It’s the return of Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount in downtown Seattle!
About three years ago, I noticed that film-score preservationist and silent-film accompanist Dennis James was hosting a series of silent classics at the Paramount, including some films which I’d long heard of but never seen such as Douglas Fairbanks’ “The Sea Hawk”, if I recall correctly. I’ve tried to attend every single one since, with varying degrees of success. I still regret having missed Keaton’s “The General”.
James graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington when I was kid, sometime around 1980, and while he was attending IU would stage these elaborate presentations of classic silent horror films such as “Phantom of the Opera” or “Nosferatu”. These shows inevitably included a massive parade of cosumed adultas and children across the stage of the IU Auditorium (the one near Showalter Fountain), and the audience would applaud loudly for excellent costumes while a veritable blizzard of paper airplanes filled the air.
Combining these impressive events with the non-stop silent comedy super-8 loops at the pizza joint Noble Roman’s that my family ate at all the time meant that I have a lifelong love for and interest in silent movies.
To see them in the splendidly restored absurd opulence of the Paramount, a movie and vaudeville palace fortunate enough to have retained its Mighty Wurlitzer, is something I savor so greatly it’s difficult to convey.
A big thankee to Spencer Sundell for the heads up!