Throughout January and February, the venerable Fremont museum and theater will show a selection of Méliès' short movies along with each of their regular feature film presentations.
Here’s the schedule for January.
"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Frederick Hodges at the piano
Saturday, January 7 at 7:30 pm (suggested donation $5.00)
The great William S. Hart is gunman Blaze Tracy and Clara Williams is the inspirational Faith Henley in Hell’s Hinges (1916, Triangle), a stark, no-nonsense western about bad and even worse men. Hell’s Hinges, whose cast also includes Louise Glaum as Dolly, a dance-hall girl, was selected to the National Film Registry in 1994. The feature will be preceded by two shorts, Georges Méliès The Doctor’s Secret (1910, Star Films), and Golf (1922, Vitagraph), with Larry Semon and Oliver Hardy.
"Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee"
Sunday, January 8 at 4:00 pm (suggested donation $5.00)
This month's Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee features four short films; each are family friendly fun. One the bill are Men O’ War (1929) and Their First Mistake (1932), both starring comedic greats Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and Bouncing Babies (1929) and Pigskin Palooka (1937) with Our Gang.
"Friday Night at the Movies"
Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 pm (admission $10.00)
Henry Fonda stars in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940, Twentieth Century Fox), one of the great films of all time. Based on John Steinbeck's classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath follows a poor Oklahoma family forced off their land. They travel to California, and suffer the misfortunes of the millions of homeless during the Great Depression. This special screening is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Fremont Branch, as part of their One Book One Community Read event.
"Comedy Short Subject Night," with Greg Pane at the piano
Saturday, January 14 at 7:30 pm (Suggested Donation $5.00)
This laugh-packed comedy short subject night features some of the most famous comedians of the silent era. On the bill are One AM (1916, Essanay) with Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance, The Caretaker’s Daughter (1925, Roach, tinted) with Charley Chase, One Week (1920, Comique) with Buster Keaton, and Love ‘em and Weep (1927, Roach) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Bruce Loeb at the piano
Saturday, January 21 at 7:30 pm (suggested donation $5.00)
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum celebrate seven years of showing great films with a screening of The Garden of Eden (1928, Feature Productions), starring Corinne Griffith, Louise Dresser, Lowell Sherman and Charles Ray. This witty romantic comedy, which follows the adventures of a beautiful Viennese singer, was directed by Lewis Milestone. The feature will be preceded by The Palace of Arabian Nights (1905, Star Films) by Georges Méliès and The Lucky Dog (1921, Amalgamated Producing) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Also on the bill is the newly restored Twin Peaks Tunnel (1917, 35mm).
"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Jon Mirsalis at the Kurzweil
Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 pm (suggested donation $5.00)
In The Ice Flood (1926, Universal, tinted), Oxford graduate Jack De Quincy (played by Kenneth Harlan) sets out to take charge of the lumber camps owned by his father, which are filled with brawny he-men who spend their time drinking, gambling and brawling. There, he meets Marie O'Neill (played by Viola Dana) along way and complications ensue. Reliable Fred Kohler and an uncredited Walter Brennan as a lumberjack are also in the cast. The feature will be preceded by Plumb Crazy (1923, Christie) with Bobby Vernon and four Méliès shorts, The Untamable Whiskers (1904, Star Films), The Marvelous Wreath (1907, Star Films), The Knight of Black Art (1908, Star Films), and The Eclipse (1907, Star Films).
For more info: The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located at 37417 Niles Blvd. in Fremont, California. For further information, call (510) 494-1411 or visit the Museum's website at www.nilesfilmmuseum.org/.
Thomas Gladysz is an arts journalist and early film buff. Last year, he visited Georges Méliès grave in Paris.