Monthly Archives: December 2017

New Season Begins January 6

We are proud to announce our latest season, which runs from Saturday, January 6 to Monday, April 30. Highlights include Elaine May’s pioneering cringe comedy The Heartbreak Kid, Jacques Tourneur’s Argentine Western Way of a Gaucho, Steven Arnold’s hippie bacchanal Luminous Procuress, and Colin Campbell’s darkly poetic goblin party Little Orphant Annie (pictured above).

Check out the whole schedule here.


And the first show of the season is:

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 • Seniors: $9 • MBT Members: $7

Saturday, January 6 @ Noon
Directed by Irvin V. Willat • 1919
Live Accompaniment from Music Box Organist Dennis Scott
Spun out from a two-page short story by Gouverneur Morris, Behind the Door is one of the most perverse and unpredictable films of the silent era—a nautical revenge yarn that alternates appalling sadism with prayerful longing for days gone by. (Morris’s novel The Penalty would be adapted into an excellent Lon Chaney film the following year, and that pulp saga of a gangster amputee plays almost level-headed in comparison.) Hobart Bosworth stars as Captain Oscar Krug, a lumbering taxidermist whose quiet life off the coast of Maine is interrupted by America’s entry into World War I. As an American of German descent, Krug must prove his patriotic bona fides by enlisting, but even he underestimates the depravity of the enemy (a slick and smarmy Wallace Beery) and the destructive power of the U-Boat. The thinking man’s anti-Hun picture, Behind the Door hit theaters a year after the Armistice and rubbed sea salt in America’s still-festering wounds. This superbly crafted saga survived only in fragments until this 2016 reconstruction from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Gosfilmofond restored Behind the Door’s funereal grandeur. (KW)
70 min • Thomas H. Ince Productions • 35mm from SFSFF Collection, Library of Congress
Short: “The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’” (Winsor McCay, 1918) – 16mm – 12 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on New Season Begins January 6

Season’s Greetings – Program Resumes January 6

We may be adrift presently, but worry not — the new schedule is on its way. Stay tuned to the website, sign up for the mailing list, or wait for a message in a bottle.


Posted in News | Comments Off on Season’s Greetings – Program Resumes January 6

Ernst Lubitsch’s Monte Carlo – Silent Version Now Screening Dec. 11 – Live Accompaniment from Jay Warren

Please note: This screening has been re-scheduled from its original date of October 17

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Monday, December 11 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1930
Live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren
Crack open any film history textbook and you’ll likely find an extended description of a sequence in Monte Carlo: runaway bride Jeanette MacDonald reclines in a train car and belts out “Beyond the Blue Horizon” with the clang of the engine and the whir of the wheels providing the syncopation. When placed beside the mumbly milestones of the very earliest talkies like The Jazz Singer and The Lights of New York, this simple production number in Monte Carlo looked like a quantum leap and pointed the way towards the creative application of sound technology. And yet this musical chestnut was also distributed mute in the waning days of the silent era, offered to theaters that had not yet been wired for sound. The plot—penniless countess MacDonald flees her wedding for Monte Carlo, where she hopes to gamble her way to financial stability but winds up instead with a count (Jack Buchanan) whom she mistakes for a hairdresser—follows the sound version, but clocks in twenty minutes shorter without all the songs. Discovered among reels of nitrate at the Paramount Pictures lot, the silent version of Monte Carlo was one of dozens of films donated to the American Film Institute in 1968 through the efforts of the late archivist David Shepard. (KW)
71 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Universal

Preceded by: Fractured Flickers: “Pilot Episode” (Jay Ward Productions, 1961) – 16mm – 24 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Ernst Lubitsch’s Monte Carlo – Silent Version Now Screening Dec. 11 – Live Accompaniment from Jay Warren