The Alden Unveils a Series of Classic Silent Films with Live Accompaniment


The Alden in McLean has announced its Classics of the Silent Screen series. This four-event series will feature not only groundbreaking silent films and the legendary stars, but also live accompaniment and introductions by a film historian and preservationist. Series subscriptions for all four films are $35/$20 McLean district residents, and each film is $10/$6 McLean district residents. The Alden is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

Ben Model will play his original silent film music for each of the films. A five-time recipient of the Meet the Composer grant, Model has been playing piano and organ for “silents” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the last 28 years. His style both evokes the music of the silent film era while taking into account a modern audience’s expectations of film scoring.

Model and film historian and preservationist Bruce Lawton – who has acted as an archival and preservation advisor for AFI, HBO and the Chaplin estate, among others – curated Classics of the Silent Screen especially for The Alden. Their aim was to share with audiences a sampling of popular silent films, film directors and actors. The films will be shown one Wednesday each month beginning on February 22 and concluding on May 16.

The lineup is as follows:

The FIRST Kings of Comedy!
Wednesday, February 22 at 8 p.m.
Charlie Chaplin in The Pawn Shop (1916)
Harold Lloyd in High and Dizzy (1920)
Buster Keaton in The Goat (1921)
Charley Chase in Dog Shy (1926)
Laurel and Hardy in You’re Darn Tootin’ (1928)
With introduction and commentary by Bruce Lawton.

Lillian Gish in Orphans of the Storm
Directed by D. W. Griffith
Wednesday, March 21 at 8 p.m.
As apropos today as it was then, the Gish sisters star in this drama about class warfare set against the backdrop of 18th century France.

Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle
Wednesday, April 11 at 8 p.m.
Valentino at the top of his game with just the right blend of action, suspense, comedy and romance, all presented at a brisk tempo.

Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad
Wednesday, May 16 at 8 p.m.
Before CGI and Johnny Depp, there was Douglas Fairbanks: the original swashbuckler. Experience on the big screen this legendary film with its innovative special effects and gorgeous art direction.
With introduction and commentary by Bruce Lawton.

Series subscription for all four films are $35/$20 McLean district residents, and each film is $10/$6 McLean district residents. Tickets are on sale now. Discounts are available to seniors, students, MCC tax district residents and groups of eight or more. Tickets can be purchased online at For more information, call 703-790-0123, TTY: 711, or visit:

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