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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 5, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 23
Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount

by John Mark - Special to the SGN

TRADER JOE'S
SILENT MOVIE MONDAYS
THE MARK OF ZORRO
PARAMOUNT THEATRE
June 1


A friend and I spent a very pleasant evening at the beautiful Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle on Monday, June 1st, where we attended the first in a series of four Silent Movie Mondays sponsored by Trader Joe's. As usual, upon entering the theatre one is handed a bag of munchies courtesy of Trader Joe's, along with a small red numbered theatre ticket which is used to win a bag of groceries if you have the winning number on the ticket, or to win the Grand Prize which consists of eight free tickets to future Silent Movie Mondays.

We saw the famous swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro. This was an exciting and fast moving film with lots of plots, lots of action, and lots of actors, as well as lots of laughs, due to the clever, comedic and athletic, acting skills of Douglas Fairbanks.

The film was directed by Fred Niblo and starred Douglas Fairbanks and Noah Beery. This genre-defining swashbuckler adventure was the first movie version based on the 1919 story 'The Curse of Capistrano' by Johnston McCulley, which introduced the masked hero, Zorro. The screenplay was adapted by Fairbanks' own production company and was the first film released through United Artists, the company formed by Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith. The Mark of Zorro was a landmark film in the development of action adventure films.

Of course, one of the ingredients which made this film so delightful was the excellent playing skill of Walt Strony, who is a well-known theatre organist who really knew how to utilize the stops on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. The 89 year-old pipe organ was in perfect tune and performed magnificently as Walt put it through its paces. I thought it was interesting how a film made 95 years ago in 1920 that had no sound or dialogue and no color (except several scenes which were tinted) could still pack a theatre the size of The Paramount.

After the film ended, and after a rousing standing applause for the organist, Walt Stony, we attended the post-screening Cine Club which was held in the Paramount Bar Room just off the main lobby. Hosting the approximately 45-minute informative gathering was Sarah Loritz from The Seattle Theatre Group, along with Kaveh Askari, professor of film at Western Washington University and at Doha, Qatar, as well as Walt Stony, the organist. Trader Joe's offered free white or red wine along with bottled water. After each member on the panel spoke, it was opened up for questions and comments from those in attendance, which totaled about fifty people.

Needless to say, we had a wonderful night on the town, even though the Paramount Theatre has increased the previous $5 senior ticket price to $7. The regular price is $10.

The remaining films in the series are June 8: My Best Girl (1927), June 15: The Unholy Three (1925); and June 22: Snow White (1916). All shows are at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.stgpresents.org or call 1-877-STG-4TIX.

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