandwich Town Hall Silent Film Series
By Anthony Basile, WickedLocal.com & Jonathan Shaw (edited)
In 1915 or a little later silent movies began to be shown in the Town Hall and a piano, an upright in the Mission style made by Jacob Doll & Sons for the Frederick Piano Company, was acquired by the town. It was played by local residents, Minne Bunker Wimmer, Eva May Harlow, and Mary Haines Morrow, to accompany the silent movies.
The hall’s past as a silent movie venue lives on as the original piano is still in use. The accompaniment is by Yarmouth resident John Read, an experienced pianist and organist who plays without sheet music.
“I grew up when soap operas had live organ music and memorized the theme songs and styles of the various organists on the shows,” Read said. “At the same time I learned thousands of popular songs. This combination comes in handy when I accompany silent movies in that I can draw upon songs that fit the action, as well as appropriate mood music.”
The shows begin with an introduction to place the classic films in their historical context. Liisa Niemi is an IBM manager by day but in her free time she collects antiques and curios from the 1920s. Drawing on her knowledge of the period, Niemi regularly introduces silent films soundtracked by Read. To add authenticity to her presentation, Niemi wears the clothes of a Twenties flapper.
The plan to bring the town hall back to its movie house past began with Town Hall Preservation Trust member Jonathan Shaw. Upon seeing Read and Niemi’s silent movie showcase, Shaw brought the idea back to the organization, who selected it as a companion to the restored building’s annual event, an old time radio radio-styled variety show.
Between the variety show and the silent film, the town hall has played host to vintage entertainment since its re-opening. The shows’ tickets serve as a source of funds for the continued upkeep of the space. The focus on old-fashioned events draws attention to the building’s history, which stretches back to 1834. The latest renovations brought the building up to date as a community venue while keeping its interior consistent with its original design.
The Silent Film Series is now in its fourth season.