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2022/23 Duck Soup Cinema Returns To Capitol Theater With Fully Restored Grand Barton Organ

Film showings include vaudeville entertainment with an emcee, door prizes and classic feature film.

2022/23 Duck Soup Cinema Returns To Capitol Theater With Fully Restored Grand Barton Organ

Restoration of the Capitol Theater's original Grand Barton Organ has been completed! With its homecoming comes the return of the Duck Soup Cinema silent film series, nationally known for providing an authentic silent film experience in the historic Capitol Theater. Film showings include vaudeville entertainment with an emcee, door prizes and classic feature film with live organ accompaniment by a skilled organist who mirrors the actors' emotions, just as it was done in 1928.

Tickets ($9 for adults, $3 for ages 12 and under) go on sale Friday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. at overture.org. Join the Duck Soup Cinema Club by purchasing a package ($24), which includes tickets to all three Duck Soup Cinema shows, priority seating and email newsletters with fun facts about each title.

The Duck Soup Cinema season begins on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. with a special Halloween treat: "The Phantom of the Opera," a 1925 American classic silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian.

The film stars Lon Chaney as "The Phantom" and Mary Philbin as "Christine Daae." The Phantom haunts the Paris Opera House, causing mayhem and murder in efforts to make the young soprano, Christine Daae, an opera star and his love. The film remains most famous for Chaney's ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film's premiere. Film is from the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.

Jelani Eddington will accompany the film on the Grand Barton Organ. Joe Thompson will return to emcee the series, complete with vaudeville acts, including Ken Lonnquist, prizes and more.

The three-show 2022/23 Duck Soup Cinema season continues with these memorable films:

  • "Why Worry?" | Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    • In this 1923 comedy, Harold Lloyd portrays a wealthy and spoiled young man who is so obsessed with his health that he decides he needs to take a cruise to a southern climate and stay in "Paradiso," a fictitious South American island off the cost of Chile. He goes there with his nurse and valet. He thought he would find peace, but stumbles into a revolution instead. Film from The Harold Lloyd Trust.
    • Organist: Jelani Eddington
  • "Ten Nights in a Bar Room" | Saturday, June 3, 2023, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    • In this 1926 melodrama, a man is swindled out of his mill business and turns to drink. After losing his daughter who is hit in the head by a glass during a bar brawl, he is reborn and runs for mayor a couple years later. Based on the popular temperance poem by Timothy Shay Arthur, this rarely-seen version was performed by an African-American cast and features an especially compelling performance by Charles Gilpin. It is the only surviving film produced by the Colored Players Film Corporation of Philadelphia and was mastered from 35mm film elements preserved by the George Eastman House. Starring Charles Gilpin and Myra Burwell.
    • An example of a "race film" made for and by Black audiences of the time, these performances will feature special events for ticket holders, including a pre-show virtual workshop with Dr. James Spinks (Department of Afro American Research, Arts and Culture's Archive) exploring Early Afro-American Cinema. Additionally, Dr. Allyson Nadia Fields (University of Chicago) will join the performances as a special guest and lead post-performance talkbacks.
    • Organist: Jelani Eddington

Restoration of the Grand Barton Organ began in June 2019. Each stage required careful disassembly of the mechanical units, meticulous cleaning and the replacement and refurbishing of the worn components. The Grant Barton Organ is one of only a few historic theater organs still in its original home and one of three unaltered Barton Organs still in existence. It has been delighting audience members in Capitol Theater since 1928.



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